Bangladesh top court bars arrest without warrant
May 25 2016 09:24 PM

By Mizan Rahman/Dhaka

Bangladesh yesterday ordered the law enforcement agencies to follow the High Court order during arrest and interrogation.
“If anyone misuses the law, we will take departmental action against them,” said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal while talking to the media yesterday after an order of the Supreme Court (SC) which upheld a High Court (HC) order on reform of the provisions of arrest without warrant and interrogation on remand.
“After receiving the copy of the judgment, we will follow the guidelines. There is no chance to misuse the law,” he added.
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court order that asked for reform of the provisions of arrest without warrant and interrogation on remand under sections 54 and 167 of the CrPC.
Law Minister Anisul Huq said sections 54 and 167 of CrPC will be amended, if necessary, for people’s sake.
“I hope, the court will give directives in its full verdict about reforms of the sections 54 and 167 of the CrPC,” he said.
Replying to a question, Anisul said the section 54 has been kept as an emergency provision.
If law enforcement agencies suspect anyone for any criminal offence, they can arrest him or her under section 54, and the arrestee should be produced before the court within 24 hours of the arrest, he said.
The Supreme Court yesterday upheld an earlier High Court verdict restricting the arrest and detention of people under sections 54 and 167 of CrPC, rejecting an appeal by the state.
“Dismissed,” Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha pronounced rejecting the state appeal challenging the 2003 High Court verdict asking the government to amend the two CrPC sections that allow police to arrest someone on suspicion without warrant and detain him for a period of 15 days with a magisterial approval.
The four-member apex court panel led by the chief justice, however, said it was issuing the judgment with some modifications in the High Court verdict which would be detailed later under a guideline to be issued by the Supreme Court itself.
The intervention of the higher judiciary on the two sections of the criminal procedure code came on a writ petition filed by rights group Bangladesh Legal Aid as Services Trust (BLAST) in view of non-compliance of a judicial commission report centring a death in police custody in 1998.
The then Awami League government had constituted the commission led by Justice Habibur Rahman Khan following the 1998 murder of a private university student Rubel in police custody after his arrest under section 54 and detention under 167.
The April 7, 2003 High Court verdict had asked authorities concerned to amend the provisions of arrest and remand, within six months.

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