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Report No. 87

II. The proper approach-balance between law enforcement and liberty

5.5. Importance of sections 3-5.-

Such coercive measures-i.e., the use of force for procuring identificatory evidence derive their authority from sections 3, 4 and 5 read with section 6. Sections 3, 4 and 5 confer power on the police, or in certain cases, on the magistrates, to direct the persons concerned to furnish demonstrative evidence of the specified types. Section 6 authorises the use of force for the purpose. These provisions constitute the most important part of the Act.

Improvements appear to be needed in these operative provisions, in certain respects. For example, the species of evidence that may be directed to be furnished by an arrested person or by a convict may have to be added to, in view of various scientific developments. The range of offences in connection with which (after arrest) such evidence can be required to be furnished may also need to be expanded, in the interest of detection and prevention of crime. Further, even where, though no 'offence' in the strict sense is charged, yet, proceedings for good behaviour (or analogous proceedings) have been instituted under the law, some expansion of the scope of the relevant provisions may be called for.

Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 Back

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