Report No. 200
(B) Care and protection of Court under Article 22(2) of the Constitution and Sections 57 & 76 of the Code of Criminal Procedure are sufficient to show court proceedings are imminent:
The entire argument based on possible delay in filing charge sheet after arrest is without basis for it ignores Art 22(2) of the Constitution under which soon after arrest, a person comes under the protection of the Court. This according to Court judgments and other authorities is the proper meaning of the word 'imminent'. Whether a person is arrested in a cognizable case by the police without warrant on the basis of 'reasonable suspicion' or by a warrant from the Court in the case of non-cognizable case where the Magistrate applies his mind as to whether arrest is necessary and under Sections 57 and 76 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, a person arrested has to be brought before a Magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest.
That is imperative under Article 22(2) of the Constitution of India. Once arrest is made, the person arrested comes within the care and protection of the Court and such a relationship with the court has been treated as sufficient to show that 'court proceedings' are 'imminent'. This is clear from the decision in Hall v. Associated Newspapers: 1978 SLT 241 decided by the Court in Scotland (to which we shall be referring hereinbelow). That, according to Borrie and Lowe, (Contempt of Court) (3rd Ed) (1996) (p 247, 256), is the basis of the UK Act, 1981 for treating a criminal proceeding as 'active' from the time of arrest (see discussion below). That is also the view of other leading authorities.
It is, therefore, not correct to think that prejudice to the suspect starts only after the charge sheet or challan is filed under Section 173(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, when the police come to the conclusion that "an offence appears to have been committed".