Sunday 16 May 2021

When can the Court keep the accused in house arrest U/S 167 of CRPC?

  The concept of house arrest as part of custody under Section 167 has not engaged the courts including this Court. However, when the issue has come into focus, and noticing its ingredients we have formed the view that it involves custody which falls under Section 167. {Para 150}

151. We observe that under Section 167 in appropriate cases it will be open to courts to order house arrest. As to its employment, without being exhaustive, we may indicate criteria like age, health condition and the antecedents of the accused, the nature of the crime, the need for other forms of custody and the ability to enforce the terms of the house arrest. We would also indicate under Section 309 also that judicial custody being custody ordered, subject to following the criteria, the courts will be free to employ it in deserving and suitable cases.

152. As regards post-conviction cases we would leave it open to the legislature to ponder over its employment. We have indicated the problems of overcrowding in prisons and the cost to the state in maintaining prisons.

 In the Supreme Court of India

(Before Uday U. Lalit and K.M. Joseph, JJ.) 

Gautam Navlakha  Vs National Investigation Agency 

Criminal Appeal No. 510 of 2021,

Decided on May 12, 2021

Citation: 2021 SCC OnLine SC 382

Read full Judgment here: Click here

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