Lawyers’ strike paralyses Delhi’s district courts

NEW DELHI - Work in five district courts of the capital was paralysed Wednesday as lawyers went on strike demanding repeal of an amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

‘There was a complete strike in all district courts. Advocates have not appeared in court cases listed for Wednesday while the courts have adjourned matters to next dates,’ Delhi Bar Association president Rajiv Khsosla said.

The decision to go on strike at the courts at Patiala House, Tis Hazari, Karkardooma, Rohini and Dwarka was taken Tuesday at a meeting of the co-ordination committee of all bar associations of New Delhi.

The amendment to the CrPC gives the police freedom to use their discretion on whether to arrest an accused in offences punishable with jail terms of up to seven years.

Section 41 of the CrPC lays down certain conditions on the police for arresting a person accused of committing a cognisable offence that carries imprisonment up to seven years.

The amendment proposes that the police officer may, instead of arresting the person concerned, issue a notice of appearance, asking him to cooperate in the probe.

No arrest will be made in a non-cognisable offence except under a warrant or order of a magistrate. The reasons for arrest should be sound and recorded in writing by the police officer, the amendment proposes.

Where such a notice is issued to any person, it shall be the duty of that person to comply with it and arrest can be made only if the person fails to do so.

The lawyers said the new amendments would result in encouraging corruption among the police officers at whose discretion arrests would be executed.


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