What is the news?
According to Supreme Court, arbitrary arrest should not be done when the accused is cooperating in the probe and there is no reason to believe that s/he will abscond or influence the investigation.
The court passed the order on a plea of an accused seeking anticipatory bail as an arrest memo was issued against him after a trial court in UP. The trial court took a view that unless the person was taken into custody, the chargesheet would not be taken on record in view of the Section 170 of the CrPC.
What did the SC say?
- On section 170 CrPC: The Court argued that section 170 of the CrPC does not impose an obligation on the officer-in-charge to arrest each and every accused at the time of filing of chargesheet. The word “custody” under section 170 of the CrPC does not mean police or judicial custody, but it only means presentation of the accused before the court while filing of chargesheet.
- Supreme court argued that despite comprehensive guidelines issued in 1994, routine arrest are being made and even lower courts are not adhering to such guidelines in non-bailable and cognizable offences.
- When a person should be arrested? Arrest should be done only when custodial investigation becomes necessary or if the crime is of heinous nature, if there is possibility of influencing the witnesses or accused may abscond.
- Arrest should not be made only because it is lawful and allowed under the law, because it causes incalculable harm to a person’s reputation and self-esteem.
- There is need for distinction between the existence of power to arrest and the justification for its exercise.