Need for Introduction of Section 41A of CrPC

The argument that low conviction rates justify arrests as punishment is rejected, emphasizing that only courts should determine guilt, not police. Rising crime due to population growth and unemployment doesn’t negate the need for law reform focused on serious crimes over minor offenses. The Supreme Court has directed releases in minor and non-economic offenses.

“But then it is said that since the conviction rate is very low, the very fact of arrest is a sort of punishment that can be meted out to the guilty. This argument is again misleading and unacceptable. Guilt or innocence has to be determined by the courts and not by the police. Police merely prosecutes on being satisfied that a person is guilty of an offence; it doesn’t punish. It is also suggested that there is a distinct increase in crime because of 20enormous increase in population, unemployment and lack of adequate resources. May be so. But how does this phenomenon militate against the proposed changes in law. In fact, the attention of the police must be more on serious offences and economic offences and not so much on minor offences. The undesirable practice of arresting persons for minor offences and keeping them in jail for long periods (either because they cannot move for bail or because they cannot furnish bail to the satisfaction of the court – all because of their poverty) must come to an end. In fact, this aspect has already engaged the attention of the Supreme Court, which has given several directions for release/discharge of accused in case of minor offences and offences punishable up to seven years excepting therefrom the economic offences…”

Law Commission of India
177th Report, Chapter-5