The recently-revamped Criminal Procedure Code, which divests police of arrest powers in cases where maximum sentence is upto seven years, become law with President Pratibha Patil finally giving her assent last week.I think is is a disastrous decision and one in many of Congress led UPA's regressive terror friendly policies. Such an amendment makes sense in a country where there is no laxity in implementation of the law. But in a country like Bharat where the criminals roam freely by flaunting their associations with the powerful even when there is a warrant issued against them. Such a law will remove all the fear from their minds, if they had any. Very bad decision.
The presidential assent, which came nearly three weeks after the bill was sent to her after getting it passed from Parliament, has now paved the way for the government to notify it.
Once the law, CrPC (Amendment) Act 2008, becomes effective, the police, instead of arresting the accused, will be obliged to issue him/her a "notice of appearance" for any offence punishable with imprisonment up to seven years. The person can be arrested only if he/she does not appear before the police in response to the notice.
Seven years or less is the maximum penalty for a host of offences, including attempt to commit culpable homicide, robbery, attempt to suicide, kidnapping, voluntarily causing grievous hurt, cheating, outraging a woman's modesty and death caused by negligence.
The radical change in the CrPC has, however, drawn flak from a number of Bar associations across the country. Lawyers -- who also observed strike in various courts after the bill was passed in Parliament -- argue that the amendment (in Section 41) doing away with mandatory arrest provisions would remove fear from the minds of criminals who would misuse the provisions under the garb of personal liberty.
And look at the "selected" President of Bharat. She took just three weeks to pass it into a law but she has been sitting on the mercy petition of the dreaded terrorist like Mohammad Afzal for past four years. I hope the President at least studied the law and its implication. Most probably not. It is true that the office of the President has also been devalued in to nothing but a rubber stamp notary public of despot Antonia Maino. Everyone misses you Dr. Kalam. He was indeed the best President ever. Like Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee is the best Prime Minister ever.