Report No. 177
Proposals contained in the Consultation Paper and the responses received thereto
The proposals put forward for debate in the Consultation Paper issued by the Law Commission are contained in part three thereof. The proposals briefly are to the following effect:
(1) No warrant shall be issued and no one shall be arrested for offences which are now categorized by the Code as bailable and non-cognizable. The very expression "bailable" may have to be changed. In such cases only a summons may be sent to the accused to be served not by a police officer but by a civilian officer (3.1.1).
(2) In case of offences specified as bailable and cognizable by the Code, no arrest shall be made for those offences (except certain offences so specified in Annexure IV to the Consultation Paper), unless of course there are grounds to believe that the accused is likely to disappear and that it would be very difficult to apprehend him or where he is a habitual offender. The expression "bailable" may be omitted even in respect of this category (3.1.2).
(3) The offences, punishable with seven years imprisonment or less, mentioned in Annexure V to the Consultation Paper (excluding offences punishable under sections 124, 152, 216A, 231, 233, 234, 237, 256, 257, 258, 260, 295, 298, 403, 408, 420, 466, 468, 477A and 489C), which are categorized now as cognizable and non-bailable should be treated as bailable cognizable offences and be dealt with accordingly (3.1.3).
(4) No arrest may be made merely on the basis of suspicion of complicity in an offence (3.2.1).
(5) The guidelines issued in the decision of the Supreme Court in D.K. Basu v. State of West Bengal should be incorporated in the Code (3.3).
(6) Representatives of registered NGOs should be entitled to visit police stations to check against unlawful arrests and unlawful treatment (3.4).
(7) The compoundability of offences should be increased and the concept of plea bargaining should be incorporated in the Code (3.5).
(8) No arrests should be made under sections 107 to 110 CrPC read with section 41(2). (No change is suggested in section 151 CrPC) (3.6).
(9) In respect of offences (except in case of serious offences like murder, dacoity, robbery, rape and offences against the State), the bail must be granted as a matter of course except where it is apprehended that the accused may disappear and evade arrest or where it is necessary to prevent him from committing further offences (3.7).
(10) No arrest shall be made and no person should be detained for mere questioning (3.8).
(11) Ensuring the safety and well-being of the detainee is the responsibility of the detaining authority and action can be taken for negligence in that behalf (3.9).
(12) Custody record should be maintained at every police station containing the specified particulars which shall be open to inspection by members of the Bar and representatives of the registered NGOs interested in human rights (3.10).
(13) The law relating to tortious liability of the State requires to be changed (3.11).
(14) Strict compliance with section 172 CrPC should be insisted upon (3.12).