Amended criminal code comes into force

The code says the recording should be done in the presence of the victim’s parents or guardians or a social worker. Recording of statements/confessions by audio-video electronic means and mandatory inclusion of statements of witnesses under section 161 in the case diary are other provisions.

The amended code stipulates that the trial of an offence under sections 376 to 376D IPC shall, as far as possible, be completed within two months. It provides  safeguards in the case of an inquiry against a person of unsound mind and incorporates a new section 357A obliging every state government to prepare a scheme for providing funds for compensating the victim of a crime or his dependents.

These amendments have been notified and have come into force on December 31, 2009, according to the Union Home Ministry.

Three provisions are not being notified for the present.  These are sections 5, 6 and 21(b) of the Amendment Act. They relate to the power of a police officer to make an arrest and the power of the court to grant or refuse adjournments.

Representations were received against these provisions.  Hence, they were referred to the Law Commission which held consultations and submitted its report. On the basis of the report an Amendment Bill has been approved by the Cabinet. It could not be introduced in the last session of Parliament and will be introduced in the Budget Session.

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