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HC: All policemen in Maharashtra should be aware of arrest norms by August 30

The court also warned that “failure to abide by the said guidelines, shall invite disciplinary action against the said officer as well as the superiors.”

Bombay High Court, procedure for arrest, issued by DGP,A single-judge bench of Justice Bharati H Dangre last week passed the directions while hearing an anticipatory bail plea filed by a man booked by Thane Police under Section 498-A (domestic violence) of the Indian Penal Code. (File Photo)

THE BOMBAY High Court recently directed that every police personnel in the state should be aware of the recent guidelines issued by the Director General of Police (DGP) about the procedures to be followed during arrests and recording reasons for the same by August 30.

The court also warned that “failure to abide by the said guidelines, shall invite disciplinary action against the said officer as well as the superiors.”

A single-judge bench of Justice Bharati H Dangre last week passed the directions while hearing an anticipatory bail plea filed by a man booked by Thane Police under Section 498-A (domestic violence) of the Indian Penal Code.

The HC said that the respective Commissioners of Police (CP), Superintendents of Police (SP) and Sub-Divisional Police Officers (SDPOs) must ensure that the guidelines are circulated at all police stations by the Station In-Charge and the Investigating Officers (IO). The guidelines should also be published on the government websites and the police department’s website.

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The bench noted that the DGP on July 20 issued the standing order “in the backdrop of a plethora of arrests, guidelines issued by the Supreme Court, failure to implement the said guidelines and it was found necessary to consolidate and reiterate the procedure for arrest by police officers in the state.”

Additional Public Prosecutor S V Gavand for the state placed on record the guidelines on ‘law of arrest’, which referred to past Supreme Court verdicts in Arnesh Kumar v State of Bihar (2014) and Satender Kumar Antil v CBI (2021) cases.

The DGP order said that if the IO decides to arrest the accused after assessing the adequacy of evidentiary material, he or she shall record for making or even for not making an arrest. The guidelines said that once a decision of arrest is made by the IO, he or she has to comply with the procedure for arresting persons according to the CrPC and past court judgements.

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The IOs have to ensure that an intimation is sent to the magistrate within the prescribed time and if the decision is taken not to arrest an accused or the deadline is duly extended by the CP or SP of that area. The notice of appearance should also be served to the accused within the prescribed time.

The HC noted that the CP, SP and SDPO are responsible for compliance with guidelines and bringing them to IO’s notice.

According to the guidelines, they can extend the deadline to communicate the IO’s decision to the magistrate of not arresting an accused and are also empowered to extend the time for issuing an appearance notice for the same accused whom the IO has decided not to arrest.

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The court noted that the guidelines “provide for an active role for the superior officers for ensuring that the arrests are justified and that the procedure laid down is followed.” It further stated that IOs are liable for disciplinary action or contempt of court for non-compliance with the said guidelines and supervisory officers can also be held liable.

The bench directed the IO in the present case to issue a notice for appearance to the applicant under Section 41-A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which has to be complied with by the applicant and disposed of the plea.

First published on: 14-08-2022 at 01:27:17 am
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