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Report No. 152

5.21. Duty of Magistrate: Recommendation.-

In order that the various safeguards set out in this Chapter are complied with it is desirable that there ought to be a kind of supervision of overseeing of the police by an independent agency. In the present set up, it may not be possible to provide for a separate agency in this regard, but it should be possible to utilise the existing machinery for the purpose. Both under constitutional requirements as laid down in Article 22 of the Constitution and under section 56 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the person to be arrested has to be produced before a Magistrate.

By virture of the combined operation of sections 56 and 57 of the Code, production of the accused before a Magistrate must take place within 24 hours of the arrest.1 But in cases where informal arrests are made the accused is not produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours, instead he is kept in police custody for interrogation and his arrest is shown only after he is coerced to confession or to state facts leading to discovery of weapon or goods.

To prevent this malpractice, the Magistrate before whom the accused is presented should enquire from the accused the time and date of his arrest and record the same. Our recommendation is that a new section 57A may be inserted in the Code of Criminal Procedure on the following lines:-

"57A. Duty of Magistrate to verify certain facts-When a person arrested without warrant is produced before the Magistrate, the Magistrate shall, by inquiries to be made from the arrested person satisfy himself that the provision of sections 56 and 57, have been complied with (sections relating to safeguards in connection with arrest, rights on arrest, intimation etc. to be entered) and shall also enquire and record the time and dare of arrest."

1. Khatri v. State of Bihar, AIR 1981 SC 928: 1981 Cr U 470 (SC).

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