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Report No. 87

1.4. Need to focus attention on legal aspect.-

But the .very fact that constitutional issues have, in the past, loomed large in the case law on the subject has obscured one important aspect of the general law, namely, that the slightest interference with the body or use of force to compel the furnishing of even non-communicative material requires a statutory authority, in the absence of which such action would prima facie attract tortious liability. Once this aspect is borne in mind, the need for clear and specific statutory provisions on every step that the police or any other investigating agency proposes to take in this area cannot be disputed. It is on this aspect, therefore, that a pretty large part of the discussion to be found in some of the succeeding chapters of this Report will necessarily concentrate.

Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 Back

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