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Report No. 152

8.5. Recommendation to insert section 154A, Cr. P.C.-

It appears to us that having regard to the paramount need for prompt, effective and independent investigation of allegations of offences in the nature of custodial crime, the Code of Criminal Procedure should be amended to insert a specific provision which will ensure such investigation. At the same time, we do not consider it necessary, at least for the present, to go so far as to recommend the creation of a new agency for the purpose. A new agency may not be feasible owing to financial considerations, as stated above, even assuming that administrative problems will not arise.

What we envisage is proposal whereunder on refusal by the police to register a case of custodial (cognizable) offence, it should be possible to approach an appropriate judicial authority who should be empowered to conduct a preliminary inquiry and then (if satisfied that such action is called for) to direct the filling of a complaint before the competent Magistrate. The appropriate judicial authority would be the Court of Session in a case of (alleged) custodial death and the Chief Judicial Magistrate in a case of (alleged) custodial offence not resulting in death.

We recommend that a new section 154A be inserted in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 on the above lines. It may also be provided that the Court of Sessions or the Chief Judicial Magistrate (as the case may be) may, if satisfied that such action is called for, direct the Ministerial officer to make a complaint as set out above.

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