ARRESTS: The National Police Commission in its Third Report and the Law Commission in Oct 2000 on Law of Arrest have both identified indiscriminate arrests by Police in India is the chief source of Corruption in the Police. The Report, among other things, said, “the Power of Arrest must be used in the rarest of rare cases and not in a routine manner. A mere allegation of Commission of offence cannot constitute ground for arrest. It would be desirable that a Police Officer making an arrest should also record in the case diary, the reason for making the arrest.”
In the historic judgment of Hon SC in D K Basu Vs State of West Bengal, among other things, directed-
1) That Policemen must wear visible and legible identification when arresting a person and when carrying out interrogation. Names and Particulars of police personnel handling interrogation must be recorded in the register.
2) It is the right of every person detained or questioned by Police to know the grounds for detention or questioning.
3) The Person arrested must be made aware of his right to have someone informed of his arrest Or detention as soon as he is put under arrest or detention.
4) A person arrested must be produced before a Judicial Magistrate/ Judge within 24 hours of his/her arrest.
5) A person arrested should be medically examined at the time of arrest and major & minor injuries on arrested person be recorded in Inspection Memo
duly signed by both Police Officer carrying out the arrest and the person arrested and the copy of this memo be provided to the person arrested.
6) Any person arrested must be medically examined by a doctor from an independent and approved panel of doctors, every 48 hours during detention.
7) Arrest or Search of women should only take place in presence of Women Police Officers and it should not take place in night. And women should be detained separately from men.
8) While an accused is in Police custody, his lawyer should be permitted to visit him.
9) Information of the arrest of accused person should be given to the district Control Room and the State Police Headquarters.
However, this menace is to a substantial extent will dry down in the light of very recent Amendment brought in CrPC 1973 law. President Of India has already given its assent to this Law and it is only need to be notified to be operational.
This newly enacted law will take away the powers of the police to arrest in cases of alleged offences which carry a maximum sentence up to seven years of imprisonment.
Bar associations across the country have been protesting under the pretext that these CrPC amendment (Section 41, CrPC), 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.
“What the bar associations will never tell you is that the police never had the power to make such arrests and that arrest is an exception and not the norm”, Said our new Home Minister Shri P Chidamabaram in an media interview.
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.