Section 1 CrPC : Short title, extent and commencement

Section 1 CrPC : Short title, extent and commencement

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   Section 1. Short title, extent and commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir :

Provided that the provisions of this Code, other than those relating to Chapters VIII, X and XI thereof, shall not apply -

(a) to the State of Nagaland,

(b) to the Tribal Areas,

but the concerned State Government may, by notification, apply such provisions or any of them to the whole or part of the State of Nagaland or such tribal areas, as the case may be, with such supplemental, incidental or consequential modifications as may be specified in the notification.

Explanation - In this section, "tribal areas" means the territories which immediately before the 21st day of January, 1972, were included in the tribal areas of Assam, as referred to in Paragraph 20 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution, other than those within the local limits of the municipality of Shillong.

(3) It shall come into force on the 1st day of April, 1974.

   Object & Reasons :

Statement of Objects and Reasons.-The law relating to criminal procedure applicable to all criminal proceedings in India (except those in the States of Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland the Tribal Areas in Assam) is contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. The Code has been amended from time to time by various Acts of the Central and State Legislatures. The more important of these were the amendments brought about by Central legislation in 1923 and 1955. The amendments of 1955 were extensive and were intended to simplify procedures and speed up trials as far as possible. In addition, local amendments were made by State Legislatures of which the most important were those made to bring about separation of the Judiciary from the Executive. Apart from these amendments, the provisions of the Code of 1898 have remained practically unchanged through these decades and no attempt was made to have a comprehensive revision of this old Code till the Central Law Commission was set up in 1955.

2. The first Law Commission presented its Report (the Fourteenth Report) on the Reform of Judicial Administration, both civil and criminal in 1958; it was not concerned with detailed scrutiny of the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, but it did make some recommendations in regard to the law of criminal procedure, some of which required amendments to the Code. A systematic examination of the Code was subsequently undertaken by the Law Commission not only for giving concrete form to the recommendations made in the Fourteenth Report but also with the object of attempting a general revision. The main task of the Commission was to suggest measures to remove anomalies and ambiguities brought to light by conflicting decisions of the High Courts or otherwise to consider local variations with a view to securing and maintaining uniformity, to consolidate laws wherever possible and to suggest improvements where necessary. Suggestions for improvements received from various sources were considered by the Commission. A comprehensive report for the revision of the Code, namely, the Forty-first Report, was presented by the Law Commission in September, 1969. This report took into consideration the recommendations made in the earlier reports of the Commission dealing with specific matters, namely, the Fourteenth, Twenty-fifth, Thirty-second, Thirty-third, Thirty-sixth, Thirty-seventh and Fortieth Reports.

3. The recommendations of the Commission were examined carefully by the Government, keeping in view, among others, the following basic considerations:-

(i) an accused person should get a fair trial in accordance with the accepted principles of natural justice;

(ii) every effort should be made to avoid delay in investigation and trial which is harmful not only to the individuals involved but also to society; and

(iii) the procedure should not be complicated and should, to the utmost extent possible, ensure fair deal to the poorer sections of the community.

The occasion has been availed of to consider and adopt where appropriate suggestions received from other quarters, based on practical experience of investigation and the working of Criminal Courts.

4. One of the main recommendations of the Commission is to provide for the separation of the Judiciary from the Executive on an all India basis in order to achieve uniformity in this matter. To secure this, the Bill seeks to provide for a new set up of Criminal Courts. In addition to ensuring fair deal to the accused, separation as provided for in the Bill would ensure improvement in the quality and speed of disposal, as all Judicial Magistrates would be legally qualified and trained persons working under close supervision of the High Court.

