Work was paralysed in Delhi and the NCR for the third time in two weeks, as lawyers organised a day long strike protesting amendments in the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) giving police the discretion to arrest accused in an offence punishable up to 7 years in jail.
“There is complete strike in all northern states including Delhi, HP, Haryana, J &K and UP. Lawyers abstained from appearing in the courts while the cases listed for today were adjourned,” spokesman of the Co-ordination Committee of All Bar Association of Delhi Rajiv Khosla said.
This is the third time that lawyers have observed a strike within two weeks in the national capital. They had earlier organised strikes on January 7 and 14.
A Federation of Bar Associations, formed to launch a “unified protest” against the changes in the CrPC, has already announced nationwide strikes on February 3 and 18.
Lawyers fear that the amendment of doing away with mandatory arrest provisions in the offences punishable up to seven years would remove fear from the minds of criminals who would misuse the provisions under the garb of personal liberty.
According to the proposed amendments in the Act, which has received the President’s assent, no arrest would be required for cognisable offences prescribing maximum punishment of seven years in jail.