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Q. What do you understand by Arrest? How is an arrest made? When can the police arrest a person without an order from a magistrate and/or without a warrant? Explain the rights of an arrested person. [Right to know the grounds of arrest - Art 22(1), Sec 50, 50(A), Right to consult and to be defended by legal practitioner of his choice - Art 22(1), Sec 303, Right to legal aid - Art 21, Sec 304, Right to bail Sec 50(2), Right to be produced before nearest magistrate within 24 hrs - Art 22(2) Sec 56, 57, Right not to be detained in custody beyond 24 hrs - Art 22(2) Sec 57, 167, Right to be examined by medical practitioner] 

Arrest means apprehension of a person by legal authority so as to cause deprivation of his liberty. Thus, after arrest, a person's liberty is in control of the arrester. Arrest is an important tool for bringing an accused before the court as well as to prevent a crime or prevent a person suspected of doing crime from running away from the law. Cr P C contemplates two types of arrests - an arrest that is made for the execution of a warrant issued by a magistrate and an arrest that is made without any warrant but in accordance with some legal provision that permits arrest.

Section 41 to 44
contain provisions that govern the arrest of a person by police and private citizens, while Section 46 describes how an arrest is a made.

(Note - Arrest in case of Warrant is discussed in another question.)

Arrest without warrant
There are situations when a person may be arrested by a police officer, a magistrate or even private citizen without a warrant. These are described in Section 41, 42, 43, and 44 as follows -

Arrest by Police - Section 41. When police may arrest without warrant (CIPSODOBO)
(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 sub-section (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 specifies 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.

In the case of Joginder Kumar vs State of UP, CrLJ, 1994, it was held that no arrest can be made merely because it is lawful to do so. There must be a justifiable reason to arrest. Further, in State vs Bhera, CrLJ, 1997, it was held that the "reasonable suspicion" and "creditable information" must relate to definite averments which must be considered by the Police Officer himself before he arrests the person.

Section 42 allows a police officer to arrest a person for a non-cognizable offence, if he refuses to give his name and residence.  As per Section 42(1),  when any person who, in the presence of a police officer, has committed or has been accused of committing a non-cognizable offence refuses, on demand of such officer, to give his name and residence or gives a name or residence which such officer has reason to believe to be false, he may be arrested by such officer in order that his name or residence may be ascertained.
However, as per sub clause (2), the person must be released when the true name and residence of such person have been ascertained. He may be required to execute a bond, with or without sureties, to appear before a Magistrate if necessary.

Provided that, if such person is not resident in India, the bond shall be secured by a surety or sureties resident in India.
Further,  as per sub clause (3), should the true name and residence of such person not be ascertained within twenty-four hours from the time of arrest or should he fail to execute the bond, or, if so required, to furnish sufficient sureties, he shall forthwith be forwarded to the nearest Magistrate having jurisdiction.

Arrest by Private person 
Even private persons are empowered to arrest a person for protection of peace in certain situations. This is important because police cannot be present at every nook and corner and it is up to private citizens to protect the society from disruptive elements or criminals. As per section 43(1),  any private person may arrest or cause to be arrested any person who in his presence commits a non-bailable and cognizable offence, or any proclaimed offender, and, without unnecessary delay, shall make over or cause to be made over any person so arrested to a police officer, or, in the absence of a police officer, take such person or cause him to be taken in custody to the nearest police station. Thus, if a person is drunk and is committing assault on others, he may be rightly arrested by any citizen and taken to the nearest police station.

However, it is important to note that this power can be exercised only when the person making an arrest is under a bona fide impression that a non-bailable and cognizable office is being committed in his presence. One does not have a right to arrest on mere suspicion or on mere opinion that an offence has been committed.

Procedure on arrest by private person -
As mentioned above, the private person must take the arrested person to the police officer or police station without any reasonable delay. If he keeps the person in his own custody, he will be guilty of wrongful confinement as given in Section 342 of IPC.
As per section 43(2), If there is reason to believe that such person comes under the provisions of section 41, a police officer shall re-arrest him. Further, as per section 43(3), if there is reason to believe that he has committed a non-cognizable offence, and he refuses on the demand of a police officer to give his name and residence, or gives a name or residence which such officer has reason to believe to be false, he shall be dealt with under the provisions of section 42; but if there is no sufficient reason to believe that he has committed any offence, he shall be at once released.

