Arrest is not always a must, says Supreme Court

Source: The Hindu

Relevance: To differentiate between the right to arrest and need to arrest

Synopsis: Supreme Court (SC) mentioned that arrest provision in law does not mean that government can use power indiscriminately to crush the personal liberty

Introduction
  • Recently, the SC has held that merely because the law allows arrest, it doesn’t mean that the State can use the power indiscriminately.
  • This ends up crushing the personal liberty provided under Article 21 of the constitution.
  • Certain provisions of CrPC like section 170 (presenting accused at the time of filing the charge sheet) should not be construed as a right to arrest.
Read more: SC: Arrest should not be done as routine
When does the occasion to arrest arise?

The occasion to arrest can be understood by the following points.

  1. When custodial investigation becomes necessary.
  2. When the crime is a heinous crime.
  3. When there is the possibility of influencing the witnesses or the accused.
What should be done?
  • A distinction should be made between the power to arrest and the justification to exercise it.
  • If an arrest is made a routine, it can cause incalculable harm to reputation and self-esteem.
  • If the accused is cooperating, then there should be no compulsion for the investigating officer to arrest.
Way Forward

There is a need to strike the right balance between thorough investigation and the rights of the accused.

Terms to know

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