Monday, February 24, 2020 | ePaper

Arrests without warrant

Disappearance should stop: SC

Dissatisfied court refuses to review the full verdict

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Staff Reporter :
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Thursday opined that the disappearance of the citizens should be stopped.
While holding hearing on a review petition, the court said, "Arrest under Section 54 could be happened in our case also. Someone had gone into disappearance and there was no news of him for 5 years. Who will take the responsibility for this?"
A judge of the six-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the opinion during the hearing of the petition filed by the government to review a judgement delivered on arresting someone without any warrant under Section 54 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Besides, the Appellate Division also expressed its dissatisfaction with the government as it did not implement the High Court verdict even in long 17 years. The court said, "What is the benefit of delivering a verdict. Is it eyewash?"
Addressing the government counsel, the court said, "We will not review the full verdict. You can specify the objections and submit a written statement."
The court fixed April 16, 2020, for further hearing on the petition, said Barrister Sara Hossain, who appeared in the court on behalf of the Bangladesh Legal Services and Services Trust (BLAST), one of the writ petitioner organizations.
BLAST, Ain o Salish Kendra, Shonmilito Shamajik Andolon and several individuals filed a writ petition with the High Court in 1998 challenging the abuse of police powers to arrest without warrant under Section 54 of the Code  
of Criminal Procedure (CrCP) and the abuse of powers regarding taking the accused into remand (police custody) under Section 167 of the CrPC.
The High Court initially issued a Rule Nisi, and upon full hearing delivered judgment on April 7, 2003, observing that Sections 54 and 167 of the CrPC are not fully consistent with constitutionally guaranteed freedoms and safeguards.
The Court laid down a comprehensive set of recommendations regarding necessary amendments to both Sections of the CrPC, along with the Police Act, The Penal Code and the Evidence Act, and directed that these should be acted within six months. It also laid down a set of fifteen guidelines with regard to exercise of powers of arrest and remand.
Later the government preferred an appeal in 2004. After hearing, a Appellate Division bench headed by then Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha dismissed the government's appeal petition on May 24, 2016 giving some recommendations.
Then the government filed a review petition with the Supreme Court in 2017 seeking review of its verdict that upheld the High Court order.

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