The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice to the Central government on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition challenging the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022..A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla issued notice to the Centre and directed that the reply be filed within 6 weeks.Central Government Standing Counsel Amit Mahajan raised the issue that vires of act cannot be challenged in a PIL and hence the petition is not maintainable. "Mr Mahajan has raised an issue wrt to maintainability. Issue notice. Respondents to file their reply, including on the aspect of the maintainability of this petition. Same should be in six weeks," the Court ordered. The matter will be heard again on November 16. .The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on April 4, 2022 and the Rajya Sahba on April 6, 2022. It then received the President’s assent and was finally published in the official gazette on April 18.The Act provides for taking measurements of convicts and other persons for the purposes of identification and investigation in criminal matters and to preserve records. It also gives legal sanction for sanction for taking of appropriate body measurements of persons including finger-prints, palm-prints and foot-prints, photographs, iris and retina scan, physical, biological samples, and their analysis among etc. .The PIL has challenged the validity of Sections 2(1)(a) (iii), 2(1) (b), 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the Act. It asks the court to declare them unconstitutional and void.“It is submitted that the aforesaid provisions are arbitrary, excessive, unreasonable, disportionate, devoid of substantive due process and in violation of fundamental rights of the citizens of India as well as of the basic structure of the Constitution of India, 1950 and thus are liable to be struck down by this Hon’ble Court,” the petition said..The petition has been filed by advocate Harshit Goel through advocates Yashwant Singh, Harshit Anand and Aman Naqvi..It has been argued that the provisions of the Act collectively militate against individual freedom, rule of law and mandate to build a welfare State by use of the Directive Principles of State Policy, which are all parts of the basic structure of the Constitution, and are therefore unconstitutional.The petition said that the provisions of the Act make it lawful for the police to forcibly take ‘measurements’ of convicts, arrested persons, detainees, undertrials or any person who may be remotely involved with the connection of an offence without prima facie establishing their involvement or the evidentiary value of such ‘measurements’. ‘The ‘measurements’, it said, also includes ‘biological samples’, their ‘analysis’ and ‘behavioural attributes’ and can be taken forcibly in case of resistance or refusal.“Specifically, these terms are open to interpretation to include ‘measurements’ of a testimonial nature taken by way of a compelled psychiatric evaluation. Such evaluation, when it leads to any incriminating admission, would constitute a ‘testimonial compulsion’. This coercive provision therefore transgresses the right against self-incrimination, a well-established principle of our criminal justice system and mandated under Article 20(3) of the Constitution,” the plea said. .It contended that forcing an individual to part with his ‘measurements’ under the provisions of Act violates the standard of substantive due process which is required for restraining personal liberty.“It is submitted that Sections 3 and 5 of the Act, in flagrant violation of the law laid down by the Supreme Court, allows excessive, coercive and arbitrary intrusion into the dignity of a convict as well as of an individual who may be called in for simple questioning, or who is involved in the pettiest of offences. These provisions constitute a clear attack on ‘personal liberty’ and clearly fall foul of Article 21 of the Constitution and are thus liable to be struck down,” it was submitted.