5. Some of the more important changes proposed to be made with a view to speeding up the disposal of criminal cases are:-

(a) the preliminary inquiry which precedes the trial by a Court of Session, otherwise known as committal proceedings, is being abolished as it does not serve any useful purpose and has been the cause of considerable delay in the trial of offences;

(b) provision is being made to enable adoption of the summons procedure for the trial of offences punishable with imprisonment up to two years instead of up to one year as at present; this would enable a larger number of cases being disposed of expeditiously;

(c) the scope of summary trials is being widened by including offences punishable with imprisonment up to one year instead of six months as at present; summons procedure will be adopted for all summary trials;

(d) the powers of revision against interlocutory orders are being taken away, as it has been found to be one of the main contributing factors in the delay of disposal of criminal cases;

(e) the provision for compulsory stoppage of proceedings by a subordinate Court on the mere intimation from a party of his intention to move a higher Court for transfer of the case is being omitted and a further provision is being made to the effect that the Court hearing the transfer application shall not stay proceedings unless it is necessary to do so in the interest of justice;

(f) when adjournments are granted at the instance of either party, the Court is being empowered to order costs to be paid by the party obtaining the adjournments to the other party;

(g) provision is being made for the service of summons by registered post in certain cases;

(h) in petty cases, the accused in being enabled to plead guilty by post and to remit the fine specified in the summons;

(i) if a Court of appeal or revision discovers that any error, omission or irregularity in respect of a charge has occasioned failure of justice, it need not necessarily order retrial;

(j) the facility of part-heard cases being continued by successors-in-office now available in respect of Courts of Magistrates is being extended to Courts of Session. In addition to the above specific measures, the Commission's recommendations which are intended to resolve conflicts of decisions on various matters or to remove ambiguities have been given effect to and these provisions may, by themselves, help in reducing the time taken in litigation.

6. Some of the more important changes intended to provide relief to the proper sections of the community are:-

(a) provisions have been made for giving legal aid to an indigent accused in cases triable by a Court of Session; the State Government may extend this facility to other categories of cases;

(b) the Court has been empowered to order payment of compensation by the accused to the victims of crimes, to a larger extent than is now permissible under the Code;

(c) when a commission is issued for the examination of a witness for the prosecution, the cost incurred by the defence including pleader's fees may be ordered to be paid by the prosecution;

(d) the accused will be given an opportunity to make representation against the punishment before it is imposed.

In addition to these specific provisions, the steps taken to reduce delays would themselves automatically benefit the poorer sections, as it is they who particularly suffer by the prolongation of criminal cases.

7. The Notes on Clauses explain the more important provisions of the Bill.

Amendment Act 45 of 1978-Statement of Objects and Reasons.-The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 came into force on the 1st day of April, 1974. The working of the new Code has been carefully watched and in the light of the experience, it has been found necessary to make a few changes for removing certain difficulties and doubts. The Notes on Clauses explain in brief the reasons for the amendments.

Amendment Act 63 of 1980-Statement of Objects and Reasons.-With a view to enabling the law enforcement agencies to deal effectively with anti-social elements, habitual criminals and those creating enmity between different groups and communities, the President promulgated on 23rd September, 1980 the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance, 1980. The Ordinance, inter alia, sought to:-

(i) amend the provisions regarding bail so as to make it more difficult for habitual criminals committing serious offences to obtain bail;

(ii) provide for civil imprisonment of surety for failure of the accused to appear in the Court so as to curb the practice of giving bail by professional sureties;

(iii) confer on the District Magistrates also power to accord sanction for prosecution under section 153-B and sub-sections (2) and (3) of section 505 of the Indian Penal Code;

(iv) vest the power to take security proceedings under sections 108,109 and 110 of the Code in Executi'e Magistrates; and

(v) provide for transfer of the power to take security proceedings under the aforementioned sections 108,109 and 110 of the Code to Judicial Magistrates.

Amendment Act 32 of 1988-Statement of Objects and Reasons.-Agreements with foreign countries in regard to mutual assistance in criminal matters could be entered into on the basis of reciprocity. Co-operation with the law enforcement agencies of foreign countries in regard to locating witnesses, obtaining information about persons who are under investigation and investigation of crime not involving the exercise of any measure to compel any person to answer questions, etc., can be secured by the provisions of agreements. It is, however, felt that the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as the Code) should contain appropriate provisions for taking evidence of witnesses or production of documents using compulsory measures.

