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Report No. 177

3.2.1 Merely on suspicion of complicity in an offence, no arrest to be made.-

The law must provide expressly, by amending section 41 and other relevant sections, if33 any, that merely on the suspicion of complicity in an offence, no person should be arrested. The Police Officer must be satisfied prima facie on the basis of the material before him that such person is involved in a crime/offence, for which he can be arrested without a warrant.

In this connection, reference maybe made to the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Fox, Campbell and Hartley v. U.K. delivered on 30th August, 1990 declaring that section 11 of Northern Ireland (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1978 is violative of Article 5(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The section empowered a police officer to arrest a person if he is "suspected of being a terrorist".

The Court (by majority) held that mere suspicion, however bona fide held, cannot be a ground for arrest. Pursuant to the decision, the aforesaid words were replaced by the words "has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism". This decision is in accord with the modern concept of human rights, which are implicit in Part III of our Constitution.

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