SUPREME COURT OF INDIA – MATRIMONIAL DISPUTES – CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE SECTION 41 – INDIAN PENAL CODE SECTION 498-A AND DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT SECTION 4 – ANTICIPATORY BAIL AGAINST ARREST – PROVISIONS ARE USED AS WEAPONS RATHER THAN TOOL OF LAW

Supreme Court of India

Date of Judgement: 02.07.2014

Supreme Court of India-Matrimonial Disputes-Code of Criminal Procedure Section 41 – Indian Penal Code Section 498-A  and Dowry Prohibition Act Section 4- Anticipatory bail against arrest – provisions are used as weapons rather than tool of law – attitude to arrest first and then proceed with the rest is despicable – it has become a handy tool to the police officers who lack sensitivity or act with oblique motive – if the provisions of Section 41, Cr.PC which authorises the police officer to arrest an accused without an order from a Magistrate and without a warrant are scrupulously enforced, the wrong committed by the police officers intentionally or unwittingly would be reversed and the number of cases which come to the Court for grant of anticipatory bail will substantially reduce therefore the following directions are being issued:-

(1) All the State Governments to instruct its police officers not to automatically arrest when a case under Section 498-A of the IPC is registered but to satisfy themselves about the necessity for arrest under the parameters laid down above flowing from Section 41, CrPC;

(2) All police officers be provided with a check list containing specified sub-clauses under Section 41(1)(b)(ii);

(3) The police officer shall forward the check list duly filed and furnish the reasons and materials which necessitated the arrest, while forwarding/producing the accused before the Magistrate for further detention;

(4) The Magistrate while authorising detention of the accused shall peruse the report furnished by the police officer in terms aforesaid and only after recording its satisfaction, the Magistrate will authorise detention;

(5) The decision not to arrest an accused, be forwarded to the Magistrate within two weeks from the date of the institution of the case with a copy to the Magistrate which may be extended by the Superintendent of police of the district for the reasons to be recorded in writing;

(6) Notice of appearance in terms of Section 41A of CrPC be served on the accused within two weeks from the date of institution of the case, which may be extended by the Superintendent of Police of the District for the reasons to be recorded in writing;

(7) Failure to comply with the directions aforesaid shall apart from rendering the police officers concerned liable for departmental action, they shall also be liable to be punished for contempt of court to be instituted before High Court having territorial jurisdiction.

(8) Authorising detention without recording reasons as aforesaid by the judicial Magistrate concerned shall be liable for departmental action by the appropriate High Court.

That the directions aforesaid shall not only apply to the cases under Section 498-A of the I.P.C. or Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, the case in hand, but also such cases where offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be less than seven years or which may extend to seven years; whether with or without fine.

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Advocate Amaresh Singh

Advocate Amaresh Singh is a lawyer practicing in Supreme Court of India, Delhi High Court and various District Courts including Saket Court, Tis Hazari Court, Karkardooma Court, Patiala House Court and Dwarka Court. (M) 9999678571

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