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Cr.PC Amendment Bill gets President’s assent

J. Venkatesan

For non-cognisable offences a person can be arrested, without warrant, for proper investigation


Police should issue “notice of appearance” for any offence punishable with jail up to 7 years

Police officer arresting a person will have to bear identification badge


New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil has given assent to the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bill, which restrains the police from arresting a person for criminal offences for which the maximum sentence is up to seven-year imprisonment.

The Bill, passed in the last session of Parliament, has now become a law and it will come into force from the date of notification by the Centre.

It incorporates the recommendations of the Law Commission, the Justice Malimath Committee report and guidelines issued by the Supreme Court from time to time to prevent overcrowding of jails with undertrials.

Lawyers are up in arms against the amendments and urging the government not to notify the amended law.

The amended Section 41 of the Cr.PC. says: “No person concerned in a non-cognisable offence or against whom a complaint has been made or credible information has been received or reasonable suspicion exists of his having so concerned shall be arrested except under a warrant or order of a magistrate.”

However, arrest can be made without a warrant, after recording the reasons in writing, if the police officer is satisfied that it is necessary for proper probe, or to prevent the person from committing any further offence or making any inducement, threat or promise to anyone acquainted with the facts of the case.

The provision says the police, instead of arresting the accused, will be obliged to issue him/her a “notice of appearance” for any offence punishable with imprisonment up to seven years. The person can be arrested only if he/she does not appear before the police in response to the notice.

(The IPC provides for punishment up to seven years for offences including attempt to commit culpable homicide, robbery, attempt to suicide, kidnapping, voluntarily causing grievous hurt, cheating, outraging a woman’s modesty and death caused by negligence and dowry harassment.)

The amended law says a police officer who is making an arrest will have to bear his identification badge or tag. Besides, a memorandum of arrest shall be prepared, witnessed and countersigned. The person arrested shall be told that he/she has the right to inform a relative or friend.

It mandates the State government to establish police control rooms at the district and State levels and display on noticeboards kept outside the control rooms the names and addresses of the persons arrested, and the names and designations of the police officers who made the arrests.

The law provides for payment of compensation to victims for illegal arrest and police harassment. Every State in coordination with the Centre should prepare a scheme for providing funds for compensation to the victim or his/her dependants who suffered loss or injury as a result of the crime and who require rehabilitation.

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