SC upholds HC decision against detention, quizzing

SC upholds HC decision against detention, quizzing

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Dhaka -The Supreme Court pn Tuesday turned down the appeal of the State against a High Court verdict against making arrests under Sections 54 and 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code, and against quzzing one without informing victims lawyer and relatives.
The appeal court has said it will give a guideline on how to apply these two sections, which provide for arrest without warrant and interrogation in custody respectively.A four-strong bench headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha delivered the verdict on Tuesday.
The High Court in the verdict on Apr 7, 2003 ordered the government to amend the two sections in six months.
It also gave the government several instructions to be followed in the application of the sections before the amendment was made.
The High Court order came on a writ petition by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) which sought the implementation of the recommendations of a judicial committee that investigated the death in custody of Independent University student Shamim Reza arrested under Section 54.
The Appellate Division granted the State’s leave to appeal petition in 2004 against the High Court verdict but did not stay it.
Lawyers said the High Court instructions stood effective following the latest verdict.
Referring to the High Court verdict which also ruled parts of Sections 54 and 167 as being contradictory to the Constitution, Tuesday’s judgment said the Appellate Division would give a guideline on how to apply the sections.
After the verdict was pronounced, lawyer for the writ petitioner Sara Hossain said, “It (judgment) has given the (High Court instruction) a binding effect.”
Expressing his satisfaction with the verdict, renowned lawyer Dr Kamal Hossain said, “It seems we are entering the 21st century from the 19th century.”
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Additional Attorney General Murad Reza represented the State at the hearing.
The High Court instructions
a. Law enforcers must not arrest anyone under Section 54 to put him/her into detention.
b. They shall show their identity cards while arresting the person.
c. They shall inform the person of the reason behind the arrest within three hours.
d. They must inform relatives of a person arrested anywhere outside his/her house or workplace within an hour of the arrest through telephone or a messenger.
e. The detainee shall be allowed to meet lawyers and relatives for legal assistance.
f. If law enforcers want to quiz the person in custody, they must need to take permission from a magistrate and the interrogation must take place in a glass-made room inside the prison. Relatives and lawyers of the detainee can be present outside the room.
g. The detainee must be checked by a doctor before and after the interrogation.
h. If the detainee alleges physical torture during interrogation, the magistrate shall form a medical board to check his/her health condition. If the allegation is found to be true, the magistrate shall take action against the law enforcers responsible under the Section 330 of the CrPC. – News Desk

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