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Arrest without Warrant ......


  • Usually whenever police arrest a person charged with any crime, they must produce a warrant of arrest signed by the magistrate or any other competent authority. Such a warranty is normally issued in the following circumstances:

    • Against the accused in an offence (issued by the magistrate)
    • By a detaining authority under a preventive detention law.

      (by the government or District Magistrate or other competent authorities under law)

    • When a person is sentenced by a court he is arrested for talking him to prison.

    • Warrant issued against a witness to enforce attendance in court.
    When can the police arrest without warrant?
  • Under the law, any police officer may arrest a person without a warrant under the following circumstances. Any person

    • Who is accused of a cognizable offence
    • Found with implements of house breaking without lawful excuse
    • Who is a proclaimed offender
    • Found to be in possession of stolen property
    • Who obstructs police in discharge of their duties
    • Who escaped from lawful custody
    • Who is a deserter from the Armed Forces
    • Who committed a punishable offence outside India
    • Who is a released convict violating court orders
    • For whose arrest a lawful request is received from another police officer.

    • Taking precautions to conceal his presence with a view to committing a cognizable offence

    • Who is a habitual offender
    • Who is desperate and dangerous, and is a hazard to the community
    • Who committed a non-cognizable offence, but refuses to give his name and residence or gives false information

    • Who has design of committing cognizable offence, and the offence cannot be prevented without arrest.

    When can a private person arrest another person.
  • Sometimes, even citizens can arrest a person and hand him over to the police in the following cases:

    • If a person commits a non-bailable and cognizable offence
    • If a person is a proclaimed offender

  • In such cases of citizen's arrest, the person arrested must be handed over to the nearest police officer or police station at the earliest.

    Arrest by a Magistrate
  • When any offence is committed in the presence of a judicial or executive magistrate, then the magistrate can himself arrest or order the arrest of the offender, and commit him to custody or release on bail as per law. A magistrate can also arrest a person in his presence, if he is competent to issue a warrant for his arrest.

  • Any arrest other than under the circumstances explained above is illegal.

  • All arrested persons must be produced before the court or magistrate within 24 hours after arrest.

  • If the person is arrested without warrant for a bailable offence, then the police officer shall release him on bail. Such a person can also be released on executing a bond without sureties for his appearance when needed.

  • There are detailed legal safeguards to prevent abuse of powers by police or others at the time of arrest or while in custody. Citizens should have the basic knowledge to be able to protect themselves or those around them against abuse of power. (please see Chapter 7.4 for details)

  • If you need any assistance, please contact your local Lok Satta unit or district branch or apex unit for information and guidance.

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