While Bangalore City police are being criticised for going soft on Hunugund MLA Vijayanand Kashappanavar by not arresting him, senior officials claim the arrest in this case is not mandatory and is left to the discretion of the investigating officer. Joint Commissioner of Police Hemanth Nimbalkar, heading Central Crime Branch, said according to the recent amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the arrest of a person in a case punishable with imprisonment of less than seven years has to be made only if some of the conditions enumerated by law is applicable, and this is left to the discretion of the investigating officer. Mr. Kashappanavar is booked under Section 323 of the IPC, which can lead to imprisonment of only two years, if proved guilty. Section 41 of CrPC states a person can be arrested on the accusation of a cognizable crime punishable with imprisonment less than or up to seven years only if the police officer is satisfied that such an arrest is necessary — (a) to prevent such persons from committing further offence; or (b) for proper investigation of the offence; or (c) to prevent such persons from causing evidence of the offence to disappear or tampering with such evidence in any manner; or (d) to prevent such persons from making any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts in court or to the police officer. Mr. Ravi Kumar, the investigating officer in the case was unavailable for comment.

Meanwhile, constable Kiran Kumar, one of those allegedly assaulted by the Mr. Kashappanavar, who had been transferred to Hebbal traffic police station will take charge there on Tuesday.

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