The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the State’s appeal against a High Court order, which asked it to amend two sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Sections 54 and 167 provide for arrest without warrant and interrogation in custody, respectively.
“The law has some emergency provisions. Section 54 was incorporated in the CrPC as an emergency provision. Whether it’s good or bad depends on its application,” said the minister.
“If it has been used excessively… and there is now a provision over it… that’s fair. But it’s difficult for me to say that Section 54 is bad.”
When asked if the section had been misused, he said, “From time to time, in the past, maybe.”
“It’s not right if you say law enforcers should be active only after a crime takes place. Police have the authority to make arrests if they suspect a crime [is about to be committed].”
A judicial committee headed by Justice Habibur Rahman Khan had made several recommendations after investigating the death of Independent University student Shamim Reza in police custody following his arrest under Section 54 in 1998.
The High Court in 2003 had ordered the government to amend the two sections within six months after the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) sought the implementation of the committee’s recommendations.
The Appellate Division granted the State’s leave to appeal petition in 2004 against the High Court verdict without issuing a stay on it.
On Tuesday, a bench headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha turned down the appeal, saying it will give a guideline on the application of the two sections.