wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Device seizure rules proposed in CrPC replacement bill violates right to privacy, right against self-incrimination: Derek O’Brien in Dissent Note

The proposed Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, which seeks to replace the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, allows law enforcement officials to summon, or seize, digital devices.

The proposed Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023, allows law enforcement to summon or carry out search and seizure of digital devices such as phones and laptops, but this could violate the right to privacy as well as the right against self-incrimination, Member of Parliament Derek O’Brien pointed out in his dissent note attached to the parliamentary committee report on the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita (BNSS), 2023.

The BNSS, 2023, is the proposed replacement for the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973.

Section 94 of the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita, 2023, allows the court or the police officer in charge to summon any document or thing required for an investigation as evidence. Notably, this proposed law explicitly includes summoning of digital evidence and covers any electronic communication such as messages, call recordings, and emails as well as electronic communication devices such as mobile phones, laptops, cameras, and any other electronic device that may be specified by the government through notification in the future. A court also has the right to order search and seizure of such evidence for various reasons including if the person in possession of the evidence is not expected to produce the same.

“A mobile device or a laptop contains a lot of information which might not be relevant to the case because electronic devices in today’s age contain all information pertinent to an individual’s general existence. So, there’s a question about the invasion of the right to privacy because of the scope of information that’s in these devices. Secondly, the collection of such devices might also go against the right against self-incrimination.” — MP Derek O’Brien

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs released its report on the BNSS on November 10 but did not have any comments or suggestions around the device seizure rules, hence resulting in Derek O’Brien bringing up these concerns in his dissent note.

We’ve elaborated on the concerns raised by Derek O’Brien here.

The government has also proposed other laws to replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1860 and the Indian Evidence Act of 1872. You can read more about all these three drafts here.

Derek O’Brien’s dissent note, along with a dozen other dissent notes, also delves into numerous other shortcomings in the proposed bills such as the lack of a proper consultation process, the poor drafting of rules, the retaining of colonial-era rules, the lack of checks and balances to the government’s policing powers, and criticisms of various specific provisions.

Also Read

STAY ON TOP OF TECH NEWS: Our daily newsletter with the top story of the day from MediaNama, delivered to your inbox before 9 AM. Click here to sign up today!


Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



Factors like Indus not charging developers any commission for in-app payments and antitrust orders issued by India's competition regulator against Google could contribute to...


Is open-sourcing of AI, and the use cases that come with it, a good starting point to discuss the responsibility and liability of AI?...


RBI Deputy Governor Rabi Shankar called for self-regulation in the fintech sector, but here's why we disagree with his stance.


Both the IT Minister and the IT Minister of State have chosen to avoid the actual concerns raised, and have instead defended against lesser...


The Central Board of Film Certification found power outside the Cinematograph Act and came to be known as the Censor Board. Are OTT self-regulating...

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