SC verdict on CrPC provisions May 24

Bangladesh’s top court has fixed May 24 to pronounce its ruling over a petition challenging a High Court verdict on two sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) over the arrest of an individual without a warrant and quizzing in custody.
The Appellate Division bench led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha completed hearings on the matter on Tuesday, keeping its verdict pending.

Section 54 of the CrPC stipulates the circumstances allowing police to make an arrest without a warrant, while Section 167 addresses the issue of securing a detention order for the arrestee through the court.

According to the details of the lawsuit, Shamim Reza Rubel, student of a private university, was arrested in Dhaka under Section 54 in 1998. He died on Jul 23 the same year while in custody at the Detective Branch office.

Following Rubel’s death, the government formed a judicial inquiry headed by Justice Habir Rahman. The probe recommended amending Sections 54 and 167 of the CrPc.
The rights body Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) filed a petition with the High Court as the recommendations were not implemented.

In April 2003, the court pronounced its verdict through which it directed amending the laws relating to arrests without warrants and grilling in custody.

It also issued a set of instructions over the matter before amending the CrPC sections.

The court ordered the government to implement the instructions within six months.

The State moved to appeal against the verdict, which was granted in 2004, but the High Court’s order was not stayed then.

On Mar 22 this year, hearings on the appeal commenced.

On Tuesday, the court heard the matter for a second day and wrapped up the proceedings before fixing a date for the verdict.