Allahabad HC sentences police officer to 14 days in jail for violating ‘Arnesh Kumar guidelines’

Allahabad HC sentences police officer to 14 days in jail for violating ‘Arnesh Kumar guidelines’

Police officer found guilty of contempt of Supreme Court guidelines on arrest and detention in landmark case

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Last week, the High Court in Allahabad sentenced a policeman to a simple 14-day jail term after finding him in contempt for violating guidelines set by the Supreme Court in the Arnesh Kumar v. Bihar State. The officer reportedly tried to give a communal color to the case where the accused was a Muslim, saying there was apprehension of communal riots.

In the present case of Ré v. Hearing Officer Shri Chandan Kumar, Bench Judge Suneet Kumar and Judge Syed Waiz Mian found that the police officer being a member of the Disciplined Force, in exercising his powers of arrest, “willingly and has deliberately circumvented the mandate of the Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar (supra), which is binding on all authorities, including the magistrate, under Section 141 of the Constitution of India.

The Court noted, “Even though the officer served a notice under 41-A Cr.PC on the defendant, he willfully and willfully recorded in the GD that the defendant refused to accept the terms and conditions of the notice.”

With regard to the apprehension of the communal riots, the Court further noted that there was no apprehension of the communal riots, as the FIR was not deposited at the police station until after the intervention of the higher authorities. Additionally, the court noted that there was no entry in the GD indicating that there was such apprehension of a communal burning in the event that the accused was not arrested.

The officer prayed for a sympathetic view on the quantum of his sentence as he is a young officer and the sole breadwinner of his family, including four brothers, a sister and a pregnant wife. He issued an unconditional apology as the said punishment would adversely affect his career. However, the court did not accept his apology as a last resort and refused to take a sympathetic view as it would not serve the public interest and the administration of justice.

The court sentenced the agent to simple imprisonment of 14 days and a fine of Rs. 1,000/- (failing which he will face an additional week of simple imprisonment). However, the court ordered that the sentence be suspended for 60 days from the date of the order, as the offending officer prayed that he wished to appeal under section 19 of the 1971 Act on contempt of court.

The order can be read here:

In Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar (2014) 8 SCC 273having apprehensions connected with arrest under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code 1860 and Section 4 of the Prohibition of Dowry Act 1961, the Court ordered that no arrest not be carried out automatically in cases covered by article 498-A.

The Court, further clarifying the role of magistrates and police in arrests, established the following guidelines:

  1. State governments were to direct police officers not to directly arrest a person when registered for an offense under S. 498-A. This may be necessary when it falls under Article 41 of the CrPC.

  2. The Section 41(1)(b)(ii) checklist must be given to all police officers.

  3. When presenting the accused before the magistrate for further detention, this checklist must be duly completed and also have the reason and material necessary to make the arrest

  4. On the basis of this report and only after recording the reason for the arrest and to the satisfaction of the magistrate, a new detention will be granted.

  5. In the absence of the arrest of the defendant, this decision is transmitted to the magistrate within two weeks from the introduction of the case with a copy of the minutes extended by the district police commissioner for the purpose of being recorded. in writing.

  6. Notice to appear under Section 41-A CrPC must be served on the accused within two weeks of the initiation of the case and may be extended by the Superintendent of Police after recording the reason in writing.

  7. In the event of non-compliance with the instructions, the police officers liable to contempt of court before the competent high court.

  8. If the detention is authorized by the Judicial Magistrate without recording the reasons, they are liable to departmental proceedings by the Tribunal de Grande Instance.

  9. In addition, these instructions were to apply not only to cases falling under Section 498-A or Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, but also to all cases where offenses are punishable by law. imprisonment for seven years or less, regardless of the fine.

  10. The copy of this order was to be forwarded to all Chief Secretaries and DGPs of all States and Union Territories as well as the Clerks General of all High Courts to ensure compliance.


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