A new provision has been incorporated as Section 50A, which makes it obligatory for the police officer or any other person making an arrest to give the information regarding such arrest and place where the arrested person is being held to any of his friends, relatives or such other persons as may be disclosed or nominated by the arrested person for the purpose of giving such information. Further,  the police officer shall inform the arrested person of his rights under subsection as soon as he is brought to the police station. He must make an entry of the fact as to who has been informed of the arrest of such person in a book to be kept in the police station in such form as may be prescribed in this behalf by the State Government. It is the duty of the Magistrate before whom such arrested person is produced, to satisfy himself that the requirements of this section has been complied with in respect of such arrested person.

Arrest by Magistrate
As per Section 44(1), when any offence is committed in the presence of a Magistrate, whether Executive or Judicial, within his local jurisdiction, he may himself arrest or order any person to arrest the offender, and may thereupon, subject to the provisions herein contained as to bail, commit the offender to custody. Further, (2) Any Magistrate, whether Executive or Judicial, may at any time arrest or direct the arrest, in his presence, within his local jurisdiction, of any person for whose arrest he is competent at the time and in the circumstances to issue a warrant.

Important thing to note here is that magistrates have wider power than private citizen. A magistrate can arrest on the ground of any offence and not only on cognizable offence. As held in the case of Swami Hariharanand Saraswati vs Jailer I/C Dist. Varanasi, AIR 1954, the arrested person must be produced before another magistrate within 24 hours, otherwise his detention will be illegal.

Arrest how made -

Section 46 describes the way in which an arrest is actually made. As per Section 46(1), unless the person being arrested consents to the submission to custody by words or actions, the arrester shall actually touch or confine the body of the person to be arrested.  Since arrest is a restraint on the liberty of the person, it is necessary for the person being arrested to either submit to custody or the arrester must touch and confine his body. Mere oral declaration of arrest by the arrester without getting submission to custody or physical touching to confine the body will not amount to arrest. The submission to custody may be by express words or by action. For example, as held in the case of  Bharosa Ramdayal vs Emperor AIR 1941, if a person makes a statement to the police accusing himself of committing an offence, he would be considered to have submitted to the custody of the police officer. Similarly, if the accused proceeds towards the police station as directed by the police officer, he has submitted to the custody. In such cases, physical contact is not required. In case of Birendra Kumar Rai vs Union of India, CrLJ, 1992, it was held that arrest need not be by handcuffing the person, and it can also be complete by spoken words if the person submits to custody.

Section 46(2) If such person forcibly resists the endeavor to arrest him, or attempts to evade the arrest, such police officer or other person may use all means necessary to effect the arrest. Thus, if the person tries to runaway, the police officer can take actions to prevent his escape and in doing so, he can use physical force to immobilize the accused.  However, as per Section 46(3), there is no right to cause the death of the person who is not accused of an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment for life, while arresting that person. Further, as per Section 49, an arrested person must not be subjected to more restraint than is necessary to prevent him from escaping.

Due to concerns of violation of the rights of women, a new provision was inserted in Section 46(4) that forbids the arrest of women after sunset and before sunrise, except in exceptional circumstances, in which case the arrest can be done by a woman police officer after making a written report and obtaining a prior permission from the concerned Judicial Magistrate of First class.

In Kultej Singh vs Circle Inspector of Police, 1992, it was held that keeping a person in the police station or confining the movement of the person in the precincts of the police station amounts to arrest of the person.

Rights of an Arrested person (GBMLLIM)

Cr P C  gives wide powers to the police for arresting a person. Such powers without appropriate safeguards for the arrested person will be harmful for the society. To ensure that this power is not used arbitrarily, several restraints have been put on it, which, indirectly, can be seen as recognition of the rights of a person being arrested.  Further, once arrested, a person is already at a disadvantage because of his lack of freedom and so he cannot take appropriate steps to defend himself. Thus, to meet the needs of "fair trial", several provisions are given in CrPC, that give specific rights to an arrested person.  These rights can be described as follows -

1. Right to know the grounds of arrest - Section 50(1) - According this provision, every police officer or other person arresting any person without warrant shall forthwith communicate to him full particulars of the offence for which he is arrested or other grounds for such arrest.
Similarly, when a subordinate officer is deputed by a senior police officer to arrest a person under Section 55, the subordinate officer must notify the person to be arrested of the substance of the written order given by the senior officer, which clearly specifes the offence for which he is being arrested. The same provision exists in case of an arrest made under a warrant in Section 75. In this case, the police officer or any person making arrest under warrat must notify the substance of the warrant to the person being arrested and if required, must show the warrant. As held in Satish Chandra Rai vs Jodu Nandan Singh, ILR 26 Cal 748, if the substance of the warrant is not notified, the arrest would be unlawful.

