• Joginder Kumar Vs. State Of U.P.

  • Head Notes

    • Constitution - unlawful detention - Articles 21 and 22 (1) of Constitution of India -law of arrest is one of balancing private rights of individual and that of social interest in curbing crime- no arrest can be made only because it is lawful for police officer to do so- police officer has to justify arrest apart from his power to do so - Articles 21 and 22 (1) mandates some rights to arrested persons and therefore the same have to be complied with- it is dutyof magistrate before whom arrested person is produced to satisfy himself whether the requirements are complied with or not - duty envisaged under Articles 21 and 22 (1) are in addition to rights found in several police manuals- Acts/Rules/Orders- Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC); Constitution of India - Articles 21 and 22(1); Police and Criminal Evidence Act,1984 - Sections 56(1) and 58; Children Act, 1960 - Section 19- Cases Referred- Couch v. United States (1972) 409 US 322; Miranda v. Arizona (1966) 384 US 436, 16 Law Ed 2D 694; People v.Defore, (1926) 242 NY 13, 150 NE 585; People v. Adams, (1903) 176 NY 261, 68 NE 636; Re Fried, 161 F 2d453,465 2d Cir. 1947; Smt. Nandinia Satpathy Vs. P.L. Dani-Citing Reference-  People v. Lefore (Discussed)- People v. Adams (Dissented), Smt. Nandini Satpathy Vs. P.L. Dani (Dissented)- Couch v. United States (Mentioned)- Judgment: Joginder Kumar Vs. State Of U.P. & Others, Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 9 of 1994, Judgment Dated: 25.04.1994, Bench: M.N. Venkatachaliah, C.J.I., S. Mohan and Dr. A. S. Anand, JJ, Citation: AIR 1994 SC 1349, 1994 CriLJ 1981, 1994 (2) Crimes 106 (SC), JT 1994 (3) SC 423, (1994) 4 SCC 260, [1994] 3 SCR 661.

    Full Judgment

    Supreme Court Of India





    Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 9 of 1994

    DATE OF JUDGMENT25/04/1994





    MOHAN, S. (J)

    ANAND, A.S. (J)


    1994 AIR 1349                 1994 SCC  (4) 260

    JT 1994 (3)   423             1994 SCALE  (2)662





    1.   This is a petition under Article 32 of the Constitution

    of India.  The petitioner is a young man of 28 years of      age

    who  has completed his LL.B. and has enrolled himself as  an

    advocate.   The Senior Superintendent of Police,  Ghaziabad,

    Respondent 4 called the petitioner in his office for  making

    enquiries in some case.  The petitioner on 7-1-1994 at about

    10 o'clock appeared personally along with his brothers      Shri

    Mangeram  Choudhary,  Nahar  Singh  Yadav,  Harinder   Singh

    Tewatia,   Amar Singh   and  others  before  Respondent    4.

    Respondent  4 kept the petitioner in his custody.  When     the

    brother    of  the  petitioner  made  enquiries        about   the

    petitioner,  lie  was told that the petitioner will  be set

    free   in  the      evening after    making  some  enquiries   in

    connection with a case.


    2.   On  7-1-1994  at about 12.55 p.m., the brother  of     the

    petitioner   being   apprehensive  of  the   intentions            of

    Respondent 4, sent a telegram to the Chief Minister of       U.P.

    apprehending his brother's implication in some criminal case

    and also further apprehending the petitioner being shot dead

    in fake encounter.

    3.   In spite of the frequent enquiries, the whereabouts  of

    the petitioner could not be located.  On the evening of 7-1-

    1994,  it  came to be known that petitioner is        detained  in

    illegal custody of 5th respondent, SHO, P.S. Mussoorie.

    4.   On  8-1-1994, it was informed that the  5th  respondent

    was  keeping  the petitioner in detention  to  make  further

    enquiries in some case.  So far the petitioner has not       been

    produced  before the Magistrate concerned.  Instead the   5th

    respondent  directed  the  relatives of      the  petitioner  to

    approach  the 4th respondent SSP, Ghaziabad, for release  of

    the petitioner.

