Record reasons for arrest, non-arrest: New criminal procedure code

Record reasons for arrest, non-arrest: New criminal procedure code

The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2010, which has already been passed by Lok Sabha, amends the Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1973.  The act was last amended in 2006. However, this version, which set new regulations for an arrest without a warrant, was found difficult to be implemented.

"In the light of objections from certain quarters to certain provisions of the act, it could not be brought into force. These provisions relate to the power of the police to arrest without warrant," Home Minister P. Chidambaram said.

He said that the matter was referred to the Law Commission, which recommended an amendment to section 41 of the act to make it "compulsory for the police to record the reasons for making an arrest as well for not making an arrest in respect of a cognizable offence for which the maximum punishment is up to seven years".

The 2006 amendment, which was replaced, said: "Powers of arrest conferred upon the police officer must be exercised after reasonable care and justification and that such arrest is necessary and required under the section."

The loose criteria mentioned, however, made it difficult to be implemented and increased the chances of the law being misused. The second major amendment in the bill gives the police the power to arrest a person to whom a notice has been issued for arrest if he does not disclose his identity.

"If a person has already been notified and on inquiry he does not disclose his identity, he can be arrested. These are the only two amendments, all other amendments have already been made by the house and are only to be notified," Chidambaram said, giving clarifications on the bill.

The home minister, however, agreed that a new criminal procedure code is needed as the one is old.  "The law ministry has told the Law Commission to go for a new criminal procedure code. The Law Commission may come up with a report next year," he said.

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