2. Sub-section (3) of section 285 and clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 290 of the Code incorporate the principle of reciprocity in regard to taking of evidence of witnesses on commission in India and in a foreign country. However, section 105 of the Code relating to reciprocal arrangements regarding processes (which inter alia contain provision for production of documents) does not at present enable a Court in India to issue summons or warrant to be served or executed outside India, or vice versa. It has, therefore, been found necessary to amend section 105 of the Code.

Amendment Act 10 of 1990-Statement of Objects and Reasons.-The investigating authorities in India were handicapped in collecting evidence, available in a foreign country or place, in respect of a crime committed by a citizen of India outside the country, due to the absence of a specific provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Hence an Ordinance was promulgated on the 19th February, 1990 to amend the Code for the purpose.

2. A new section 166-A had been inserted in the Code to enable the investigating authorities and the Criminal Courts to issue letter of request to their counterparts in foreign countries to collect evidence and transmit the same to the authority or Court issuing such letter. Every evidence so collected shall be deemed to be evidence collected during the course of investigation.

3. Having regard to the principle of reciprocity, another section, namely, section 166-B, has also been inserted in the Code for facilitating letters of request to be sent by foreign investigating agencies or Courts to their counterparts in India for similar purposes.

Amendment Act 43 of 1991-Statement of Objects and Reasons.-Section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 provides for the previous sanction of the Central Government or, as the case may be, the State Government before a Court took cognizance of an offence alleged to have been committed by any public servant including a Judge, Magistrate and member of the Forces while acting in the discharge of official duty.

2. With a view to providing more adequate safeguards and protection to public servants employed in connection with the affairs of a State against frivolous or vexatious prosecution for acts done in the discharge of official duty during the period when a Proclamation issued under article 356 of the Constitution was in force in that State, it was considered necessary to provide for the previous sanction of the Central Government instead of the sanction of the State Government.

3. In view of the above, an Ordinance was promulgated on the 2nd May, 1991 to amend section 197 of the said Code.

Amendment Act 25 of 2005-Statement of Objects and Reasons.-Having regard to the recommendations made by the Law Commission and the National Police Commission, the observations made by the Courts and the suggestions received from the State Governments and others, and with a view to removing certain difficulties or lacunae felt in its working, it has been found necessary to amend various sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

2. The Notes on Clauses explain, in brief, the various provisions of the Bill.

Amendment Act 5 of 2009-Statement of Objects and Reasons.-The need to amend the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to ensure fair and speedy justice and to tone up the criminal justice system has been felt for quite sometime. The Law Commission has undertaken a comprehensive review of the Code of Criminal Procedure in its 154th report and its recommendations have been found very appropriate, particularly those relating to provisions concerning arrest, custody and remand, procedure for summons and warrant- cases, compounding of offences, victimology, special protection in respect of women and inquiry and trial of persons of unsound mind. Also, as per the Law Commission's 177th report relating to arrest, it has been found necessary to revise the law to maintain a balance between the liberty of the citizens and the society's interest in maintenance of peace as well as law and order.

2. The need has also been felt to include measures for preventing the growing tendency of witnesses being induced or threatened to turn hostile by the accused parties who are influential, rich and powerful. At present, the victims are the worst sufferers in a crime and they don't have much role in the Court proceedings. They need to be given certain rights and compensation, so that there is no distortion of the criminal justice system. The application of technology in investigation, inquiry and trial is expected to reduce delays, help in gathering credible evidences, minimise the risk of escape of the remand prisoners during transit and also facilitate utilisation of police personnel for other duties. There is an urgent need to provide relief to women, particularly victims of sexual offences, and provide fair-trial to persons of unsound mind who are not able to defend themselves.

3. The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2006 seeks to achieve the above objectives.
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