Lawyers to observe strike against CrPC amendments Wednesday

February 16th, 2009 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) Lawyers across the country will observe a nationwide strike Wednesday demanding repeal of an amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) that they say takes away the mandatory provision of arrest in certain cases.

The Delhi High Court Bar Association (DHCBA) along with the federation of all Bar Associations of Northern States will observe a nationwide strike on Wednesday.

DHCBA secretary D.K.Sharma said: “We will observe hunger strike Wednesday to raise our voice against amendments in section 41 and section 309 of CrPC. We have also sent a memorandum to the home ministry to consider the amendments.”

The amendment to the CrPC gives the police freedom to use their discretion on whether to arrest an accused in offences punishable with jail terms of up to seven years.

Meanwhile, the Co-ordination Committee of all Bar Associations of Delhi will also abstain from work Tuesday and hold an all India strike Wednesday and a massive demonstration outside parliament.

“The legal fraternity of India strongly condemns the central government for making such amendments, which are pro-criminal and help the politicians, their henchmen and corrupt bureaucrats who indulge in bribes, land grabbing and other offences,” Rajiv Khosla, spokesperson for the striking lawyers’ coordination committee, told reporters.

He added: “In fact, the amendments brought by the government will give boost to criminals to commit more and more crimes as the fear of being arrested will no more be in their mind because the mandatory provision of arrest in cases that entail punishment upto seven years has been taken away.”

Jaiveer Singh Chauhan, Secretary Delhi Bar Association, said: “With the introduction of amendments in CrPC the chances of more corruption in the police department cannot be ruled out as already the police department has been found to be one of the most corrupt departments in the country.”

The amendment proposes that a police officer may, instead of arresting the person concerned, issue a notice of appearance, asking him to cooperate in the probe.

No arrest will be made in a non-cognisable offence except under a warrant or order of a magistrate. The reasons for arrest should be sound and recorded in writing by the police officer, the amendment proposes.

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