In Udaybhan Shuki vs State of UP 1999 CrLJ, All HC held that right to be notified of grounds of arrest is a precious right of the arrested person. This allows him to move the proper court for bail, make a writ petition for habeas corpus, or make appropriate arrangements for his defence.

This right is also a fundamental right given by the Constitution in Art 22(1), which says, "No person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest nor shall he be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice.". It embodies two distinc rights - the right to be told of the grounds of arrest and the right to consult a legal practioner of his choice. The second right of consulting a legal practitioner of his choice actually depends on the first right of being told about the grounds of arrest. If the person doesn't know why he is being arrested, he cannot consult a legal practioner meaningfully. In Harikishan vs State of Maharashtra AIR 1962, SC held that the grounds of arrest must be communicated to the person in the language that he understands otherwise it would not amount to sufficient compliance of the constitutional requirement.

2. Right to be informed of the provision for bail - Section 50(2) - Some offences that are not very serious do not require the offender to be kept in custody. For such offences, Cr P C allows the offender to ask for bail as a matter of right. However, not every person knows about Cr P C and so they cannot know that they can get bail immediately.  Thus, Section 50(2), provides that where a police officer arrests any person other than a person accused of a non-bailable offence without warrant, he shall inform the person arrested that he is entitled to be released on bail and that he may arrange for sureties on his behalf.

3. Right to be taken to magistrate without delay - Holding a person in custody without first proving that the person is guilty is a violation of human rights and is completely unfair. At the same time, holding a person in custody is necessary for the police to carry on their investigation of a crime. These two are contradictory requirements and a balance must be found between them. Since police has arrested the person, it cannot be the agency that determines whether person must be kept confined further. This can only be decided by a competent judicial authority. This is exactly what is embodied in Art 22(2) that gives a fundamental right to the arrested person that he must be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours of arrest. It says, "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."

Section 57 of CrPC also contains a similar provision for a person arrested without a warrant. It says, "No police officer shall detain in custody a person arrested without warrant for a longer period than under all the circumstances of the case is reasonable, and such period shall not, in the absence of a special order of a Magistrate under Section 167, exceed twenty four hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Magistrate's court."

Section 76 contains a similar provision for a person arrested under a warrant. It says, "The police officer or other person executing a warrant of arrest shall (subject to the provisions of section 71 as to security) without unnecessary delay bring the person arrested before the court before which he is required by law to produce such person. Provided that such delay shall not, in any case, exceed twenty-four hours exclusive of the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the Magistrate's court."

Thus, it can be see that it is a very important right that is meant to prevent abuse of police power and to prevent the use of a police station as a prison. It prevents arrest merely for the purpose of extracting confessions. The arrested person gets to be heard by a judicial authority that is independent of the police.

In Khatri (II) vs State of Bihar 1981 SCC, SC has strongly urged upon the State and its police to ensure that this constitutional and legal requirement of bringing an arrested person before a judicial magistrate within 24 hours be scrupulously met. This is a healthy provision that allows magistrates to keep a check on the police investigation. It is necessary that the magistrates should try to enforce this requirement and when they find it disobeyed, they should come heavily upon the police.

Further, in Sharifbai vs Abdul Razak, AIR 1961, SC held that if a police officer fails to produce an arrested person before a magistrate within 24 hours, he shall be held guilty of wrongful detention.

Constitutional Perspective on Art 22(2) -  On the face of it, this article seems to be applicable on arrests with or without warrants. However, in State of Punjab vs Ajiab Singh AIR 1953, SC observed that it applies only to cases of arrests without warrant because in case of an arrest with warrant, the judicial mind has already been applied while issuing the warrant. So further safeguard is not required. This decision has been widely criticized. In any case, the proviso to Section 76 unmistakably provides that a person arrested under a warrant must be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours.

4. Right to consult Legal Practitioner -  Art 22 (1) - For conducting a fair trial it is absolutely necessary that the accused person is able to consult with a legal practitioner whom he trusts. Second part of Article 22(1) gives this fundamental right to an arrested person. It says that no person who is arrested shall be denied the right to consult, and to be defended by, a legal practitioner of his choice. However, this does not mean that the State must provide a legal practitioner of the person's choice. It is up to the arrested person to contact and appoint a such a legal practitioner. The State's responsibility is only to ensure that he is not prevented from doing so.

The same right is also provide by CrPC under Section 303, which says, "Any person accused of offence before a Criminal Court or against whom proceedings are instituted under this Code, may of right be defended by a pleader of his choice."