    5.   On  9-1-1994,  in     the  evening  when  the  brother  of

    petitioner  along with relatives went to P.S.  Mussoorie  to

    enquire about the well-being of his brother, it  was  found

    that  the  petitioner  had been taken  to  some      undisclosed

    destination.        Under  these  circumstances,   the   present

    petition  has  been preferred for the  release        of  Joginder

    Kumar, the petitioner herein.

    6.   This Court on 11-1-1994 ordered notice to State of U.P.

    as well as SSP, Ghaziabad.

    7.   The  said     Senior Superintendent of Police    along   with

    petitioner   appeared  before  this  Court   on          14-1-1994.

    According  to  him, the petitioner has       been  released.    To

    question as to why the petitioner was detained for a  period

    of five days, he would submit that the petitioner was not in

    detention  at  all.  His help was taken for  detecting           some

    cases  relating to abduction and the petitioner was  helpful

    in  cooperating   with the police.  Therefore,  there  is  no

    question  of detaining him.  Though, as on today the  relief

    in  habeas corpus petition cannot be granted yet this  Court

    cannot put an end to the writ petition on this score.  Where

    was  the  need to detain the petitioner for  five  days;  if

    really the petitioner was not in detention, why was not this

    Court  informed are some questions which remain            unanswered.

    If  really,  there was a detention for five days,  for            what

    reason  was  he detained?   These  matters  require  to  be

    enquired  into.   Therefore, we direct the  learned  District

    Judge,   Ghaziabad to make a detailed enquiry and submit his

    report   within four weeks from the date of receipt  of       this

    8.   The horizon of human rights is expanding.      At the    same

    time,  the  crime rate is also increasing.   Of         late,     this

    Court has been receiving complaints about violation of human

    rights    because            of indiscriminate arrests.  How are  we  to

    strike a balance between the two?

    9.   A realistic approach should be made in this  direction.

    The  law  of arrest is one of balancing      individual  rights,

    liberties  and privileges, on the one hand,  and  individual

    duties,   obligations and responsibilities on the  other;  of

    weighing and balancing the rights, liberties and  privileges

    of   the   single  individual  and  those   of            individuals

    collectively; of simply deciding what is


    wanted  and  where to put the weight and  the  emphasis;  of

    deciding  which comes first  the criminal or  society,          the

    law  violator  or the law abider; of meeting  the  challenge

    which  Mr  Justice  Cardozo  so    forthrightly  met  when  he

    wrestled with a similar task of balancing individual  rights

    against society's rights and wisely held that the  exclusion

    rule  was  bad law, that society came first,  and  that        the

    criminal should not go free because the constable blundered.

    In People v. Defore1 Justice Cardozo observed:

    "The  question is whether protection  for  the

    individual   would   not    be   gained   at   a

    disproportionate loss  of   protection        for

    society. On the one side is the social       need

    that crime shall be repressed.  On the  other,

    the social need that law shall not be  flouted

    by the insolence of office.  There are dangers

    in  any choice.  The rule of the    Aclams  case

    (People  v. Adams2) strikes a balance  between

    opposing interests.  We must hold it to be the

    law until those organs of government by  which

    a change of public policy is normally effected

    shall  give notice to the courts     that  change

    has come to pass."

    10.   To the same effect is the statement  by

    Judge Learned Hand, in Fried Re3:

    "The   protection            of  the   individual         from

    oppression  and abuse by the police and  other

    enforcing officers is indeed a major  interest

    in  a  free society; but so is  the  effective

    prosecution  of  crime, an interest  which  at

    times  seems to be forgotten.   Perfection  is

    impossible;  like other    human  institutions

    criminal proceedings must be a compromise."

    The  quality  of  a nation's  civilisation  can           be  largely

    measured  by  the  methods it uses  in     the  enforcement  of

    criminal law.

