Delhi assembly passes bill proposing amendments in CrPC

New Delhi :Delhi Assembly today passed a Bill proposing amendments in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), setting up another flashpoint with the Centre, as it seeks to broaden the scope of magisterial probes into cases of kidnapping, rape and disappearances.

The Opposition BJP accused the AAP government of “challenging” the authority of Parliament by empowering itself through the move. CrPC is a subject in the Concurrent list.
Till now, magisterial probe is ordered only in cases of custodial death, homicide, suicide of a woman or death of a woman.

Through the amendment to section 176(1) of CrPC the government wants to widen its scope to cover any other cases of suspicious disappearance, rapes in police custody, suspicious death, Delhi Home Minister Satyender Jain, who tabled the Bill, said.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that except three issues – police, land and law and order, the city government has the power bring amendments in laws governing other areas.

“No question should be raised over the power of Delhi Assembly,” he said. Sisodia said that the bill will now be sent to President through the Lt Governor.

“It is up to President whether he pass or reject this bill on the advise of Centre,” Sisodia added.

Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta lodged his protest against the Bill saying only Parliament has powers to amend the CrPC.

“By introducing this Bill the Delhi government is challenging the authority of parliament. It is disrespect of Parliament,” he said.

Significantly, he assured the government of assistance provided it approaches through the “proper channel.” “In that case we will approach the Centre as well for the amendments,” he said.

The government also tabled the Delhi (Right of Citizen to Time Bound Delivery of Services) Amendment Bill under which officials are liable to pay penalty for delay in providing services included in the citizens’ charter.

It also seeks to ensure “automatic and mandatory” compensation for people doing away with the need to separately apply for it.

The Bill envisages entrusting a Competent Officer with the purpose of effecting payment of compensation to an individual and recovery of the compensation from the officer or person responsible.