Chapter Proceedings

The Mumbai police has begun “chapter proceedings” against Republic Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami who has been summoned by it.

What are ‘chapter proceedings’?

  • Chapter proceedings are preventive actions taken by the police if they fear that a particular person is likely to create trouble and disrupt the peace in society.
  • These proceedings are unlike punitive action taken in case of an FIR with an intention to punish. Here, the police can issue notices under sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure to ensure that the person is aware that creating nuisance could result in action against him, which includes paying a fine, in the absence of which, he could be put behind bars.

Which sections are used?

  • Generally a notice is issued to a person under section 111 of the CrPC whereby he is asked to present himself before the Executive Magistrate – an ACP-rank officer in a commissionerate of a deputy collector in rural areas – who has issued the notice.
  • The person has to explain why he should not be made to sign a bond of good behaviour. If the Executive Magistrate is not satisfied with the answer, the person is asked to sign a bond of good behaviour and produce sureties vouching for his/her good behaviour.
  • A fine amount is also decided – in accordance with the crime and the person’s financial capability – which the person would have to pay if he violates the conditions set in the bond.

What are the chapter proceedings generally used for?

  • Generally, when an ACP receives information that any person is likely to commit a breach of the peace or disturb public tranquillity or do any wrongful act that may probably occasion a breach of the peace or disturb the public tranquillity and is of opinion that there is sufficient ground for proceeding, he may in the manner hereinafter provided, require such person to show cause why he should not be ordered to execute a bond.
  • There is no need for even an FIR against a person for issuing a notice under section 107 of the CrPC (security of keeping peace in other cases). In this case the bond is signed for one year. Under section 110, a notice is served to a habitual offender who has a record of FIRs registered against him. In his case, he is asked to sign a bond for three years.

Why are such notices called chapter proceedings?

  • According to officers, since all the sections related to preventing of crime fall under a single chapter, it was colloquially called “chapter proceedings” and has since been used to refer to actions of this nature.