Report No. 177
Consultation Paper on Law Relating to Arrest
Law of Arrest
1.1 Chapter five of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 deals with the arrest of persons. Section 41 is the main section providing for situations when Police may arrest without warrant. It reads as follows:
"41. When police may arrest without warrant.- (1) Any police officer may without an order from a Magistrate and without a warrant, arrest any person-
(a) who has been concerned in any cognizable 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; or
(b) who has in his possession without lawful excuse, the burden of proving which excuse shall lie on such person, any implement of house-breaking; or
(c) who has been proclaimed as an offender either under this Code or by order of the State Government; or
(d) in whose possession anything is found which may reasonably be suspected to be stolen property and who may reasonably be suspected of having committed an offence with reference to such thing; or
(e) who obstructs a police officer while in the execution of his duty, or who has escaped, or attempts to escape, from lawful custody; or
(f) who is reasonably suspected of being a deserter from any of the Armed Forces of the Union; or
(g) who has been concerned in, or against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists, of his having been concerned in, any act committed at any place out of India which, if committed in India, would have been punishable as an offence, and for which he is, under any law relating to extradition, or otherwise, liable to be apprehended or detained in custody in India; or
(h) who, being a released convict, commits a breach of any rule made under subsection (5) of section 356; or
(i) for whose arrest any requisition, whether written or oral, has been received from another police officer, provided that the requisition specified the person to be arrested and the offence or other cause for which the arrest is to be made and it appears therefrom that the person might lawfully be arrested without a warrant by the officer who issued the requisition.
(2). Any officer in charge of a police station may, in like manner, arrest or cause to be arrested any person, belonging to one or more of the categories of persons specified in section 109 or section 110."
1.2 Section 42 specifies yet another situation where a police officer can arrest a person. According to this section if a person commits an offence in the presence of a police officer or where he has been accused of committing a non-cognizable offence and refuses, on demand being made by a police officer to give his name and residence or gives false name or residence, such person may be arrested but such arrest shall be only for the limited purpose of ascertaining his name and residence.
After such ascertaining, he shall be released on executing a bond with or without sureties, to appear before a magistrate ifso required. In case the name and residence of such person cannot be ascertained within 24 hours from the date of arrest or if such person fails to execute a bond as required, he shall be forwarded to the nearest magistrate having jurisdiction.
1.3 Section 43 speaks of a situation where an arrest can be made by a private person and the procedure to be followed on such arrest. Section 44 deals with arrest by a magistrate. Section 45 protects the members of the Armed Forces from being arrested under sections 41 to 44. Section 46 sets out the manner in which the arrest should be made and section 47 enables the police officer to enter a place if he has reason to believe that the person to be arrested has entered into that place or is within that place.
Section 48 empowers the police officers to persue the offenders into any place in India beyond their jurisdiction. Section 49 however provides that "the person arrested shall not be subjected to more restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape". Section 50 (which corresponds to clause (1) of Article 22 of the Constitution) creates an obligation upon the police officer to communicate to the person arrested full particulars of the offence for which he is arrested or other grounds for such arrest forthwith.
It also provides that where a person is arrested for a bailable offence without a warrant, the police officer shall inform the person arrested that he is entitled to be released on bail and that he may arrange for sureties on his behalf. Section 51 provides for search of arrested person while section 52 empowers the police officer to seize offensive weapons from the arrested person.
Sections 53 and 54 provide for medical examination of the arrested person at the request of the police officer or at the request of the arrested person, as the case may be. Section 55 prescribes the procedure to be followed when a police officer deputes his subordinate to arrest a person without warrant. Section 56 (which corresponds to clause (2) of Article 22) of the Constitution, provides that the person arrested shall not be kept in the custody of a police officer for a longer period than is reasonable and that in any event such period shall not exceed 24 hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the magistrate's court.
Of course if the magistrate permits the police officer to keep such person in his custody, he can do so beyond the period of 24 hours. Section 58 casts an obligation upon the officers in charge of police station to report to the specified authorities of arrests made without warrant within their jurisdiction and of the fact whether such persons have been admitted to bail or not. Section 59 says that no person arrested by a police officer shall be discharged except on his own bond or bail or under the special order of the magistrate. Section 60, which is the last section in the chapter, empowers the person having the lawful custody to pursue and retake the arrested person if he escapes or is rescued from his custody.