5. Right to free legal aid -  Art 21 and Section 304 - A person who does not have the means to hire a legal practitioner is unable to defend himself appropriately. This casts a cloud on the fairness of the trial. Therefore, Section 304 provides that where, in a trial before the Court of Session, the accused is not represented by a pleader, and where appears to the Court that the accused has not sufficient means to engage a pleader, the Court shall assign a pleader for his defense at the expense of the State. In Khatri (II) vs State of Bihar 1981 SCC, Supreme Court has also held that access to a legal practitioner is implicit in Article 21, which gives fundamental right to life and liberty. The state is under constitutional mandate to provide free legal aid to an indigent accused person and this constitutional obligation arises not only when the trial is commenced but also when the person is first produced before a magistrate and also when he is remanded from time to time. In Suk Das vs Union Territory of Arunachal Pradesh 1986, SCC, SC has held that non-compliance of this requirement or failure to inform the accused of this right would vitiate the trial entailing setting aside of the conviction and sentence. The right of an accused person to consult his lawyer begins from the moment of his arrest. The consultation with the lawyer may be within the presence of a police officer but not within the police officer's hearing. SC also held that it is the duty on all courts and magistrates to inform the indegent person about his right to get free legal aid.

6. Right to be informed about the right to inform of his arrest to his relative or friend -
In order to ensure a fair trial and to improve people-police relationship, the Supreme Court, in Joginder Kumar vs State of UP 1994, formulated the rules that make it mandatory on the police officer to inform one friend, relative, or any other person of the accused person's choice, about his arrest. These rules were later incorporated in CrPC under section 50 A in 2005.

Section 50 A (1) provides that once the arrested person is brought to the police station, the police officer must inform a relative or a friend, or any other person of the arrested person's choice, about his arrest. He must also tell the place where the arrested person has been kept. This is a very important step in ensuring justice with the arrested person because this allows the arrested person and his well wishers to take appropriate legal steps to secure his release. However, all this will amount to nothing if the arrested person does not even know about this very critical right. Thus, Section 50 A (2) provides that the police officer must inform the arrested person of this right. Further, as per Section 50 A (3) he must note down the name and address of the person who was informed about the arrest. To make sure that there is no violation of this right, section 50 A (4)  makes it a duty of the magistrate to verify that the provisions of this section were complied with.

7. Right to be examined by a medical practitioner - While Section 53 allows a police officer to get the accused examined by a registered medical practitioner, Section 54(1) gives the accused a right to get himself examined by a registered medical practitioner. Section 54 (1) says thus, "When a person who is arrested, whether on a charge or otherwise, alleges, at the time when he is produced before a Magistrate or at any time during, the period of his detention in custody that the examination of his body will afford evidence which will disprove the commission by him of any offence or which Magistrate shall, if requested by the arrested person so to do direct the examination of' the body of such person by a registered medical practitioner unless the Magistrate considers that the request is made for the purpose of vexation or delay or for defeating the ends of Justice". While Section 53 is meant to aid the police in investigation, Section 54(1) is meant for the accused to prove his innocence. This right can also be used by the accused to prove that he was subjected to physical injury.

In Sheela Barse vs State of Maharashtra 1983 SCC, SC held that the arrested accused person must be informed by the magistrate about his right to be medically examined in terms of Section 54(1).

However, it is not clear in the section whether the medical person must be of the choice of the accused or shall be appointed by the magistrate. The section is also silent on who will bear the expense of the examination.

Non compliance to this important provision prompted Delhi High court to issue directions that make it obligatory for the magistrates to ask the arrested person as to whether he has any complaint of torture or maltreatment in police custody.

Consequences of non-compliance with the provisions relating to arrest -
In general, non-compliance does not void a trial. Just because any provision relating to arrest was not complied with does not affect whether the accused is guilty or not. However, the violation will be material in case the accused is prosecuted on the charge of resistance to or escape from lawful custody.
Further, everybody has a right to defend himself against unlawful arrest and a person can exercise this right under Section 96 to 106 of IPC and he will not be liable for any injury caused due to it. Also, a person who is making an illegal arrest is guilty of wrongful confinement and also exposes himself  to damages in a civil suit.
If a person who has an authority to arrest, arrests a person with full knowledge that the arrest is illegal, he will be liable to be prosecuted under Section 220 of IPC. Similarly, any private person who does not have an authority to arrest, arrests a person with full knowledge that the arrest is illegal, can be prosecuted under Section 342 of IPC for wrongful confinement.
A person making illegal arrest also exposes himself to civil suit of false imprisonment.

It is important to note that the provisions regarding arrest cannot be by-passed by alleging that there was no arrest but only an informal detention. Informal detention or restraint of any kind by the police is not authorized by law.