The only problem is, the one amendment which was most useful for common people to escape clutches of powerful people controlling police -- i.e. power of arbitrary arrest by police; HAS NOT BEEN NOTIFIED.
Instead, the 'gift' seems to be that if you fought for 5 years in criminal court against a crime-accused, and he was acquitted by court; then you can appeal against acquittal and run around courts for another 5 years hoping for a conviction this time! What are the chances that someone who got acquitted due to delay, shoddy investigation by police, witnesses not available etc will be nailed the second time?
The New Year will bring a special gift for victims of crime in India. On the second last day of 2009, the government decided to notify a landmark amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), giving victims the right to appeal against a court order acquitting an accused, or convicting the accused of a lesser offence.Under the amended Sec 372 CrPC, the victim will not need the permission of any law enforcement or prosecuting agency to appeal a court order. Currently, an appeal can be made only if the prosecution so decides.
Now coming to a few other amendments which were of real importance to litigants and public but which were NOT NOTIFIED:
However, the Ministry has decided not to notify two amendments that the lawyers had opposed strongly to CrPC Sections 41(A) and 309.
The amendment to Sec 41(A) barred police from arresting an accused for an offence that carries a maximum punishment of seven years without first issuing him/her a notice of appearance.
Comment: What do lawyers gain from above? You guessed it right. The money they get from arranging bails for people accused in false cases by powerful people who can game the police and judicial system to their advantage.
The amendment to Sec 309, aimed at speeding up trials, disallowed the granting of adjournments on flimsy grounds.
Comment: And what a crime it would have been if adjournments were not granted on flimsy grounds! Justice must be given and seen to be given, but make sure after so many adjournments that any remaining witnesses are untraceable, pass away to heavens, or become hostile just to save themselves trouble!
An important amendment that will be notified is Section 357A, making it mandatory for state governments to draw up a scheme in coordination with the Centre to provide funds for compensation to victims or their dependents. Victims will be entitled to compensation if the offender is not caught and tried.
Comment: Would like to see this one implemented! How state governments will decide the amount of compensation, how much compensation for what kind of victim, and so on. And most importantly, how will funding for the comensation be arranged -- will States and Centre fight for another 4 years (when elections are due) on the funding requirements?