    11.  This Court in Nandini Satpathy v. P.L. Dani4 (AIR at p.

    1032) quoting  Lewis Mayers stated: (SCC p. 433, para 15)

    "The  paradox  has been put sharply  by  Lewis


    'To  strike the balance between the  needs  of

    law  enforcement           on  the  one  hand  and  the

    protection of the citizen from oppression  and

    injustice at the hands of the  law-enforcement

    machinery on the other is a perennial  problem

    of  statecraft.  The pendulum over  the  years

    has swung to the right.' "

    Again  (in  AIR para 2 1, at p. 1033)  it     was

    observed: (SCC p. 436, para 23)

    "We  have         earlier spoken of  the    conflicting

    claims requiring

    reconciliation.  Speaking pragmatically, there

    exists a rivalry between societal interest  in

    effecting            crime detection and  constitutional

    rights  which  accused  individuals   possess.

    Emphasis              may     shift,    depending          on

    circumstances, in balancing these interests as

    has been happening in

    1          242 NY 13, 24 : 150 NE 585, 589 (1926)

    2              176 NY 351 : 68 NE 636 (1903)

    3              161 F 2d 453, 465 (2d Cir 1947)

    4              (1978) 2 SCC 424 : 1978 SCC (Cri) 236  :

    AIR 19'78 SC 1025, 1032


    America.             Since   Miranda5  there  has     been

    retreat  from  stress  on  protection  of    the

    accused  and  gravitation            towards   society's

    interest   in        convicting     law-breakers.

    Currently,   the  trend    in   the   American

    jurisdiction  according to legal journals,  is

    that 'respect for (constitutional)  principles

    is  eroded when they leap their proper  bounds

    to interfere with the legitimate interests  of

    society in enforcement of its laws...'. (Couch

    v.   United  StateS6).      Our   constitutional

    perspective has, therefore, to be relative and

    cannot  afford  to be  absolutist,  especially

    when torture technology, crime escalation            and

    other social variables affect the   application

    of principles in producing humane justice."

    12.  The  National  Police Commission in  its  Third  Report

    referring  to the quality of arrests by the police in  India

    mentioned  power  of arrest as one of the chief    sources  of

    corruption in the police.  The report suggested that, by and

    large, nearly 60% of the arrests were either unnecessary  or

    unjustified   and  that      such  unjustified   police   action

    accounted  for 43.2% of the expenditure of the     jails.     The

    said Commission in its Third Report at p. 31 observed thus:

    "It  is  obvious that a major portion  of     the

    arrests  were  connected            with     very   minor

    prosecutions   and  cannot, therefore,   be

    regarded as quite necessary from the point  of

    view of crime prevention.           Continued detention

    in  'ail of the persons so arrested  has      also

    meant    avoidable   expenditure  on    their

    maintenance.   In           the  above  period  it     was

    estimated            that     43.2  per   cent   of       the

    expenditure  in the connected jails  was   over

    such  prisoners  only  who  in  the   ultimate

    analysis need not have been arrested at all."

    As  on today, arrest with or without warrant depending     upon

    the  circumstances of a particular case is governed  by      the

    Code of Criminal Procedure.

    13.  Whenever  a  public  servant is  arrested       that  matter

    should   be intimated to the superior officers, if  possible,

    before   the  arrest and in any case, immediately  after     the

    arrest.   In cases of members of Armed Forces, Army, Navy  or

    Air  Force,  intimation     should  be  sent  to  the   Officer

    commanding the unit to which the member belongs.  It  should

    be done immediately after the arrest is effected.

    14.  Under Rule 229 of the Procedure and Conduct of Business

    in Lok Sabha, when a member is arrested on a criminal charge

    or  is detained under an executive order of the     Magistrate,

    the executive authority must inform without delay such     fact

    to   the  Speaker.   As     soon  as  any    arrest,     detention, conviction

    or  release  is    effected  intimation        should

    invariably be sent to the Government concerned   concurrently

    with  the  intimation sent to the  Speaker/Chairman  of      the

    Legislative  Assembly/Counc il/Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha.    This

    should   be sent through telegrams and also by post  and   the

    intimation should not be on the ground of holiday.

