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Report No. 87

5.23. Legal questions not raised so far.-

In fact, even after 1920, the legality of coercive measures to secure identificatory evidence in general does not seem to have been directly in issue before the courts. After the commencement of the Constitution, some constitutional questions with reference to the compulsory taking of evidence have, no doubt, been debated in courts. But the position under the general law of torts has not been discussed at length in India. Even in the leading case1 relating to self-incrimination under Article 20(3) of the Constitution, where one of the set of documents in issue related to certain specimen signatures taken from the accused in the erstwhile State of Bombay, the legality of the practice as such was not challenged. The position in this respect, however, has now changed. The observations made by the Supreme Court, already referred2 to, render a detailed examination of this aspect desirable.

1. Kathi Kale, AIR 1961 SC 1808 (1816), para. 21.

2. Chapter 1, supra.

Identification of Prisoners Act, 1920 Back

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