Absence of Oppn MPs may have aided passage of criminal procedure bill: Cong

Updated on Apr 08, 2022 06:21 AM IST

During its passage on Wednesday, Union home minister Amit Shah assured the Upper House that the data will not be misused. A total of 17 members participated in the debate.

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 seeks to update a British-era law to enable police to collect samples of a person’s biometric details (ANI)
The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 seeks to update a British-era law to enable police to collect samples of a person’s biometric details (ANI)
By, New Delhi

Opposition parties in Rajya Sabha had gathered 60 votes against the contentious Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill but the absence of a large number of members led to its easy passage on Wednesday, a senior Congress leader said on Thursday.

Had all opposition MPs been present in the House during the voting, they could have turned it into a close battle, the leader added.

“Ten Congress MPs were absent. Nationalist Congress Party’s Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel and five CPI(M) MPs were not available during the voting. The lone CPI MP, too, was absent. Some members of the Samajwadi Party and other opposition parties were also absent during the voting,” the leader said, seeking anonymity.

The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill, 2022 seeks to update a British-era law to enable police to collect samples of a person’s biometric details, such as fingerprints and iris scans, if they have been arrested, detained or placed under preventive detention on charges that attract a jail term of seven years or more.

During its passage on Wednesday, Union home minister Amit Shah assured the Upper House that the data will not be misused. A total of 17 members participated in the debate.

Congress leader P Chidambaram termed the bill as “unconstitutional” and said it violates the liberty, privacy and dignity of people.

Experts have raised concerns about the Bill, saying its powers are far too broadly defined and might curtail constitutional rights.

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