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Report No. 87

V. Scope

3.15. Act not exhaustive-other techniques of identification.-

The Act of 1920 does not, of course, exhaust all the conceivable species of evidence that might be collected to facilitate identification. In addition to the matters included in the Act, a great variety of techniques for the study of the traces of crime has been developed. The techniques of physics and chemistry have, in recent times, been extensively applied to the detection of crime. It would be difficult to enumerate all of them exhaustively. It is also unnecessary to do so, since we do not propose to insert in the Act any omnious provision or an all-embracing section on the subject. As we have already stated1, in formulating such proposals the law must try to strike a proper balance between social needs and individual privacy. An all-embracing and pervasive provision might unintentionally have the effect of authorising many practices, which may not be desirable.

1. See para. 1.7, supra.

Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 Back

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