Code of Criminal Procedure Criminal Law LAW EXPLAINED
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The main objective of this article is to discuss the concept of arrest given under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. Basically the term arrest stands for the apprehension or taking into custody of a person by a legal authority or by the apparent legal authority for the purpose of holding and detaining that person which causes him/her the deprivation of liberty. In addition, it must be noticed that “each compulsion or physical limitation is not arrested however when the restriction is total and deprivation of liberty is complete or finished, it amounts to arrest.

Concept and Meaning of the term Arrest under CrPC

Under Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), section 46 prescribes the mode of arrest with or without a warrant. Under this, the total procedure been referenced is related to arrest an individual who committed any offence. The essential aim of criminal law is to shield the general public from criminals and from law-breakers. In this way, criminal law comprises both substantive and procedural law. Chapter V of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 deals with the arrest of people under Sections 41 to Section 60.

There are some case laws whose judgments gave the exact meaning of the term arrest as given under CrPC.

  • In the case of R. Chari v. State of Uttar Pradesh[1], the apex court characterized arrest as “the act of being taken into custody to be officially accused of a crime”. The court held that from a Constitutional perspective, it implies the seizure of an individual.
  • Likewise, in the case of State of Punjab v. Ajaib Singh[2], the court held that arrest is the “physical limitation put upon an abducted individual during the process of recouping and bringing that individual into legal custody with or with no claim or allegation of any real or suspected commission of the offence”.

Purpose of Arrest

The mere purpose behind arrest is to bring an arrestee under the watchful eye of a court and to make sure about the administration of the law. An arrest additionally serves the role of informing society that an individual has been carrying out crime and to prevent him from the same in the future. Basically, it serves as a deterrent for the others in the society so that everyone is aware of the punishments before committing the crimes.

Additionally, it very well may be seen that the Code permits arrest on the apprehension of a cognizable offence too. In the case of Rajesh Raut v. Territory of Maharashtra[3], it was held that where an arrestee has a preparation to commit a cognizable offence influencing the harmony and order in that place, his detainment for specific days ordered by the Magistrate would be legitimate and justified.

Rights of an Arrested Person

There are certain rights that are available to the arrested persons as well. This is so because everyone is equal in the eyes of the law while serving justice. The rights are as follows:

  • Right to Silence: The first and foremost right available to the arrested persons is the right to silence. This right states that it is upon the accused to stay quiet or not to say anything in his own favor or except if his lawyer is counseled, or he is introduced before the Magistrate. This law is fundamentally protection against implication before any of the convictions being forced. It is basically concerned about confession. Even the Justice Malimath Committee composed that “it was basically the option to the right to refuse and incriminate oneself without an appropriate charge.”
  • Right to know the grounds of arrest: The accused have the right to be informed about the grounds of his arrest. As indicated by Section 50(1) of Cr.P.C., an accused who is being arrested by any police officer, with no warrant, has the right to know the full specifics of offence for which he is being arrested, as it’s the evident obligation of the police officer to inform the accused regarding the points of interest.
  • Right to get bailed: It is to be seen that any individual who is to be arrested without a warrant and who is blamed for a bailable offence that he be informed by the police officer about his right in regards to being released on bail by payment of the guarantee sum. Two types of offences are there- Bailable and Non-bailable offence.
  • Rights at Trial: This right involves two rights-
  • Right to a Fair Trial– Right to equality has been conceded under article 14 of the constitution. It has been given under the Code of Criminal Procedure that for a trial to be fair, it must be an open court trial. So as to prevent mystery planning and obtaining convictions, this provision has been structured. The trial can be held in a camera also in certain remarkable conditions.
  • Right to a Speedy Trial– Notwithstanding this right not being referenced in the constitution, the Supreme Court in the case of Hussainara Khatoon v. the State of Bihar[4] has made it compulsory that the examination in the trial must be led “as speedily as could be expected under the circumstances.” In cases, where the maximum punishment to be forced is 2 years when the accused is arrested, it is significant that the examination for the trial gets finished within the period of six months or is halted after an order from a magistrate has been received, except if the Magistrate gets and acknowledges, with his reasons in writing, that there is cause to extend the investigation.
  • Right of an arrested person to be taken before the Magistrate without delay: It is the obligation of the authorised official making an arrest that the arrestee be brought before a judicial officer immediately, regardless of how the arrest is made with or without warrant. Alongside this provision, it must be seen that the arrested person ought to be taken and kept in a police station just and no other spot. The equivalent has been expressed in Sections 56 and 76 of CrPC. In case the police officials fails to produce the arrested person before the magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest, then the police officials will be held guilty of wrongful detainment.
  • Right to Free Legal Aid: The Supreme Court on account of in Khatri(II) v. the State of Bihar held that the state is under a constitutional obligation as is certain in article 21 of the constitution also to give free legal ais to a needy denounced individual . It is imperative to take note of the way that this right begins at the time of trial and proceeds till the accused is produced the first time before the magistrate and furthermore when remanded every now and then.

Misuse of the Power of Arrest

If something has advantages, then it has some disadvantages as well. Same is the case with the power of arrest. In spite of all the laid procedures and rules, abuse of the power of arrest and custodial violence isn’t novel in India. In the case of People’s Union for Democratic Rights v. Police Commissioner, Delhi[5], the police officers arrested some people from the town and constrained them to accomplish certain work at the police station. On requesting compensation, these people were stripped and beaten up. Similarly, in Prem Shankar Shukla v. Delhi Administration[6], the petitioner moved the Supreme Court contending that he and certain other detainees were forced to wear cuffs during custody. These instances of the abuse of the power of arrest shake the entire meaning and concept of the arrest.


From the above, it can be concluded or said that even our Indian Constitution recognizes the right to personal liberty under Article 21. Also, it is given in the Constitution that the same right can be infringed only by a fair and reasonable procedure established by law. Thus, the concept of arrest related to it has a special significance.


[1] AIR 1951 SC 207.

[2] AIR 1953 SC 10.

[3] 2003 Cri.L.J 134.

[4] (1980) 1 SCC 98.

[5] (1989) 4 SCC 730.

[6] (1980) 3 SCC 526.

This blog is written by Rashi Srivastava, Amity University.

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