I expected some cheer by people about the new amendments to the Code of Criminal procedure; especially Section 41 that drastically reduces the power of the police to make an arrest without a warrant. Moreover, the criterion for making the arrest as such have been made stricter with duties to record reasons et.al. All this applies to offences that have a punishment of less than ten years.

This is a good thing for a country that is meant to uphold and preserve the rule of law. For a country with a notorious history of custodial violence and police brutalities this comes as a welcome measure.

However, sadly, in the wake of the terrorist attacks, “experts” are crticising this Bill on terms that it would reduce the powers of the police and thus not enable them to tackle law and order problems effectively. This article says;

Police always seek to keep criminals behind bars, but these amendments will bind us to provide them with notices of appearance, the official added.

UP SSP SS Shrivastava stated that in states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and some naxalite-affected areas, the crime rate is very high and this amendment puts powers directly in the criminals hands.

This just shows that we as a nation have a long way to go to understand the essence of civil liberties and the preservation of the rule of law. While it is laudable on the part of the Parliament to pass this amendment, the reactions by people to this are disturbing to hear.

Readers may also read Law and Other Things on this topic.