Chief justice supports amendments on rules of arrest

New Delhi, April 2 Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan Thursday supported amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), citing that 60 percent of the arrests made in the country were ‘needless’.

‘Independent studies indicate that up to 60 percent of arrests made in our country are needless since the detained persons do not prove to be useful for the purpose of investigation or trial,’ said Justice Balakrishnan.

He was addressing the D.P. Kohli memorial lecture of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here.

The chief justice spoke on the issue of ‘Criminal justice system– growing responsibility in light of contemporary challenges’.

Amendments to the CrPC have been made that take away the mandatory provision of arresting an accused in offences punishable with jail terms of up to seven years.

But the amendments are yet to be notified and have actually been a subject of controversy on account of criticisms made by some bar associations.

‘The amendment bill seeks to give investigating officers a certain degree of discretion in the matter of arresting persons while investigating offences that are punishable with imprisonment of less than seven years,’ the chief justice said.

‘The division between cognizable and non-cognizable, between bailable and non-bailable offences as well as the nature and the quantum of punishment for the respective offences needs to be thoroughly re-evaluated,’ he added.

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