Sunday, 14 June 2020

Procedure to be followed by Magistrate if police fail to comply directions given by Supreme court in the case of Arnesh Kumar Vs State of Bihar

Before a Magistrate authorises detention Under Section 167, Code of Criminal Procedure, he has to be first satisfied that the arrest made is legal and in accordance with law and all the constitutional rights of the person arrested is satisfied. If the arrest effected by the police officer does not satisfy the requirements of Section 41 of the Code, Magistrate is duty bound not to authorise his further detention and release the accused. In other words, when an accused is produced before the Magistrate, the police officer effecting the arrest is required to furnish to the Magistrate, the facts, reasons and its conclusions for arrest and the Magistrate in turn is to be satisfied that condition precedent for arrest Under Section 41 Code of Criminal Procedure has been satisfied and it is only thereafter that he will authorise the detention of an accused. The Magistrate before authorising detention will record its own satisfaction, may be in brief but the said satisfaction must reflect from its order. It shall never be based upon the ipse dixit of the police officer, for example, in case the police officer considers the arrest necessary to prevent such person from committing any further offence or for proper investigation of the case or for preventing an accused from tampering with evidence or making inducement etc., the police officer shall furnish to the Magistrate the facts, the reasons and materials on the basis of which the police officer had reached its conclusion. Those shall be perused by the Magistrate while authorising the detention and only after recording its satisfaction in writing that the Magistrate will authorise the detention of the accused. In fine, when a suspect is arrested and produced before a Magistrate for authorising detention, the Magistrate has to address the question whether specific reasons have been recorded for arrest and if so, prima facie those reasons are relevant and secondly a reasonable conclusion could at all be reached by the police officer that one or the other conditions stated above are attracted. To this limited extent the Magistrate will make judicial scrutiny.

10. Another provision i.e. Section 41A Code of Criminal Procedure aimed to avoid unnecessary arrest or threat of arrest looming large on accused requires to be vitalised. Section 41A as inserted by Section 6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008 (Act 5 of 2009), which is relevant in the context reads as follows:

41A. Notice of appearance before police officer.-(1) The police officer shall, in all cases where the arrest of a person is not required under the provisions of Sub-section (1) of Section 41, issue a notice directing the person against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed a cognizable offence, to appear before him or at such other place as may be specified in the notice.

(2) Where such a notice is issued to any person, it shall be the duty of that person to comply with the terms of the notice.

(3) Where such person complies and continues to comply with the notice, he shall not be arrested in respect of the offence referred to in the notice unless, for reasons to be recorded, the police officer is of the opinion that he ought to be arrested.

(4) Where such person, at any time, fails to comply with the terms of the notice or is unwilling to identify himself, the police officer may, subject to such orders as may have been passed by a competent Court in this behalf, arrest him for the offence mentioned in the notice.

11. Aforesaid provision makes it clear that in all cases where the arrest of a person is not required Under Section 41(1), Code of Criminal Procedure, the police officer is required to issue notice directing the accused to appear before him at a specified place and time. Law obliges such an accused to appear before the police officer and it further mandates that if such an accused complies with the terms of notice he shall not be arrested, unless for reasons to be recorded, the police office is of the opinion that the arrest is necessary. At this stage also, the condition precedent for arrest as envisaged Under Section 41 Code of Criminal Procedure has to be complied and shall be subject to the same scrutiny by the Magistrate as aforesaid.


13. Our endeavour in this judgment is to ensure that police officers do not arrest accused unnecessarily and Magistrate do not authorise detention casually and mechanically. In order to ensure what we have observed above, we give the following direction:

(1) All the State Governments to instruct its police officers not to automatically arrest when a case Under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code is registered but to satisfy themselves about the necessity for arrest under the parameters laid down above flowing from Section 41, Code of Criminal Procedure;

(2) All police officers be provided with a check list containing specified sub-clauses Under Section 41(1)(b)(ii);

(3) The police officer shall forward the check list duly filed and furnish the reasons and materials which necessitated the arrest, while forwarding/producing the accused before the Magistrate for further detention;

(4) The Magistrate while authorising detention of the accused shall peruse the report furnished by the police officer in terms aforesaid and only after recording its satisfaction, the Magistrate will authorise detention;

(5) The decision not to arrest an accused, be forwarded to the Magistrate within two weeks from the date of the institution of the case with a copy to the Magistrate which may be extended by the Superintendent of police of the district for the reasons to be recorded in writing;

(6) Notice of appearance in terms of Section 41A of Code of Criminal Procedure be served on the accused within two weeks from the date of institution of the case, which may be extended by the Superintendent of Police of the District for the reasons to be recorded in writing;

(7) Failure to comply with the directions aforesaid shall apart from rendering the police officers concerned liable for departmental action, they shall also be liable to be punished for contempt of court to be instituted before High Court having territorial jurisdiction.

(8) Authorising detention without recording reasons as aforesaid by the judicial Magistrate concerned shall be liable for departmental action by the appropriate High Court.

14. We hasten to add that the directions aforesaid shall not only apply to the cases Under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code or Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, the case in hand, but also such cases where offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be less than seven years or which may extend to seven years; whether with or without fine.


IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Criminal Appeal No. 1277 of 2014

Decided On: 02.07.2014

Arnesh Kumar  Vs.  State of Bihar*

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
C.K. Prasad and Pinaki Chandra Ghose, JJ.


Citation: AIR 2014 SC 2756
Read full judgment here: Click here
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