Under Article 22, Clauses (1) and (2) of the Indian Constitution, a person who is arrested for any offence under the ordinary law has the following rights: The first of these rights is the right to be informed ‘as soon as may be’ of the ground of arrest. This is necessary to enable the arrested person to know the grounds of his arrest and to prepare for his defence. Article 22 is in the nature of a directive to the arresting authorities to disclose the grounds of an arrest of a person immediately. The words used in Article 22(1) are ‘as soon as may be’ which means as nearly as is reasonable in the circumstances of a particular case. If the grounds of arrest are delayed, the same must be justified by ‘reasonable circumstances’
In a notable judgement of Jaginder Kumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh, 1994, the Supreme Court laid down guidelines governing the arrest of a person during the investigation. The Court has held that a person is not liable to arrest merely on the suspicion of complicity in an offence. There must be some reasonable justification in the opinion of the police officer affecting the arrest was necessary and justified.
The Court has laid down the following guidelines to be followed in making an arrest of a person:
- An arrested person is entitled, to inform, as far as is practicable that he has been arrested and where he has been detained to one friend, relative or other people who is known to him or likely to take an interest in his welfare
- The right shall be informed of by the Police officer to the arrested person
- An entry shall be required to be made in the police diary as to who was informed of the arrest.
These protections form power flow from Articles 21 and 22(a) of the Indian Constitution and must be thus, enforced strictly by the respective implementing authorities.
The court further directed that the Magistrate before whom the arrested person is produced must be satisfied himself that the requirements have complied. The court stated that these guidelines shall be followed in all cases of arrest till relevant legal positions are made in this behalf. Reasons for arrest shall also be recorded by the police officer in the case diary.
This judgement of the Supreme Court will protect innocent citizens from being arrested and harassed by the Police merely on the suspicion of complicity in an offence.
Apart from the constitutional provisions, the other provisions in this respect are:
- 50(1) of Cr.P.C. entitles every person to know the full reasons for his arrest, i.e, the full information about why he is being arrested by any police officer, he is being arrested. The same cannot be denied as the police officer is duty bound to reveal the same.
- Section 55 of Cr.P.C. provides that when a person is arrested by a subordinate police officer who is appointed by a senior, the subordinate officer must notify to the senior officer the reasons for such arrest.
Under Section 75 of the Cr. P. C., if a person is arrested under a warrant, the person arrested must be notified of the particulars of such warrant or even show the same, if needed, by the person executing it.
By Maahi Mayuri
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