    5  Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436:  16 L Ed 2d 694 (1966)

    6  409 US 322,336: 34 LEd 2d 548(1973)


    15.  With  regard to the apprehension of juvenile  offenders

    Section  58 of the Code of Criminal Procedure lays  down  as


    "Officers            in charge of police stations  shall

    report  to the District Magistrate, or, if  he

    so directs, to the Sub-Divisional   Magistrate,

    the  cases  of all  persons  arrested  without

    warrant, within the limits of their respective

    stations,            whether  such   persons have    been

    admitted to bail or otherwise."

    16.   Section 19(a) of the Children Act  makes

    the following provision:

    "[T]he parent or guardian of the child, if  he

    can   be found, of such arrest and direct   him

    to  be present at the Children's Court  before

    which the child will appear;"

    17.  In England, the police powers of arrest, detention       and

    interrogation  have  been  streamlined     by  the  Police   and

    Criminal  Evidence  Act,' 1984 based on the  report  of      Sir

    Cyril  Philips       Committee (Report of a Royal  Commission  on

    Criminal Procedure, Command-papers 8092 1981 1).

    18.  It   is worth quoting the following passage from  Police

    Powers and Accountability by John L. Lambert, p. 93:

    "More   recently,            the  Royal  Commission   on

    Criminal Procedure recognised that 'there is a

    critically important relationship between   the

    police  and  the public in the  detection     and

    investigation  of crime' and  suggested    that

    public  confidence in police  powers  required

    that   these   conform  to   three   principal

    standards:     fairness,       openness        and

    workability." (emphasis supplied)

    19.  The  Royal  Commission suggested  restrictions  on   the

    power  of  arrest on the basis of the  "necessity  of  (sic)

    principle".   The two main objectives of this principle         are

    that police can exercise powers only in those cases in which

    it  was genuinely necessary to enable them to execute  their

    duty  to prevent the commission of offences, to    investigate

    crime.   The  Royal  Commission was of the  view  that    such

    restrictions  would diminish the use of arrest        and  produce

    more uniform use of powers.  The Royal Commission Report  on

    Criminal Procedure  Sir Cyril Philips at p. 45 said:

    "...  we recommend that detention upon  arrest

    for an offence should continue only on one  or

    more of the following criteria:

    (a)   the            person's unwillingness to  identify

    himself  so that a summons may be served          upon


    (b)   the need to prevent the continuation  or

    repetition of that offence;

    (c)   the need to protect the arrested  person

    himself or other persons or property;

    (d)   the need to secure or preserve  evidence

    of  or relating to that offence or  to  obtain

    such evidence from the suspect by          questioning

    him; and

    (e)   the likelihood of the person failing  to

    appear  at  court to answer  any  charge  made

    against him."


    The Royal Commission in the above said  report

    at p. 46 also suggested:

    "To help to reduce the use of arrest we  would

    also propose the introduction here of a scheme

    that  is  used in Ontario  enabling  a  police

    officer to issue what is called an  appearance

    notice.  That procedure can be used to  obtain

    attendance  at  the  police  station   without

    resorting           to   arrest  provided      a  power  to

    arrest exists, for example to be fingerprinted

    or to participate in an identification parade.

    It  could also be extended to  attendance  for

    interview           at  a time convenient both  to     the

    suspect and   to   the        police    officer

    investigating the case......

    20.  In India, Third  Report of  the  National

    Police Commission at p. 32 also suggested:

    "An  arrest  during  the   investigation  of  a

    cognizable case may be considered justified in

    one or other of the following circumstances:

    (i)   The            case involves a grave offence    like

    murder, dacoity, robbery, rape etc., and it is

    necessary to arrest the accused and bring            his

    movements under restraint to infuse confidence

    among the terrorstricken victims.

    (ii)  The accused  is likely to       abscond            and

    evade the processes of law.

    (iii) The   accused   is     given    to   violent

    behaviour          and  is likely     to  commit  further

    offences            unless   his  movements are  brought

    under restraint.

    (iv)  The            accused is a habitual offender    and

    unless kept in custody he is likely to  commit

    similar offences again.

