AIFW Supports CrPC Amendment Bill 2008

Smt. Pratibha Patil,
Hon’ble President of India,
Rashtrapati Bhavan,
New Delhi , India – 110004.

Sub: Memorandum in support of CrPC Amendment Bill 2008

Her Excellency,

We, the members of All India Forgotten Women (Regd.), are writing to thank you for approving the recent Criminal Procedure Amendment Bill, 2008 passed by the Parliament. Specifically, amendment of Section 41 of CrPC which redefines police powers of arrest is a step in the right direction to uphold basic human rights and constitutional rights of the citizens of India.

We are aware that certain Bar Associations are protesting against the amendment of Section 41 redefining powers of the police in relation to arresting accused individuals. However, we would like to congratulate and thank you for approving the amendment which imposes greater accountability on the law enforcement machinery while carrying out arrests.

Abuse of police powers and making unnecessary arrests have become commonplace in the recent times. In the last 4 years alone, 1,23,000 women (one woman every 21 minutes) have been arrested under IPC Section 498A merely on the basis of a complaint and without any evidence or investigation. It must also be noted that according to statistics published by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2007, an overwhelming 94% of the individuals arrested under IPC Section 498A were found not guilty. A closer look at individual cases under Section 498A reveals that arrests are made by lower cadre police officials without proper justification and only with the intent of terrorizing innocent citizens and extorting money from them under the threat of imprisonment and long-drawn legal battles.

The recent amendment of Section 41 of CrPC regarding arrests will help in better enforcement of laws without violating human rights and constitutional rights of citizens. It will also ensure that courts are not over-burdened by false cases, thereby speeding up the process of delivering justice in genuine cases.

Thank you once again for approving the CrPC Amendment Bill of 2008.

Sincerely,

All India Forgotten Women

Copy to:

D. Manmohan Singh (Prime Minister of India), Shri. Hansraj Bharadwaj (Ministry of Law & Justice), Shri. P Chidambaram (Ministry of Home Affairs), Member Secretary – Law Commission of India, Ms. Sonia Gandhi (UPA Chairperson), Shri. L. K. Adavani (Leader of Opposition in Parliament).

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