Sunday, January 23, 2011

Criminal Procedure Code Amendment Bill, 2008

The third report of the National Police Commission had expressed serious concern on unnecessary arrests of innocent people by the police and observed that 60 per cent of the arrests made by the police were unnecessary and were accounting for 43.2 per cent of jail expenditure. National Police Commission report had found that 40 lakh out of the total 68 lakh arrests made by the police during 2007 alone were 'unnecessary' and it was a blatant violation of the human rights of lakhs of people. This had necessitated the amendment of the Cr PC.Though the amendment was signed by President Pratibha Patil in January 2009, it was enacted only on January 2, 2011 without much publicity.

The police cannot arrest anyone before sending him a Memo of Appearance and in case the accused failed to comply with the notice, the police have to record reasons of arrest the court diary and to obtain warrant from the magistrate for crimes where the punishment was up to seven years of imprisonment. The accused has to be supplied with a copy of the FIR, provided a lawyer of his choice and a proper medical check up has to be done before arrest.

Section 41 A (3) states that when an accused person complies and continues to comply with the notice he shall not be arrested in respect of the offense.

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