16. Functions of Village Authorities.-
(1) Every Village Authority constituted under this Act shall, within the local limits of its jurisdiction, perform the following functions, namely:-
(a) it shall, to the best of its ability maintain law and order and for there purpose exercise and perform the powers and duties generally conferred and imposed on the police by or under the Police Act, 1861 (5 of 1861): Provided that a Village Authority shall not be deemed to be a police officer within the meaning of sections 25 and 16 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 (1 of 1872), or section 162 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (5 of 1898);
(b) it shall cause to be arrested without any order from a magistrate and without a warrant-
(i) any person who is a vagrant or commits a heinous offence or who has been concerned in any such offence or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made or credible information has been received or a reasonable suspicion exists of his having been so concerned,
(ii) any person against whom a hue and cry has been raised on the ground of his having been concerned in any heinous offence, whether such offence has been or is being committed within its jurisdiction or outside it,
(iii) any person for whose arrest a requisition has been received from a police officer; provided that the requisition specifies the person to be arrested and the offence or other cause for which the arrest is to be made or it appears therefrom that the person might lawfully be arrested without a warrant by the officer who issued the requisition,
(iv) any person designing to commit any heinous offence of which the Village Authority has knowledge, if the commission of offence cannot otherwise be prevented,
(v) any person who obstructs the Village Authority in the performance of its functions under this Act or rules made thereunder or a police officer while in the execution of his duty, and
(vi) any person who has escaped, or attempts to escape, from lawful custody:
Provided that where a Village Authority is unable to arrest an offender it shall forthwith report the matter to the sub-divisional magistrate who shall provide the Village Authority with such assistance as it requires: Provided further that the Village Authority may pursue beyond the local limits of its jurisdiction any person who has committed a heinous offence or is a vagrant or of bad or suspicious character, and arrest such person outside the local limits of its jurisdiction with the consent of the Village Authority within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the person pursued is found;
(c) it shall give immediate information to the sub-divisional magistrate of every unnatural, suspicious or sudden death which may occur, and of any heinous offence which may be committed, within the local limits of its jurisdiction and shall keep the sub-divisional magistrate informed of all disputes which are likely to lead to a riot or serious affray; and
(d) it shall supply any information which any police officer or the sub-divisional magistrate or the Deputy commissioner may require from it.
(2) No person who is arrested under this section shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds of such arrest.
(3) Every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty four hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a magistrate.