Cr. P. C. (Amendment) Act, 2008, should be Notified, without any further delay.

Dr. Manmohan Singh,
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India ,

The Code of Criminal Procedure Code was amended on or about 26th December, 2008, and subsequently it was assented by the President of India. But till now no Notification is issued by the Government in terms of Section 1(2) of The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008. But why Government of India withholding the necessary Notifications, in respect of a matter of so much immense public interests?

Whether under shying since, Advocates are opposing it, because amendment will effect the syndication between the Unethical-Advocates, and Corrupt Police Officials?
Whether Amendment was made without any will of the Government, so now Government also wants to put it for hanging?
Whether Amendments were unwarranted?
Whether Amendments are opposed by Police Force from across India , since it will certainly affect the pocket of the corrupt police officials?

I attended a Seminar organised by Rakshak Foundation, wherein former Law Minister of India, and renowned Supreme Court Lawyer: Shri Shanti Bhusanji, Justice S N Dhingra of Delhi High Court, Justice V. S. Malimath, Professor Madhava Menon, and Shri Ashish Gupta, IPS, made their excellent comments on the above subject, supporing for immediate notification of the Amended Law. Justice V. S. Malimath, was appointed in 2000-2003, as Chairman of Committee, for review of 140 years old Cr. P. C., and his committee made elaborate recommendations for changes in Cr. P. C., including those inserted in newly amended Law. Professor Menon was also a Member of the aforesaid Committee headed by the Justice Malimath. From the aforesaid recourse it was came to my knowledge that `Long Ago’ “Dharamvira Committee” had said that about 60-65% arrests are executed unwarrantedly. In serious cases, successful punishment results are not more than 5-6% and in patty cases it is about to 30-40%. They also elaborated that earlier our law was based on a concept that even 98% criminals may not be punished, but one innocent should not be punished. This concept failed to protect innocent, whereas criminals trained to commit crimes, on regular basis. Whereas, aforesaid Committee in its recommendation followed a new principal that Every Criminal should be punished, whereas, not a single innocent should be harassed or punished.

During the aforesaid recourse, I also understood that Advocate’s Strike is just only because they wants to continuity of criminal syndication between Corrupt-Police-Officials, Broker-Advocates, and also Few-Members of the Judiciary, those are benefited from the unwarranted arrests of the innocent people, through exploitation of money from them. It was also reported that during the sixties ratio of the Criminal matters with the Civil Matters in the Courts were about 30-70, which now reversed as 70-30. So Government should accept, that it is a responsible State, and very much concerned with the larger public interests by notifying the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008, (except those provisions which requires development of necessary Institutional Network or Infrastructure), without any further delay, and should send a strong message that being a responsible State it is not ready to surrender before Striking Advocates. In this context, I must refer that Advocates conduct is mentioned in detail in a Interim Report by Srikrishna Committee, headed by Justice B. N. Srikrishna, former Supreme Court Judge, dated 4th March, 2009, which was appointed on 26th February, 2009, by the Supreme Court, in Civil Writ Petition No. 94 of 2009.

Justice Srikrishna in his interim report to the Supreme Court strongly condemned the behaviour of the lawyers. It has said that the violence was started by the lawyers and that the lawyers have acted like hooligans. The Commission has said that the police cannot be blamed for the excesses. Justice Srikrishna has also blamed the HC Judges, particularly Acting Chief Justice Mukhopadhyaya for being too soft on lawyers. Arguments are going on at the Supreme Court.

Full Text of the 22-page Interim Report is online @
(Some of the Excerpts, From the Interim Report, dated 4th March 2009, on the Incidents that Occurred on the 19th February 2009 At the Madras High Court by Mr Justice B.N. Srikrishna, Former Judge Of The Supreme Court:

“Far from being the upholders of the rule of law, the lawyers seem to have behaved as hooligans and miscreants. The incidents that transpired over a last month or so make it clear that the lawyers seemed to be under the impression that, because they are officers of the Court, they are immune from the process of law and that they could get away with any unlawful act without being answerable to the law enforcing agency.

It is most unfortunate that the soft policy adopted by the Acting Chief. Justice of Madras High Court and its administration sent out clearly a wrong message that encouraged and emboldened the lawyers into becoming law breakers.

Undoubtedly, the political crosscurrents, from the Sri Lankan Tamil issues and caste based issues, contributed to and aggravated the situation.

It should have been made clear to the lawyers from the beginning, in no uncertain terms, that whatever their political ideologies, the Court premises could not be utilized for airing them.

Unless a detailed inquiry is made into the role played by each of the lawyers in the rioting mob as well as each of the 19 Constables and/or Officers of the police force, it will be difficult to pin-point the responsibility on the individuals, Considering the series of events that had transpired over a period of about one month culminating in the Mr. Subramaniam Swamy incident on 17th February 2009, it is possible that the police expected further trouble on 19th February 2009 when Mr. Subramaniam Swamy’s case was posted for hearing.

Further, the fact that only one of the 17 accused could be arrested on 18th February 2009, coupled with information from their sources as to expected trouble on 19th February 2009, might have perhaps persuaded the police presence in large numbers armed with lathis and shields.

Though it was highly irregular on the part of armed policemen to be deployed inside the High Court premises, the extra-ordinary circumstances might afford a justifiable excuse to them.

I would submit that the Hon’ble Supreme Court should take this opportunity to exercise its extra-ordinary Constitutional powers and lay down sufficient guidelines for the behavior of the lawyers within and without the Court premises as the Bar Councils have not been acting as an effective regulatory body of their professional conduct.

It would be ideal if the 21 Advocate’s Act is amended to ensure a better disciplinary mechanism of the profession of law, since it affects not only lawyers but also litigants, the administration of the justice in the country, and finally the rule of law itself.

Until such time that appropriate Legislation is made, it is desirable that this Hon’ble
Court should formulate appropriate guidelines to be followed by lawyers and enforced by all Courts of law.”

Therefore, I hope that Government of India, for the betterment of the society, should show its solidarity in favour of Amendments by notifying the same, without any further delay and should also ensure the development of required Institutional and Infrastructural Network required for application of some of the provision of the amendment of the Law.

Milap Choraria

Milap Choraria Editor: Suchna Ka Adhikar / RTI TIMES
National Convenor : Movement for Accountability to Public (MAP)