New procedures for arrest, remand to be implemented

HC hopes they will reduce the number of bail and advance bail petitions

Beginning this Monday, a new procedure for arrest and remand of accused in criminal cases is all set to be implemented throughout the State, with the Madras High Court succeeding in making the Police Department adopt a model notice for summoning suspects for inquiry in cases in which the maximum punishment was upto seven years.

Commending the Director General of Police T.K. Rajendran for having adopted the model notice in no time, Justice N. Anand Venkatesh said: “Let us change the whole concept of arrest and remand throughout the State from Monday. Subordinate judiciary should also apply its mind while remanding accused and I am happy it is already happening.”

The judge also told Special Public Prosecutor A. Ramesh and Additional Public Prosecutor M. Mohamed Riyaz that the number of bail and anticipatory bail applications filed in courts across the State would come down considerably if the police stopped arresting people at the drop of a hat and started issuing notices for inquiry under Section 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Initially, it was while dismissing a State appeal preferred against the refusal of a Metropolitan Magistrate in Chennai to remand journalist Nakheeran Gopal, that the judge had last month held that Magistrates should not remand suspects who had been arrested hastily without any necessity.

Subsequently, the judge felt the suspects in criminal cases should not be allowed to take undue advantage of such refusal to remand and end up not cooperating with the investigations.

Therefore, he reopened the case.

He directed the DGP to adopt a model notice prepared by the Delhi High Court for summoning accused under Section 41A of the Cr.P.C.

Minor corrections

Accordingly, the APP on Friday produced a circular issued by the DGP on Wednesday instructing all his subordinate officials to follow the model notice that could be issued to summon accused for inquiry in cases in which punishment was less and arrest was not necessary at all.

The judge made minor corrections to it and ordered its implementation from Monday.

Finding that the model notice had clauses requiring the person summoned by the police to produce all relevant documents or materials required for the purpose of investigation, the judge said it would not be fair to force a suspect to produce all documents related to a case since it would amount to self incrimination.

Therefore, he directed the DGP to amend the model notice and state that insistence on production of documents would be subject to the suspect’s right to defence. The amendment was ordered to be carried out after Mr. Ramesh brought it to the notice of the court that Section 41A of the Cr.P.C. empowers the police only to conduct an oral inquiry and not demand documents.

The model notice could however contain a clause that failure to appear for inquiry would render the suspect liable for arrest.

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Printable version | May 21, 2020 7:52:12 PM |

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