Legal Rights of an Arrested person

Who can make an Arrest?

  • A police officer may arrest a person either with or without a warrant depending on the nature and gravity of the offence.
  • Even a private person can arrest another person who in his presence commits a non bailable, cognizable offence or is a proclaimed offender and then hand him over to the police.

Note:-Meaning of cognizable and non-cognizable offense: –
A cognizable offence in the criminal justice system of India is one in which the police is empowered to register a FIR, investigate and arrest an accused involved in cognizable crime without a court warrant. As defined in Cr.PC-Criminal Procedure Code.A non-cognizable offence is one in which police can neither register a First Information Report (FIR) nor can investigate or effect arrest without the express permission or directions from the court.

Who can be arrested without a warrant by the police?

Any person who:

  • has been involved in a cognizable offence or is suspected to be so involved or against whom a complaint has been received of such involvement;
  • possesses any implement of housebreaking without valid excuse;
  • has been declared a proclaimed offender under law;
  • is in possession of stolen property;
  • obstructs a police officer in carrying out his/her duty;
  • has escaped or attempts to escape from lawful custody;
  • is suspected of being a deserter from any of the Armed Forces; and
  • is a suspect or a habitual offender and needs to be bound down for good behavior.

Arrest and Detention- Your Rights and Police Duties

Every arrested person has a right:

  • To be informed of the grounds of arrest by the police. The police should also inform the arrested person of this right.
  • To be released on bail when arrested for a bailable offence. It is the duty of the police officer to inform him of his right to be released on bail.
  • to be produced before the nearest competent magistrate within 24 hours from the time of his arrest. This period excludes the time taken in journey.
  • to inform his relative or friend about his arrest and the place of detention. It is the duty of the police to inform the arrested person of this right and also informs his relatives or friend about his arrest and detention.
  • to meet and consult a lawyer of his choice. The arrested person can consult a lawyer during interrogation also but not throughout the interrogation period.
  • not to be ill-treated, abused or tortured while in custody during interrogation and investigation.
  • not to be subjected to more restraint than what is necessary to prevent his escape. A police officer making an arrest is entitled to search the arrested person and place in safe custody all the articles seized from him. A receipt of such articles must be given to the arrested person.

Right to Medical Examination

  • Every accused person can demand a medical examination of his body by a registered medical practitioner to disprove the commission of the offence alleged against him. It is the duty of the Magistrate to inform him of this right.
  • At the time of examination, the injuries found on the body should be recorded. It is necessary to prepare an Inspection Memo after the examination is over and this Memo should be signed by the arrested person and the police officer making the arrest.
  • Every arrested person has the right to be medically examined after every 48 hours during his detention in custody by a qualified and government-approved doctor.

Additional Duties of the Police

  • The police officer carrying out the arrest must bear accurate, visible and clear identification   in the form of nametag with designation. The police must record in a register the identity of all police officials who conduct the interrogation of the arrested person.
  • The police officer carrying out the arrest must prepare a Memo of Arrest that should be signed either by a relative or friend of the arrested person or a respectable person of the locality and be countersigned by the arrested person. This Memo must have the date and time of arrest.
  • Copies of all the documents should be sent to the local area Magistrate for record.
  • Details of every arrest and the place of detention of the arrested persons should be given to the State and District Police Control Room within 12 hours of the arrest. This information should be displayed clearly on the notice board of the Control Room.
  • The police officer making the arrest should not hand cuff any person routinely. The arrested person should not be handcuffed except where there is a clear danger of his escape or attempt to escape; – he is so violent that he cannot be kept in custody unless his movement is stopped.

Right to Legal Aid and Advice

Every poor person who is accused of a crime is entitled to be provided with free legal aid. This right begins from the time of his arrest only. If he is not aware of this right it is the duty of the Magistrate to inform him about this right when he is first produced in court.

It is the duty of the police to immediately inform the nearest legal aid committee about the arrest of an accused seeking legal aid.

Resistance to Arrest

Never resist arrest forcibly.

The police officer or other person making the arrest is empowered to use all means necessary to effect arrest, including use of force.

Do not refuse to give your name and address or give false name or address to the police. You can be
arrested by the police officer for doing so.

Redress against arbitrary arrest and detention

If any person has been arrested and detained illegally or wishes to make a complaint against any wrongful act by the police, he can complain to the:

Superintendent of Police of that district and other senior police officers; court; and State Human Rights Commission/ National Human Rights Commission.

Know the law. Know your rights.

Adv Kiran T K

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