CrPc (Amendment) Bill, 2010 passed curbing police powers

NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha Thursday approved the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2010, that makes policing more transparent. Under it a police officer will compulsorily have to keep a written record justifying the arrest or freeing an accused wanted in a crime that carries imprisonment up to seven years.

The bill was passed by a voice vote after home minister P Chidambaram introduced it in the Lok Sabha.

“The amendment increases the transparency of a policeman’s action as he has to justify arresting or not arresting an accused and keep a written record of it,” Chidambaram told the house.

The amendment once enacted would mean that the police cannot make needless arrests or, under pressure or duress, let go people who may be wanted in crimes punishable with imprisonment for a term seven years or more.

The legislation is aimed to curb arbitrariness of police arrests. Since the reasons have to be recorded in writing, the legislation fixes the responsibility and makes a police officer justify the arrest or letting go of an accused.

The written record would be subjected to judicial scrutiny and recording an arbitrary reason would be difficult for police. It lays a large emphasis on investigation before the arrest is made.

The bill has to go to Rajya Sabha now before being enacted into law.

The home minster said the bill also carries a clause according to which if “a person, at any time, fails to comply with the terms of police notice or is unwilling to identify himself, the police officer may, subject to such orders as may have been passed by a competent court in this behalf, arrest him for the offence mentioned in the notice”

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