When police can search a home without a warrant

Before entering a home to make an arrest, Indian police must usually obtain a warrant to arrest and answer who they are and why they want to enter. A warrant of arrest is a document issued by a government official authorising the arrest and detention of a person.

However, the police can enter without a warrant or permission to arrest or detain someone if they have reasonable grounds to believe that:

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  • They need to enter to prevent someone inside from being seriously injured or killed, or
  • There is evidence relating to a serious offence that needs to be found right away, or it will be lost or destroyed.

Further, if the policemen are in “hot pursuit” of someone they have the authority to arrest, they can enter your home without a warrant or permission. For example, they would be in hot pursuit if they were chasing someone from a crime scene and saw that person entering your home.

Furthermore, the police can also enter a home without a warrant if the police have reasonable grounds to believe there is evidence in the home, such as drugs or weapons, and they need to act quickly to prevent the evidence from being lost or destroyed.

Police in India may also enter your home for any of the reasons listed below:

  1. To provide emergency assistance to someone inside in order to protect someone’s life or safety.
  2. They have reason to believe there is a life-threatening emergency.
  3. To save people’s lives or keep them safe if they heard a gunshot inside.
  4. To prevent something from happening if they have a reasonable belief that their entry is required to stop it or to protect their or the public’s safety.
  5. To help someone who has reported a domestic attack/assault to remove their belongings safely.
  6. To keep people safe in the event of an accident.
  7. To protect people from harm if the police have reason to believe that the house contains a drug laboratory.
  8. To stop or prevent an out-of-control event or to find out who is committing an offence in connection with an out-of-control event.

Read this topic in detail: What Is the Procedure of Search by a Police Officer (Search With Warrant and Search Without Warrant)

Read Next:
1. Can a Police Officer Arrest a Soldier in India?
2. What Is Inter-State Arrest and Its Guidelines
3. What Are the Rights of a Woman During the Arrest?
4. 13 Rights and Safeguards of Arrested/Accused Person Under Indian Laws

Subhashini Parihar
WritingLaw » Law Q&A » When Can Police Search a Home Without a Warrant? Law Study Material
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