Her Excellency President of India Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil,
Sub: Extending favor and support to the CrPC Amendment Bill 2008
We feel privileged to introduce ourselves as Save Indian Family Foundation, an NGO dedicated to the cause of promoting Family Harmony and Gender Equality. Save Indian Family Foundation and its allied partner NGOs have taken up cudgels against the rampant Legal Terrorism going on in the country in the last few years by way of misuse of various marital laws, drawn in favor of women which has led to phenomenal increase in the suicides of married men, senior citizens being thrown out of their houses and the foundations of a fatherless society being laid down. In a nutshell the erosion of values has set itself in the precincts of one of the most treasured social institutions i.e. the Indian Family.
Even the Honorable Supreme Court in its various judgments has sounded alarm bells to take serious note of the situation. We feel constrained to draw your attention to a remark made by the Honorable Supreme Court in its landmark judgment Joginder Kumar vs. State of UP 1994, AIR 1349 1994 SCC (4) 260 JT 1994 (3) 423 1994 SCALE (2)662, attached as Annexure A, about arrests as,
“No arrest can be made because it is lawful for the police officer to do so. The existence of the power to arrest is one thing. The justification for the exercise of it is quite another. The police officer must be able to justify the arrest apart from his power to do so. Arrest and detention in police lock-up of a person can cause incalculable harm to the reputation and self-esteem of a person. No arrest can be made in a routine manner on a mere allegation of commission of an offence made against a person. It would be prudent for a police officer in the interest of protection of the constitutional rights of a citizen and perhaps in his own interest that no arrest should be made without a reasonable satisfaction reached after some investigation as to the genuineness and bona fides of a complaint and a reasonable belief both as to the person’s complicity and even so as to the need to effect arrest. Denying a person of his liberty is a serious matter. The recommendations of the Police Commission merely reflect the constitutional concomitants of the fundamental right to personal liberty and freedom. A person is not liable to arrest merely on the suspicion of complicity in an offence. There must be some reasonable justification in the opinion of the officer affecting the arrest that such arrest is necessary and justified. Except in heinous offences, an arrest must be avoided if a police officer issues notice to person to attend the Station House and not to leave the Station without permission would do.”
Above statements seriously reflect the ignominy brought upon an innocent citizen of India, by a wrongful arrest. As per the third report of National Police Commission referred in Writ Petition No. 4861/2000 in the High Court of Allahabad attached as Annexure B, 60% of the arrests are either unnecessary or such unjustified which accounts for 43.2% of the expenditure of the jails which is a great burden on the exchequer.
All these facts point to a saddening fact that the power to arrest is seriously misused by the police especially in non-bailable and cognizable offenses like IPC 498A wherein 1,23,000 women have been arrested in the last four years (2004-2007) on a mere complaint, without trial or investigation. These women are the mothers, sisters, and sister-in-laws and female children in the family of men who are mostly falsely implicated in such cases as section 498A of the IPC has come under serious scanner of being heavily misused.
In wake of all the above factual averments, the current proposed CrPC Amendment Bill, 2008, having amendment pertaining to Section 41(1)-a of the Criminal Procedure of Code, 2008 wherein the police can issue, “Notice of Appearance” before actually arresting the person for crimes having punishment up to seven years. If the person does not co-operate in investigations then only the police officer can arrest with proper justification. This is a very positive step taken by the Government of India to curb the misuse of arrest power by police and Save Indian Family Foundation and its allied partner NGOs extend their full support to the amendment.
Some noteworthy points in this connection:-
1. Save Indian Family Foundation believes as per attached media report, Annexure C, that there is a section of lawyers who are intending to strike against the proposed amendment which is a very serious concern. It is only a very small section of lawyers who are running their bread and butter on arrests of people and bail proceedings and the extortion involved therein who are protesting the amendment.
2. It is a very underestimated nexus of corruption between the police and this section of lawyers wherein frivolous cases under these sections are made up and then extortions are made in the name of ‘settlement and compromise’ under the hanging sword of ‘potential judicial custody’. It is a very heinous process thriving on the fracas of the carcass of the family values and needs serious condemnation and discouragement.
3. Further, it will be imperative to mention here that lawyers are ‘Custodians of the Constitution’ and not ‘Creators of the Constitution’. Save Indian Family Foundation is concerned that giving in to the protests of these lawyers will prevent the Government from taking a much needed positive step to salvage the damaged image and eroded trust of the ‘Stupid Common Man’ on the system especially the Police and the Judiciary.
4. It can as well seriously affect the lawyers’ business because people will either refrain from going to such lawyers or will change their services immediately as such lawyers are not believed to be acting in the general interest of people, rather they want their business running at the expense of the society.
5. As presented by them that the current proposed amendment will work to help criminals is again a misrepresentation of the good intentions of the Government of India. The current proposed amendment nowhere does curtail the powers of the police to arrest criminals. It merely streamlines and regulates the process to put checks on misuse of the power and tends to introduce a sense of accountability. Opposing such a regularization of process only points to the existing anarchy in the system which needs a serious check.
It is left to the choice of the Government of India whether it wants to support anarchy or regularization. India is a democracy which needs to have high concern of the life and liberty of its citizens. Regularization of process and introduction of accountability is a necessary ingredient of the requirement. Passing this CrPC Amendment, the Government of India will be implementing the above requirement in practicality.
Save Indian Family Foundation does believe and hope the Government of India will take the above concerns, factual averments and considerations seriously and expects full co-operation from the Government to kill functional anarchy in the system.
1) Annexure A : Judgment copy of Joginder Kumar vs. State of UP 1994, AIR 1349 1994 SCC (4) 260 JT 1994 (3) 423 1994 SCALE (2)662
2) Annexure B : Copy of Writ Petition no. WP 4861/2000 HC Allahabad Ajit Singh alias Muraha vs. State of UP containing reference to the third report of National Police Commission.
3) Annexure C : Media report, reporting the proposed strike by lawyers.