Strong objection to CrPC Amendments Enforcement Delay

To
Justice A R Lakshamanan
Chairman, LAW COMMISSION OF INDIA
2nd Floor. The Indian Law Institute Building(Opp. to Supreme Court)
Bhagwandas Road
New Delhi – 110 001

Sub: Strong Objection to interference of the Law Commission of India in Public Welfare.

Respected Sir,

Save Indian Family Foundation, an NGO dedicated to promote the cause of Men’s Rights, Family Harmony and Gender Equality under the aegis of the Save Indian Family Movement would like to express its strong displeasure at the apathy meted out by the Govt. of India with its lackadaisical attitude towards Public Welfare.

Brief Background:

Owing to rampant misuse of “Powers of Arrest” by the police as observed by the Honorable Supreme Court of India, the 3rd Report of the National Police Commission and various other committees, the 2 houses of the Parliament passed an amendment of the existing Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) rationalizing the powers of arrest by police and drawing a clear demarcation between the “Power to Arrest” and the “Need to Arrest” by way of the CrPC Amendment Bill, 2008.

Following the green signal from the Parliamentary Houses, Her Excellency, The Honorable President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, also gave her assent to the Amendments. However, after that a lot of misleading reports were coming in the media from various Government Agencies that the gazette notification of the same is not going to happen.

A comprehensive and detailed operation through the Right to Information Act, 2005 revealed that, contrary to misleading media reports by the Government of India, the CrPC Amendment Bill, 2008 had already been notified in the Gazette of India as Act No. 5 of 2009. Details of the RTI are available here.

However, the bottleneck was created around its enforcement and now a recent media report has revealed that the Union Home Ministry, instead of enforcing the already notified act, has sent the matter to the Law Commission of India who will be consulting lawyers, as to whether the implementations in the amendment be brought to effect or not.

Complaint:

This is nothing less than sheer mockery of democracy. The elected representatives of the people of this democratic country have already passed a law (which was open to public debate for 2 years), and a section of the society which has vested economic and financial interests in the law – aka the lawyers – are being allowed to interfere in the process and hijack it as well.

It’s a shame that the Government of India, represented by the Union Home Ministry and the Law Commission have become mute spectators to the hijacking of issues of larger public interest. It is a well known fact that rationalization of powers of arrest by the police will be a scourge on the illegitimate income of LOBBY LAWYERS.

However, it remains to be decided by the Government as to whether it wants to bow down before egg-pelting lawyers (as validated by the Shree Krishna Commission Report) or wants to take larger public interest into consideration.

Demand:

The Law Commission of India should stop interfering in the CrPC Amendment Act Enforcement in larger public interest. On the contrary it should be giving recommendations to the Government to enforce the CrPC Amendment Act in its current form in both letter and spirit. As per the third report of the National Police Commission, unnecessary and unjustified arrests by police account for 60% of the arrests and 43.2% of jail expenditure.

In the year 2007 itself, 68 lakh people were arrested, which means 40 lakh innocent people have been arrested just because there is no mechanism to control the unaccountable loose cannon called the Indian Police Force. Other than the infringement of Fundamental Right to Life and Liberty granted to these citizens by the Constitution of India vide Article 21, these unnecessary and unjustified arrests are also a very big burden on the public exchequer – money that can be used for other developments.

Hence the demand to return back the CrPC Amendment Act (as is) to the Union Home Ministry is reiterated here.

Date: 25 August 2009                                                                                                                                                           Thanks and Regards

Place: Bangalore                                                                                                                                                                   Public Relations Officer
Save Indian Family Foundation, Bangalore

Copy To:

  1. Prime Minister’s Office
  2. President’s Office
  3. Ministry of Law and Justice
  4. Ministry of Home Affairs
  5. Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs
  6. Supreme Court of India.
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