Lawyers hold strike across north India

January 19th, 2009 - 11:12 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Jan.19 (ANI): Lawyers across north India went on a day-long strike in the district courts on Monday demanding withdrawal of the proposed changes in the Criminal Procedue Code (CrPC) that allow police to go by discretion to arrest the accused in an offence punishable up to seven-year-jail term.
Lawyers” bodies have observed a strike for the third time within two weeks in the national capital this year. The previous two occasions of strike being Jan 7 and 14.
“There is complete strike in all northern states including Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh,” said Rajiv Khosla, spokesperson of the Co-ordination Committee All Bar Association of Delhi.
“Lawyers abstained from appearing in the courts while the cases listed for today were being adjourned,” Khosla said.
A Federation of Bar Associations formed to launch a “unified protest” against the changes in the statute has already announced the nationwide strikes to be held on February 3 and 18 to press for their demands.
The bar leaders fear that the proposed amendment doing away with the mandatory arrest provisions in the offences punishable up to seven years would remove fear from minds of criminals who would misuse the provisions under the garb of personal liberty.
According to the proposed amendments in the Act, which received the President of India’’s assent, no arrest would be required for cognisable offences such as molestation, dowry harassment and attempt to robbery, prescribing maximum punishment of seven years” jail term.
While describing the legislation as “anti-people” and “anti-social, Khosla said that even if the bill bringing the changes in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) had got the President’’s nod, the Government could still stall the legislation by not enacting it. (ANI)

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