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Duration of remand and Procedure

Duration of remand in Bangladesh

In sub section 2 of 167 of the Criminal Procedure though it is not mentioned that ‘remand’ can be allowed for the purpose of interrogation but at present for remanding a person in police custody such provision is adopted.

At the stage of investigation, provisions are laid down in section-167 of the Criminal Procedure Code which is as follows[1]:

i) Not more than 15 days in a whole in police custody or in jail.
ii) When the investigation is not completed within 120 days from the date of receipt of information relating to the commission of the offence or the order of the magistrate for such investigation, the magistrate empowered to take cognizance of such offence or making the order of investigation may if the offence is not punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment exceeding ten years, release the accused on bail.
The longest period for which an accused can be ordered to be detained in the police custody by one or more remand orders is only fifteen days. Remand must be allowed specifying days, maximum fifteen in number, with all seriousness containing cogent reasons and not in routine.

Sec 167(2) it means that a magistrate should not straight away grant remand for fifteen days. If the magistrate grant remand for fifteen days at a time, then the concept of the words ‘from time to time’ is totally shattered. The purpose of the words ‘from time to time’ must in the mind of all magistrates when they remand an accused in police custody. They must go through the diaries of the case with reference to its progress and necessity of further remand.[2]

Procedure about Remand

at the stage of Investigation

Provisions are laid down in section 167 of the CrPC which are as follows:

Not more than 15 days in a whole in police custody or jail custody.
When the investigation cannot be completed within 120 days from the date of receipt of the information relating to the commission of the offence or the order of the Magistrate   for   such   investigation,   the   Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of such offence or making the order for investigation may, if the offence is not . punishable   with   death,   imprisonment   for   life or imprisonment exceeding ten years, release the accused bail.[3]
When the investigation cannot be completed within 120 days from the date of receipt of the information relating to the commission of the offence or the order of the Magistrate for such investigation, the Court of Session may, if the offence is punishable with death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment exceeding ten years, release the accused on bail.
If the accused is not released on bail under this section, the Magistrate or the Court of Session shall record the /’ reason for it.
Thus there is no maximum period fixed by law for order of detention in police custody by the Magistrate. For how many terms not exceeding 15 days can the Magistrate authorize detention? This is not mentioned. In Indian CrPC provisions have been made that the total period of detention in custody must not exceed 60 days and such detention must not be in police custody.
It is to be noted that in England there is provision of remand in police custody for not more than three days in total.
If the defendant is on bail, there is no statutory time limit for remand.[4]
Remand   after   cognizance   or   commencement   of trial

Section 344 deals with the period of remand after cognizance of the offence has been taken or after commencement of the trial in the

Any trial court other than Magistrate Court may remand or adjourn an inquiry or trial from time to time for such time as it considers reasonable and as such remand die accused to jail custody.
Any Magistrate Court as a trial court or court of inquiry may remand an inquiry or trial but in such a case it can remand the accused in jail custody not more than 15 days at a time.[5]

Application for Remand and the Abuse of Power

A police officer makes a prayer for ‘remand’ stating that the accused is involved in a cognizable offence and for the purpose of interrogation ‘remand’ is necessary. In sub-section (2) of section 167 though it is not mentioned that ‘remand’ can be allowed for the purpose of interrogation, at present, the practice is that an accused is taken en ‘remand’ only for the purpose of interrogation or for extorting information from the accused through interrogation. There is no proper guide line as to when such prayer should be accepted and when rejected by the Magistrate and this legal lacuna gives both the police officer and Magistrates power to abuse the same. Police officers being motivated or dictated by the executive organ or out of their personal conflict or aggrandizement seek unreasonable remand under section 167 of the Code. And the Magistrates in absence of any proper guideline, either being dictated by the executive organ or otherwise have been accustomed to follow a ‘parrot like’ order on the forwarding letter of the police officer authorizing detention either in the police custody or in jail. The views expressed in favors of police remand is that it is a civil necessity that if some force is not used, no clue can be found out from hard-nut criminals. On the other side of the spectra there is a widely held view that to send the arrested person to the police remand prima fade upholds the idea that the accused person did not give the confession voluntarily. When the entire state machinery acts against him, he cannot confess voluntarily and as such the provision for granting police remand several times (although not exceeding 15 days in the whole) totally destroys the purpose behind it. This is because a person coming before the Magistrate has no guarantee that he will not be sent again to the police remand unless he has already completed 15 days. It is therefore imperative on the Magistrate to give reasons for granting a remand. Again, article 35(4) of the Constitution states that no person shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. So the provisions of the CrPC under section 167 are in direct contrast with the provisions of the Constitution. This CrPC was passed by the British Government back in 1898 when there were no fundamental rights as we have now in our Constitution. In view of the present provision in article 26 this provision of police remand seems to be void and this is largely the decision of the High Court Division in the BLAST case which is outlined next. However, given that fact that there is provision of police remand in most democratic countries including the UK, we need to wait until the apex seat of the Supreme Court, i.e. the Appellate Division gives its judgment on the matter.[6]

[1]               Abdul Halim, ibid., p. 100.

[2]               Shaukat Mahmud and Nadeem Shaukat, The Code of Criminal Procedure, vol-I, 9th ed.    ((          (Dhaka: Legal Research Center, 2003) p. 855.

[3]           Soma Islam, ibid., p. 14.

[4]               Md. Abdul Halim, ibid., p. 99.

[5]               Md. Zahurul Haq, The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1st ed. (Dhaka: Md. Hosne Ara &                                    Murshida Aktar, 2008) p. 276.

[6]               Md. Abdul Halim, ibid., p. 101.

Posted from
Shoaib Rahman
LL.M. Advocate

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