Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ministry of Home Affairs rethinking on CrPC amendments

The issue of CrPC amendment is again gathering steam now... or rather some well-meaning souls are trying to put life back into a half dead act which has not been notified.

CrPC amendments: MHA asks law panel to suggest way out

Some excerpts and my comments:

Strong protests by lawyers, who are opposed to one of the amendments on the ground that it gives discretionary powers to police not to arrest a person involved in an offence having maximum sentence of seven years, has forced the MHA to do a rethink on whether or not to notify the amendments.

As if the public thinks lawyers are the thought-leaders and ideals in Indian society? Who are the lawyers trying to benefit but themselves, since they will have to forego the daily bread and butter involved in arranging bail etc after the needless arrests are made.

Sources in the MHA said one reason for this amendment was that every year lakhs of innocent people are arrested without any basis. Even the third report of the National Police Commission had said that about 60 per cent of the arrests in the country were unnecessary and unjustified.

Unnecessary arrests are the real issue. Without police reforms and better trained police, one cannot expect police to exercise good judgment and proper investigation before arrests. Till that is done, it is best to do away with provisions which give police arbitrary powers and help to become instruments in hands of powerful people to settle scores against adversaries by putting false cases.

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