The Bar Associations of North Indian states compromising of states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Delhi have announced complete strike on January.19. 2009.
This is first co-coordinated effort by Bar Associations of India to oppose the Bill which seeks to amend section 41 and section 309 of Criminal Procedure Code of India.
Different bar Associations in India has been resorting to strikes, quite now and then for the last couple of months.
Circulars and Bills issued on respective Letter heads of Bar Associations, warns of strict action if any lawyer were to be found violating the call of strike.
The lawyers of whole of India would again go on strike on Feb, 3.2009.They have announced nation-wide demonstration and protest marches and street corner meeting against the Bill on 18 Feb, 2009.
Mr. Alit Make, the Urban Development Minister, who once belonged to legal fraternity, in an interface with lawyers held at Partial House courts Delhi on 15Jan 2009 vowed to take up the issue with his colleagues in the Cabinet, the prime minister, and the president of India against the proposed Bill.
The Bill takes away certain categories of offences under sections 41 and 309 Criminal Procedure Code of India, which gives mandatory arrest power to the police.
Among the grouses of the lawyers is that the law if enacted will eat into their work substantially reducing their income. A sizeable income of the lawyers is generated by Bail related works.
According to the proposed amendment it would not be mandatory for the police to arrest the offenders involved in theft, assault, dowry related cases, chain snatching, and child abduction, pick-pocketing, stabbing, infringement of copyright and trade marks.
Human rights groups say that sweeping power of arrest in a poor country like India where 800million people some how manage to earn Rs. 20/- per day, the power punishes the delinquents and their dependents too harshly.
Thousands languish behind bars or tears an ends even after courts have ordered their release, because they are not able to arrange the security which usually Rs. ten thousand equivalent to 200 U.S dollar.
Lawyers say this will increase the incidence of crime and aggravate security related problems