Press Trust of India

Probe agencies must have delicate balance between search, seizure powers and privacy rights: CJI

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New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) D Y Chandrachud on Monday said there is a need to have a “delicate balance” between the search and seizure powers vested with investigative agencies like the CBI and an individual’s right to privacy.

The CJI was delivering his keynote address at the 20th D P Kohli memorial lecture in the memory of the first director of the federal probe agency.

In the realm of criminal justice, the delicate balance between search and seizure powers and individual privacy rights stands and this is at the cornerstone of a fair and just society, Justice Chandrachud said.

He added that at the heart of this balance lies the need to uphold due process.

The CJI also flagged “unwarranted” confiscation of personal devices, saying there was a pressing need to strike a balance between investigative imperatives and individual privacy rights.

He also asked the investigative agencies to “pick their battles”, saying instead of spreading out too thinly in various cases, they should concentrate on crimes that threaten security and economic health of the country and public order.

Justice Chandrachud said the landscape of crime was evolving at an “unprecedented pace” and probe agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) must build their capacities to tackle them apart from harnessing Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools.

He said as our world becomes increasingly interconnected through the expansion of digital technologies — from cyber crime and digital fraud to the exploitation of emerging technologies for illicit purposes — law enforcement agencies like the CBI are faced with new and complex challenges that demand innovative solutions.

The investigating agencies have to keep up with the radical change in crime, he said.

Press Trust of India

Press Trust of India is lead news agency of India

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