Report No. 177
1.12 Empirical data collected on the relevant aspects of the law of arrest.-
But before we could think of any specific measures in that behalf, we thought it necessary to obtain empirical data on the relevant aspects of the law of arrest so that it can form the basis for devising the measures to be recommended by us.
Accordingly, the Law Commission wrote a letter dated 20.7.1999 (Annexure-I to this working paper), addressed to the Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission stating that the Law Commission proposes to examine exhaustively the law relating to arrest and to suggest to the Government and the Parliament appropriate changes required in the aforementioned provisions and that to enable the Law Commission to arrive at an appropriate conclusion, it must have relevant empirical data from all over the country.
Accordingly, we requested the NHRC, "to constitute a committee of high police officials (retired or working) who shall select four districts in the country as case study and find out the number of arrests made by the police in that district in a given year without warrant, the number of arrests which were made without registering the crime, the number of cases in which the person arrested was released without filing a chargesheet and the length of his detention, the number of cases in which chargesheets were filed and the number of cases in which the prosecution resulted in conviction."
It was further stated in the said letter that "it would also be necessary to categorise the offences in connection with which the persons were arrested, the period of the detention in police and in judicial custody, the time taken for concluding the prosecution against them and if a person is kept in detention, the number of occasions on which he was not produced before the court on the dates of hearing. It would help us if any other relevant or incidental details or data which the committee may think relevant is also made available to us." We stated that we would welcome any suggestions, ideas and recommendations which such body may record on the subject keeping in view the recommendations contained in the Police Commission Reports.
1.12.1. We are happy to say that the Chairperson of the NHRC Shri Justice M.N. Venkatachaliah, took immediate action on our letter and directed Shri D.R. Karthikeyan, DG (Investigation) of the NHRC to address all the Director Generals of Police/Inspector Generals of Police of all States in this regard. A large amount of material which was sent by the various DGPs/IGPs of the various States, pursuant to the letter of Shri D.R. Karthikeyan, has been communicated to us. We are indeed grateful to the NHRC for the highly valuable information made available to us and for the promptitude with which such information has been made available to us.
1.13 Data furnished by various States.-
A brief reference to the data furnished by the various States would now be in order.