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Report No. 87

Chapter 4

Preliminary Matters: Sections 1 and 2

4.1. Section 1(1)-Comment regarding the short title of the Act.-

With reference to section 1(1) which relates to the short title of the Act, we would like to point out that the present short title is not quite appropriate, for two reasons. First, the use of the word "prisoners" is somewhat misleading. That word, to the ordinary layman, carries the sense of a convicted person. The Act, however, is applicable not only to persons convicted, but also to a person who has been arrested for the specified offence or for the specified cause. Secondly, the word "identification" used in the title is also not very expressive. It seems to lay emphasis on the process of identification and creates an impression that the Act is concerned with what have come to be known as "identification parades."

However, the scope of the Act is quite different from that of "identification parades." It is concerned more with certain measures to be taken and evidence to be collected that would facilitate identification at a later stage than with the process of identification. In view of this, we are of the opinion that there is room for improvement in the short title. It is difficult to think of a title which would be short and at the same time expressive; but we suggest that the Act can be more appropriately titled as "Criminal Procedure (Physiological Evidence) Act" or as "Criminal Investigation (Physiological Evidence) Act."

Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 Back

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