The Bombay High Court recently observed that an arrest “brings humiliation and curtails freedom” and told courts to take “great care” while ordering the arrest of an individual.
Justice A M Badar said, “Arrest cannot be made in a routine manner and without there being any cause. Arrest curtails the liberty of an individual apart from violating his fundamental right, as envisaged by Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It brings humiliation and curtails freedom. Therefore, great care is required to be taken while ordering arrest of an individual.”
The order came in response to a petition filed by one Rakeshkumar Wadhawan, who had sought quashing of an order passed by the Judicial Magistrate First Class in Vasai, on June 12. The magistrate had ordered issuance of a non-bailable warrant against Wadhawan and other accused. The petitioner has also sought his release on bail.
According to the prosecution, after a case was registered with Mandvi police, Wadhavan was summoned at his office on June 11 at 6 pm to appear before the magistrate court the next day. On June 12, Wadhavan’s lawyer appeared before the court and submitted a medical certificate, stating that his client was unable to attend court due to health reasons. The court, however, passed an order directing the issuance of a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Wadhavan and other accused, holding that they were absent in court despite service of summons.
Wadhavan’s lawyer told the court that the final report of the investigating officer had stated that Wadhavan had appeared before him and cooperated with the investigation, and the need was found by the investigating officer to arrest him. The assistant public prosecutor, however, told court that the NBW was rightly issued by the magistrate court.
Justice Badar, in his order, noted that record showed that summons for appearance on June 12, was in fact served at the office of Wadhavan after office hours on June 11. “Thus, summons was not served well in advance in order to enable the applicant to appear before the learned trial court in response thereto,” the order stated. The court also took into account Wadhavan’s medical reports, which showed that he was advised complete rest for a few weeks. Though the warrant was served late the previous day, Wadhavan’s lawyer’s was present before the court on the date of the summons, the court noted.
“In this view of the matter, in order to prevent abuse of process of the court, the impugned order dated 12/06/2018 so far as it relates to the present applicant needs to be quashed and set aside,” the order read.