Arrest explained


(Section 46 of CrPC : This section prescribes the mode of arrest.)

“Arrest in the legal sense under CrPC means taking into custody of another person under authority of law for the purpose of holding and detaining him to answer a criminal charge and preventing the commission of an offence.”

The words ‘arrest‘ and ‘custody‘ are not synonyms.

Essential Bare Acts

In every arrest there is custody but vice versa is not true.

“According to this section, an arrest of a person consists (except in the case of submission), of the actual seizure or touching of the body of a person with a view to his detention.”

In the case of Birendra Kr Rai v UOI, 1992 Supreme Court held that it is not necessary to handcuff a person but could be completed even by spoken words, if a person submits to the custody.

Section 50 : Arrest without warrant

The provisions of this section are mandatory. Where a person is arrested without any warrant he should be immediately informed to the particulars of the offence and ground of his arrest and where the offence is bailable, it is his right to be released on bail.

Section 51 : This section makes provision regarding search of the arrested person and making an inventory of the articles found upon him.

Kasturi Lal v State of UP, AIR 1965
It was held that when a person is arrested on suspicion that he was carrying stolen property and the property found on search is seized, such seizure shall be reported to a magistrate.

Mahadev v State of UP
Taking of signature of person searched on the memo of recovery list is not required by this section. And if the recovery memo is not signed by the accused, then search is not illegal.

Section 53 : This section provides that a medical examination will be done at the request of police officer not below the rank of S.I (Sub Inspector)

Law Notes List

Anil A Lokhande v State of Maharashtra 1981
Supreme Court held that if it is necessary for doing justice then police officer or court can exercise such power.

Here examination means-
Examination of blood, blood stains, semen, swabs in case of sexual offences, sputum, hair samples, sweat, finger nail clippings by the use of modern and scientific techniques.
(Swab- an absorbent pad or piece of material used in surgery and medicine for cleaning wounds, applying medication, or taking specimens.
Sputum- a mixture of saliva and mucus coughed up from the respiratory tract)

With the scientific advancements in India, DNA Profiling also comes under the ambit of examination under section 53.

Section 53A : Examination of person accused of rape by medical practitioner (on request of Police Officer)

On the request of police officer not below the rank of sub inspector, the examination may be conducted by government medical practitioner but if the government medical practitioner is not on the radius of 16 km from the place where the offence is committed, the examination may be conducted by any medical practitioner. (Read from bare act section 53A)

Section 54 : Examination of arrested person by medical practitioner at the request of the arrested person. (As a Right)

This section confers on the arrested person, the right to have his medical examination done.

Important Sections of Bare Acts

DJ Vaghela v Kanti Bhai Jetha Bhai
This section protects the arrested person from physical torture and maltreatment in police custody.

Sheela Barse v State of Maharashtra (Important case)
Supreme Court has warned the lower courts not to adopt a casual approach to custodial torture.

Section 57 : This section says that a person detained in custody must be presented before the nearest magistrate within 24 hours of his arrest. The period of 24 hours does not include the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the magistrate.

The purpose of this section is to ensure that accused is presented before a magistrate competent to try with minimum possible delay.

D.K Basu v State of West Bengal AIR 1996

Date of judgement- 18-12-1996
Justice- Kuldeep Singh, A.S Anand

In this case Supreme Court issued a list of eleven guidelines in all cases of arrest and detention. These guidelines are as follows:-

1. The police officer who is going to arrest a person should bear accurate, visible and clear identification and name tag with designation. The particulars of all police officers/constables who handle interrogation of the arrestee must be recorded in the register.

2. The police officer who is going to arrest shall prepare a memo of the arrest and the time of the arrest and such memo will be attested by at-least one witness who may be either the member of the family of the arrestee or a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. The memo will be signed by the arrestee and shall contain the time and date of arrest.

3. A person who has been arrested or detained is entitled to give information to his friend or relative or other person known to him. (within 12 hours)

4. The time, place of arrest, venue of custody must be notified by the police to the friend or relative or known person.

5. The person arrested must be made aware of his right.

6. An entry must be made in the case diary at the place of detention regarding the arrest of the person and also mention the next friend of the arrestee who has been informed of the arrest.

7. The arrestee should, where he requests be also examined at the time of his arrest and major and minor injuries, if present on his body be recorded at that time.

8. The arrestee should be subjected to the medical examination by a trained doctor. (section 54)

9. Copies of all the documents including the memo of arrest should be sent to the magistrate for his record.

10. The arrestee may be permitted to meet his lawyer during the interrogation, not throughout the interrogation.

11. A police control room should be provided at all districts and state head quarter, where information regarding the arrest and place of custody of arrestee shall be communicated by officer arresting within 12 hours of the arrest and it should be displayed on a notice board.

Another important case on police custody is Nilabati Behra v State of Odisha.

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