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Maintaining biometric data of prisons

Jail authorities adopt pilot project

Published : 21 Nov 2021 10:07 PM

The jail authorities have begun maintaining the prisoner database management system with biometrics in collaboration with the National Telecommunication Monitoring Centre (NTMC) to identify the real accused in any case.  

The jail authorities have already adopted a pilot project in this regard. The project has been running at the Kashimpur, Keraniganj and Narayanganj jails.

The matter was known from a report of the jail authorities which was submitted to the High Court. Advocate Shishir Mohammad Manir, a lawyer concerned, confirmed the matter to the media on Sunday. He said that the jail authorities in the report claimed that the database is stored in prisons. 

The lawyer said that the HC bench of Justice Jahangir Hossain Selim and Justice Mohammad Ataur Rahman would hold hearing on the report submitted by the jail authorities. 

Earlier, the High Court had issued a rule in this regard. The higher court directed the government to set up biometric systems at the prisons and police stations across the country to identify the accused in cases. The court also asked the home ministry to take necessary steps to introduce a data management system to accumulate biometric data by recording the accused’s fingerprints, palms and iris. 

The Home Secretary, Law Secretary and Inspector General of Prisons were made respondents to the rule. 

The higher court had issued the rule against the backdrop of an HC order to release an innocent woman named Minu Akter who was convicted and imprisoned for life under murder charges instead of the actual accused in the case of Kulsuma Akter in Chattogram.

At that time, the court also asked Special Public Prosecutor of Chattogram Women and Children Repression Tribunal-2 MA Naser and lawyers Nurul Anwar, Vivekananda Chowdhury and Saurabh to appear before the court for explanations for the case incident of mistaken identity. Later, they appeared before the court. 

Supreme Court lawyer Mohammad Shishir Manir had stood in the court on behalf of the innocent woman while Deputy Attorney General Dr Mohammad Bashir Ullah represented the state.

Advocate Shishir Manir had told the court that there had been at least 26 such incidents in the country in the last two years where innocent people were sent to prison instead of the people actually convicted in the court.

To prevent such incidents, the lawyer requested the higher court to provide a formal order to the country’s prisons to introduce biometric identification system.

The court then heard the state’s view on the matter and later issued the rule regarding biometric identification of prisoners.