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Report No. 152

5.5. Requirements of section 41, Cr. P.C.-

It will be noticed that section 41(1)(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 operates in three alternative situations (apart from the totally objective situation of the person to be arrested having been concerned in any cognizable offence:-

(i) reasonable complaint has been made, of having been so concerned;

(ii) credible information having been received, of having been so concerned;

(iii) reasonable suspicion existing, of having been so concerned.

In practice, most arrests by police officers fall under the third category..In this connection, it may be pertinent to point out that reasonable suspicion has been described as the minimum requirement. According to a Full Bench decision of the Madhya Pradesh High Court,1 reasonable suspicion is the minimum, requirement. We shall refer later to a recent Supreme Court Judgment,2 where several aspects of the power of arrest have been elucidated and certain guidelines laid down.

It is obvious that the objective "reasonable" introduces an objective element and that reasonable suspicion must exist before a person is arrested. Since arrest is a serious inroad on the liberty of a person, the law has enjoined a police officer to exercise the power of arrest only after the objective element of reasonable suspicion is made out. However, in actual practice this salutary mandate of the law has not been followed, as indiscriminate arrests are being made by police on mere suspicion.

1. Gulabchand Kannoolal v. State of Madhya Pradesh, 1982 MPLJ 7 (17) (FB).

2. Joginder Singh, para. 5.7, infra.

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