Lawyers fear increase in crime rate | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Lawyers fear increase in crime rate

Unhappy with the proposed amendments in the Criminal Code Procedure members of the District Bar Association held a "protest day" in the district court complex.

chandigarh Updated: Feb 05, 2009 00:57 IST
HT Live Correspondent

Unhappy with the proposed amendments in the Criminal Code Procedure, (Cr.P.C.), members of the District Bar Association held a "protest day" in the district court complex on Tuesday. Refusing to appear before the court, the lawyers staged a dharna.

The protest day was organised on a call by the Federation of Bar Associations of North India. Lawyers have been opposing amendments in Section 41 and 309 of the Cr.P.C.

The proposed amendment in Section 41 of the Cr.P.C allows a police officer to use his discretion, both to arrest the perpetrator of a crime, which prescribes punishment below seven years, or to issue him summons to appear before the court concerned.

Chandigarh Bar Association president N.K. Nanda said the proposed amendment removing mandatory arrest provisions in offences punishable up to seven years would remove fear from the minds of criminals.

Former SAS Nagar DBA president N.S. Minhas said the government should reconsider the decision, as it was not in the interest of society. "We need a very mature police for such powers," Minhas said. He also lauded the amendment on rape cases saying that the victim's statement in court was enough to hold the accused guilty.

The proposed amendments offer enormous powers to police officers for handling the accused in various cases, including heinous crimes like harbouring offenders in a terrorist attack, attempt at robbery, abduction and molestation, sexual assault by police, hospital or jail authorities, bribery by public servant, even if caught red handed etc, Chandigarh DBA secretary Harish Bansal pointed out. This, he warned, could cause an increase in the crime rate.

Panchkula DBA members also held protests and abstained from work. Since advocates did not appear before court, proxy counsels were deputed for important cases.