Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

Arrest, agencies, and criminal courts


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Mains level: Grounds of Arrest

Why in the news?

In May 2024, the Supreme Court clearly stated its stance in two important rulings that affect the rights of individuals accused of crimes.

About Supreme Court’s Decision on Detention:

  • Custody Not Necessary Before Charge Sheet: The Supreme Court ruled that the custody of an accused is not mandatory before filing a charge sheet in certain criminal cases.
  • Relief for Investigating Agencies: This decision, if adhered to by lower courts, could alleviate pressures on investigating agencies.

Filing of Charge Sheet:Siddharth v. State of Uttar Pradesh and Another (2021)

  • Non-obligatory Arrest: Section 170 of the CrPC does not require investigating officers (IOs) to arrest every accused at the time of filing the charge sheet.
  • Acceptance of Charge Sheet: Courts cannot refuse to accept charge sheets solely because the accused is not in custody if the accused has been cooperating and is unlikely to abscond.
  • Practical Issues: Despite the ruling, IOs face challenges in filing charge sheets due to court practices and logistical constraints, such as the absence of all accused or arbitrary limits on the number of charge sheets accepted daily.

Grounds of Arrest:

1.  Pankaj Bansal v. Union of India and Others (2023):

  • Written Notification Required: Grounds of arrest must be provided in writing to the accused to comply with constitutional and statutory mandates, specifically under Section 19(1) of the PMLA.

2. Prabir Purkayastha v. State (NCT of Delhi):

  • Application to UAPA: The requirement for written grounds of arrest under PMLA applies equally under UAPA.
  • Formal vs. Personal Grounds: Differentiates between formal reasons for arrest and personal grounds, necessitating detailed written reasons for arrest.

3. Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC):

  • Section 50(1) Compliance: Requires that every police officer inform the arrested person of the full particulars of the offence and grounds of arrest.
  • Arrest Memo: While arrest memos detail charges and are signed by the IO and the accused, there is no legal requirement to provide a copy to the accused.
  • Recommendation for Amendment: To comply with constitutional rights, it is suggested to amend the law to provide a copy of the arrest memo to the accused, enhancing transparency and legal support.

Conclusion: The Supreme Court’s decisions regarding the necessity of detention before charge sheet filing and the requirements for informing an accused of the grounds of arrest, highlight the implications for legal and procedural practices in India.


Mains PYQ:

Q Human right activists constantly highlight the fact that the Armed forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) is a draconian act leading to cases of human right abuses by security forces. What sections of AFSPA are opposed by the activists. Critically evaluate the requirement with reference to the view held by Apex Court.  (UPSC IAS/2015)

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