The Lok Sabha Thursday cleared the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) (Amendment) Bill, 2010, that restricts police powers. The bill, which also makes it “compulsory” for a police officer to keep a written record for arresting or not arresting an accused wanted in a crime that carries imprisonment up to seven years, was passed by voice vote after Home Minister P. Chidambaram introduced it in the Lok Sabha.
The amendment once enacted would mean that the police cannot make needless arrests or, under pressure or duress, let go people who may be wanted in crimes punishable with imprisonment for a term of seven years or more.
The legislation is aimed to curb arbitrariness of police arrests. Since the reasons have to be recorded in writing, the legislation fixes the responsibility and makes the police officer justify the arrest or letting go of an accused. The written record would be subjected to judicial scrutiny and recording an arbitrary reason would be difficult for police.