    It  would           be  desirable     to  insist   through

    departmental   instructions  that    a   police

    officer making an arrest should also record in

    the  case           diary the reasons  for    making the

    arrest,  thereby clarifying his conformity  to

    the specified guidelines......"

    The  above guidelines are merely the incidents     of  personal

    liberty   guaranteed  under the Constitution  of     India.     No

    arrest    can  be  made because it is lawful  for     the  police

    officer   to do so.  The existence of the power to arrest  is

    one  thing.   The justification for the exercise  of  it  is

    quite  another.   The police officer must be able to  justify

    the  arrest  apart  from his power to  do  so.        Arrest  and

    detention   in     police    lock-up  of  a     person  can   cause

    incalculable  harm  to the reputation and self-esteem  of  a

    person. No arrest can be made in a routine manner on a mere

    allegation  of      commission  of an  offence  made  against  a

    person.   It  would be prudent for a police officer  in         the

    interest  of  protection of the constitutional rights  of  a

    citizen   and  perhaps  in his own interest  that  no  arrest

    should   be  made without a reasonable  satisfaction  reached

    after  some  investigation as to the  genuineness  and       bona

    fides of a complaint and a reasonable belief both as to      the

    person's  complicity  and even so as to the need  to  effect

    arrest.     Denying  a  person of his  liberty  is  a  serious

    matter.  The recommendations of the Police Commission merely

    reflect   the constitutional concomitants of the      fundamental

    right to personal liberty and freedom.      A


    person  is not liable to arrest merely on the  suspicion  of

    complicity  in     an offence.  There must be  some  reasonable

    justification  in the opinion of the officer  effecting the

    arrest that such arrest is necessary and justified.   Except

    in  heinous offences, an arrest must be avoided if a  police

    officer issues notice to person to attend the Station  House

    and not to leave the Station without permission would do.

    21.  Then,  there  is the right to  have  someone  informed.

    That  right  of the arrested person, upon request,  to         have

    someone informed and to consult privately with a lawyer  was

    recognised  by   Section  56(1) of the  Police  and  Criminal

    Evidence  Act,    1984 in England (Civil Actions      Against  the

    Police    Richard Clayton and Hugh Tomlinson; p.  313).     That

    section provides:

    "[W]here           a  person has been arrested  and  is

    being  held in custody in a police station  or

    other premises, he shall be entitled, if he so

    requests,           to have one friend or     relative  or

    other  person  who is known to him or  who  is

    likely  to  take an interest  in       his  welfare

    told, as soon as is practicable except to    the

    extent   that  delay  is     permitted  by     this

    section, that  he has been  arrested  and  is

    being detained there."

    These  rights are inherent in Articles 21 and 22(1)  of        the

    Constitution  and require to be recognised and      scrupulously

    protected.   For effective enforcement of these     fundamental

    rights, we issue the following requirements:

    1.    An arrested person being held in custody

    is  entitled,  if he so requests to  have      one

    friend, relative or other person who is  known

    to  him or likely to take an interest  in      his

    welfare told as far as is practicable that  he

    has  been          arrested  and    where  he  is  being

    2.    The            police   officer  shall      inform  the

    arrested person when he is brought  to    the

    police station of this right.

    3.    An entry shall be required to be made in

    the  diary  as  to who  was  informed  of  the

    arrest.  These protections from power must  be

    held  to flow from Articles 21 and  22(1)   and

    enforced strictly.

    It  shall  be the duty of the Magistrate,  before  whom       the

    arrested  person is produced, to satisfy himself that  these

    requirements have been complied with.

    22.  The  above requirements shall be followed in all  cases

    of  arrest  till legal provisions are made in  this  behalf.

    These requirements shall be in addition to the rights of the

    arrested persons found in the various police manuals.

    23.  These  requirements are not exhaustive.  The  Directors

    General of  Police of all the States in India           shall  issue

    necessary  instructions   requiring due observance  of  these

    requirements.    In addition, departmental instruction  shall

    also be issued that a police officer making an arrest should

    also  record in the case diary, the reasons for       making the


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