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Report No. 87

5.2. Use of force illegal without authority.-

It is well established that in the absence of a specific statutory provision empowering a specified authority to take fingerprints or measurements or to compel a person to furnish specimen signature, the use of force for any of these purposes would prima facie amount to civil wrong.1 If there is actual or threatened physical interference with the body by compulsion,2 the common law action in tort; (for assault or battery) would be available. Where such compulsion is "non-testimonial", questions of a constitutional nature with reference to Article 20(3) may not arise, but the general law of tort would still have to be complied with.

1. Law Commission of India, 37th Report (Code of Criminal Procedure) (sections 1 to 176), Appendix 6.

2. Law Commission of India, 69th Report (Evidence Act), Chapter 33.

Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 Back

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