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Report No. 87

5.22. Position before and after 1915.-

Even as regards photographs and fingerprints, no difficulty seems to have been felt before 1915. But, in 1915, the Government of Bengal drew attention to the case of two dangerous conspirators convicted in the Raja Bazar bomb case who were most persistent in their refusal to be photographed. That Government further reported that instances were becoming frequent in which prisoners refused to allow their fingerprints or photographs to be taken. It was in this background that the Government of Bengal suggested certain amendments in the Police Act and the Prisoners Act with a view to enabling the police officers and jail superintendents to take fingerprints, measurements, etc. of persons under arrest, under-trial prisoners and convicts1. The Government of India, after an examination of the whole question, came to the conclusion that-

"No further time should be lost in placing on a regular footing a practice which is the normal incident of police practice in India."

Since no difficulty had been felt as regards the taking of signature as such, no provision on that point was contemplated in 1920.

1. National Archives, papers relating to Act 53 of 1920, despatch to the Secretary of State for India from the Home Department No. 8 of 1918 dated 18th September, 1918.

Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 Back

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