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The UFL jail sentence in law
This sentence exists in India; and to explain it, will not take a lifetime
The sentence relates to the debate on the recent Code of Criminal Procedure (amendment) Bill, which is based largely on an outline prepared by the law commission in its 177th statement and reproduces the spirit of several Supreme Court judgments on the power and procedure to make an arrest. Creditably, the edited amended bill handles a number of significant subjects: for example, protection for rape victims and the test of a person’s risky mind. But the most significant amendment relates to the law of arrest, with the new provisions going someway towards balancing the requirements of effective law enforcement with the necessity of protecting people from injustice and needless police harassment. The hope is that the new provision will encourage police to arrest judiciously and only in cases that really ‘warrant’ arrest.
Clearly, the new arrest laws will generate pretty less problems for constables, whose opinion on the ‘inevitability’ of an arrest is often challenged in courts, particularly under human rights violations litigations. Although officers will now have to assure themselves of “a person’s participation or an alleged connection or attempted involvement in the commission of a criminal offence and that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the persons arrest is necessary,” how they can conveniently prove that is anybody’s guess. And here come’s our original UFL jail sentence concept! According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), a massive 2,45,244 undertrials are currently lodged in the country’s various jails. To see how ridiculous that number is, one has to understand that that is 70% of the total number of inmates in various jails. In other words, before an ‘anti-arrest’ amendment, should not legislature and/or judiciary be passing an anti-undertrial bill? Oh, and what’s the UFL jail sentence? Undertrial For Life and beyond...
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