IN CASE OF ARREST PLEASE ENSURE THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES
Supreme Court Guidelines
GUIDELINES LAID DOWN BY THE HON'BLE SUPREME COURT IN D.K. BASU CASE
The Hon'ble Supreme Court, in
D.K. Basu Vs State of West
Bengal , has laid down specific guidelines required to be
followed while making arrests.
THE HON'BLE SUPREME COURT
The principles laid down by
the Hon'ble Supreme Court are given hereunder:
The police personnel carrying out the arrest and handling the
interrogation of the arrestee should bear accurate, visible and clear
identification and name tags with their designations. The particulars of
all such police personnel who handle interrogation of the arrestee
should bear accurate, visible and clear identification and name tags
with their designation. The particular of all such personnel who handle
interrogation of the arrestee must be recorded in a register.
That the police officer carrying out the arrest shall prepare a memo of
arrest at the time of arrest and such memo shall be attested by at least
one witness, who may be either a member of the family of the arrestee or
a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. It
shall also be counter signed by the arrestee and shall contain the time
and date of arrest.
A person who has been arrested or detained and is being held in custody
in a police station or interrogation centre or other lock up, shall be
entitled to have one friend or relative or other person known to him or
having interest in his welfare being informed, as soon as practicable,
that he has been arrested and is being detained at the particular place,
unless the attesting witness of the memo of arrest is himself such a
friend or a relative of the arrestee.
The time, place of arrest and venue of custody of an arrestee must be
notified by the police where the next friend or relative of the arrestee
lives outside the district or town through the Legal Aids Organization
in the District and the police station of the area concerned
telegraphically within a period of 8 to 12 hours after the arrest.
The person arrested must be made aware of his right to have someone
informed of his arrest or detention as soon as he is put under arrest or
An entry must be made in the diary at the place of detention regarding
the arrest of the person which shall also disclosed the name of the next
friend of the person who has been informed of the arrest and the names
land particulars of the police officials in whose custody the arrestee
The arrestee should, where he so request, be also examines at the time
of his arrest and major and minor injuries, if any present on his /her
body, must be recorded at that time. The Inspector Memo' must be signed
both by the arrestee and the police officer effecting the arrest and its
copy provided to the arrestee.
The arrestee should be subjected to medical examination by the trained
doctor every 48 hours during his detention In custody by a doctor on the
panel of approved doctor appointed by Director, Health Services of the
concerned State or Union Territory, Director, Health Services should
prepare such a panel for all Tehsils and Districts as well.
Copies of all the documents including the memo of arrest, referred to
above, should be sent to the Magistrate for his record.
The arrestee may be permitted to meet his lawyer during interrogation,
though not throughout the interrogation.
A police control room should be provided at all district and State
headquarters where information regarding the arrest and the place of
custody of the arrestee shall be communicated by the officer causing the
arrest, within 12 hours of effecting the arrest and at the police
control room it should be displayed on a conspicuous notice board.
GUIDELINES REGARDING ARREST
(National Human Rights Commission)
Need for Guidelines
Arrest involves restriction of
liberty of a person arrested and therefore, infringes the basic human
rights of liberty. Nevertheless the Constitution of India as well as
International human rights law recognise the power of the State to arrest
any person as a part of its primary role of maintaining law and order. The
Constitution requires a just, fair and reasonable procedure established by
law under which alone such deprivation of liberty is permissible. Although
Article 22(1) of the Constitution provides that every person placed under
arrest shall be informed as soon as may be the ground of arrest and shall
not be denied the right to consult and be defended by a lawyer of his
choice and S.50 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr. PC) requires
a police officer arresting any person to
ď forthwith communicate to him full particulars of the offence for which
he is arrested or other grounds for such arrestĒ. in actual practice these
requirements are observed more in the breach. Likewise, the requirement of
production of the arrested person before the court promptly which is
mandated both under the Constitution [Article22(2)] and the Cr. PC
(Section 57] is also not adhered to strictly.
A large number of complaints
pertaining to Human Rights violations are in the area of abuse of police
powers, particularly those of arrest and detention. It has, therefore,
become necessary, with a view to narrowing the gap between law and
practice, to prescribe guidelines regarding arrest even while at the same
time not unduly curtailing the power of the police to effectively maintain
and enforce law and order and proper investigation.
The power to arrest without a warrant should be exercised only after a
reasonable satisfaction is reached, after some investigation, as to the
genuineness and bonafides of a complaint and a reasonable belief as to
both the personís complicity as well as the need to effect arrest. [Joginder
Kumarís case- (1994) 4 SCC 260).
Arrest cannot be justified merely on the existence of power, as a matter
of law, to arrest without a warrant in a cognizable case.
After Joginder Kumarís pronouncement of the Supreme Court the question
54 whether the power of arrest has been exercised reasonably or not is
clearly a justifiable one.
Arrest in cognizable cases
may be considered justified in one or other of the following
The case involves a grave offence like murder, dacoity, robbery, rape
etc. and it is necessary to arrest the suspect to prevent him from
escaping or evading the process of law.
The suspect is given to violent behaviour and is likely to commit
The suspect requires to be prevented from destroying evidence or
interfering with witnesses or warning other suspects who have not yet
The suspect is a habitual offender who, unless arrested, is likely to
commit similar or further offences. [3rd Report of National Police
Except in heinous offences:
As mentioned above, an arrest must be avoided if a police officer issues
notice to the person to attend the police station and not leave the
station without permission. (see Joginder Kumarís case (1994) SCC 260).
