Observing that any arrest by law enforcers in plainclothes is alarming, the Supreme Court on Tuesday also said the law enforcers will have to be in uniform while arresting anyone.A four-member bench of the Appellate Division, headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha, came up with the observation after hearing a petition filed by the state against a High Court order asking for the implementation of a 15-point guideline for the reform of the provisions of arrest without warrant and interrogation on remand under sections 54 and 167 of the CrPC.
The court fixed May 24 for passing an order on the petition.Pointing at Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, the Chief Justice said, “The High Court issued guidelines about arrest without warrant and interrogation. But, you didn’t even implement one guideline although 13 years have elapsed.”
Describing the Code of Criminal Procedure as a colonial law, the Chief Justice said Malaysia brought changed to it in 1970. “Neighbouring India has also amended the law following the footprint of Malaysia. But we couldn’t do it yet.”
The Attorney General and Additional Attorney General Murad Reza represented the state while Barrister M Amir-ul Islam stood for the petitioner.
Talking to reporters, Amir-ul Islam said the two sections concerned are contradictory to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. “We’ve urged the court to uphold the High Court order.”The Attorney General told the journalists that the High Court directives are not suitable considering the social circumstance of the country.On March 22, the Supreme Court started hearing the petition filed by the state against the High Court order.
Earlier on January 20, the Appellate Division asked the government what steps had been taken regarding the HC guideline.
The SC directed the government to submit a progress report in this connection.
Earlier in 1998, assistant commissioner of the Detective Branch (DB) of police Akram Hossian arrested Shamim Reza, a student of Independent University, under section 54 of the CrPC. The student died in police custody later.
As Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust filed a writ petition with the High Court in 2003, the court asked the government to take steps to amend the relevant sections of the CrPC. The court also gave 15 directives for amending it.
In 2004, the then four-party alliance government filed an appeal against the HC verdict.