New Delhi: A bill, seeking to amend a section
of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) with regard to arrest of
a person, was passed by the Lok Sabha with the government
asserting that it would reduce "arbitrariness" in apprehension
of people and bring about transparency.
The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2010,
passed by voice vote after a debate, provides for mandatory
recording of reasons in the case of arrest or non-arrest of a
person suspected in a cognizable offence for which the jail
term is less than seven years.
Prior to the amendment to Section 41 of the CrPC Act, the
law said a police officer "may" record reasons of arrest or
non-arrest of a person, Home Minister P Chidambaram said while
replying to the debate.
According to the amended bill, if a person is not arrested
in a non-cognizable offence, police will have to issue notice
to him to join investigations.
The prevailing law says a police officer "may" issue a
notice to a person, who is not arrested, for joining
The amendment, making it mandatory to issue notice for
joining the investigation, is to ensure that the person does
not delay the probe by not cooperating, Chidambaram said.
If anybody, on whom a notice is served, refuses to
identify himself, he will be arrested forthwith, he said.
Justifying the amendments, Chidambaram said, "This is to
ensure that "arbitrariness" is reduced or "at least the scope
of arbitrariness is reduced."
Rejecting suggestions that the amendments could enable
police to misuse powers, he said it would bring about
transparency in the system of arrests.
"Give it a fair trial of six months or so," the Home
Minister said while seeking endorsement of the House to the
On the recording of reasons in case of arrest, he said the
arrested person would have a right to approach a court to
challenge the action if he is not convinced.
Similarly, in case of non-arrest, the complainant can
approach a court to question the police action, he said.
Talking about overall police system in the country, he
said the Centre had framed a Model Police Act in 2006 but
states were "not forthcoming" to bring their police laws in
tune with it despite being repeatedly asked to.
"It is my intention to continue pressing the states," he