The power to arrest must be avoided where the offences are bailable
unless there is a strong apprehension of the suspect absconding .
Police officers carrying out an arrest or interrogation should bear
clear identification and name tags with designations. The particulars of
police personnel carrying out the arrest or interrogation should be
recorded contemporaneously, in a register kept at the police station.
As a rule use of force should be avoided while effecting arrest.
However, in case of forcible resistance to arrest, minimum force to
overcome such resistance may be used. However, care must be taken to
ensure that injuries to the person being arrested, visible or otherwise,
The dignity of the person being arrested should be protected. Public
display or parading of the person arrested should not be permitted at
Searches of the person arrested must be done with due respect to the
dignity of the person, without force or aggression and with care for the
personís right to privacy. Searches of women should only be made by
other women with strict regard to decency. (S.51(2) Cr.PC.) 55
The use of handcuffs or leg chains should be avoided and if at all, it
should be resorted to strictly in accordance with the law repeatedly
explained and mandated in judgement of the Supreme Court in Prem Shanker
Shukla v. Delhi Adminstration [(1980) 3 SCC 526] and Citizen for
Democracy v. State of Assam [(1995) 3 SCC 743].
As far as is practicable women police officers should be associated
where the person or persons being arrested are women. The arrest of
women between sunset and sunrise should be avoided.
Where children or juveniles are sought to be arrested, no force or
beatings should be administered under any circumstances. Police
Officers, may for this purpose, associate respectable citizens so that
the children or juveniles are not terrorised and minimal coercion is
Where the arrest is without a warrant, the person arrested has to be
immediately informed of the grounds of arrest in a language which he or
she understands. Again, for this purpose, the police, if necessary may
take the help of respectable citizens. These grounds must have already
been recorded in writing in police records. The person arrested should
be shown the written reasons as well and also given a copy on demand.
The arrested person can, on a request made by him or her, demand that a
friend, relative or other person known to him be informed of the fact of
his arrest and the place of his detention. The police should record in a
register the name of the person so informed. [Joginder Kumarís case
If a person is arrested for a bailable offence, the police officer
should inform him of his entilement to be released on bail so that he
may arrange for sureties. (S.50(2) Cr.PC.)
Apart from informing the person arrested of the above rights, the police
should also inform him of his right to consult and be defended by a
lawyer of his choice. He should also be informed that he is entitled to
free legal aid at state expense [D.K. Basuís case (1997) 1 SCC].
When the person arrested is brought to the police station, he should, if
he makes a request in this regard, be given prompt medical assistance.
He must be informed of this right. Where the police officer finds that
the arrested person is in a condition where he is unable to make such
request but is in need of medical help, he should promptly arrange for
the same. This must also be recorded contemporaneously in a register.
The female requesting for medical help should
be examined only by a female registered medical practitioner. (S.53
Information regarding the arrest and the place of detention should be
communicated by the police officer effecting the arrest without any
delay to the police Control Room and District / State Headquarters.
There must be a monitoring mechanism working round the clock.
As soon as the person is arrested, police officer effecting the arrest
shall make a mention of the existence or non-existence of any injury(s)
on the person of the arrestee in the register of arrest. If any injuries
are found on the person of the arrestee, full description and other
particulars as to the manner in which the injuries were caused should be
mentioned in the register, which entry shall also be signed by the
police officer and the arrestee. At the time of release of the arrestee,
a certificate to the above effect under the signature of the police
shall be issued to the arrestee.
If the arrestee has been remanded to police custody under the orders of
the court, the arrestee should be subjected to medical examination by a
trained Medical Officer every 48 hours during his detention in custody
by a doctor on the panel of approved doctors appointed by Director,
Health Services of the concerned State or Union Territory. At the time
of his release from the police custody, the arrestee shall be got
medically examined and a certificate shall be issued to him stating
therein the factual position of the existence or nonexistence of any
injuries on his person.
The person under arrest must be produced before the appropriate court
within 24 hours of the arrest (Ss 56 and 57 Cr.PC).
The person arrested should be permitted to meet his lawyer at any time
during the interrogation.
The interrogation should be conducted in a clearly identifiable place,
which has been notified for this purpose by the Government. The place
must be accessible and the relatives or friend of the person arrested
must be informed of the place of interrogation taking place.
The methods of interrogation must be consistent with the recognised
rights to life, dignity and liberty and right against torture and
ENFORCEMENT OF GUIDELINES
The guidelines must be translated in as many languages as possible and
distributed to every police station. It must also be incorporated in a
handbook which should be given to every policeman.
Guidelines must receive maximum publicity in the print or other
electronic media. It should also be prominently displayed on notice
board, in more than one language, in every police station.
The police must set up a complaint redressal mechanism, which will
promptly investigate complaints of violation of guidelines and take
The notice board which displays guidelines must also indicate the
location of the complaints redressal mechanism and how that body can be
NGOs and public institutions including courts, hospitals, universities
etc., must be involved in the dissemination of these guidelines to
ensure the widest possible reach.
The functioning of the complaint redressal mechanism must be transparent
and its reports accessible.
Prompt action must be taken against errant police officers for violation
of the guidelines. This should not be limited to departmental enquiries
but also set in motion the criminal justice mechanism.
Sensitization and training of police officers is essential for effective
implementation of the guidelines