In today’s article, I will discuss the legal interpretation of when the police can arrest or arrest without a warrant. Certain sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure make clear reference to arrest and detention. Read the full article for details. If you know these clauses, you can avoid any unexpected trouble.
Sections of warrantless arrest
As per the general rules, a person can be arrested by the police on a court warrant. By law, the police cannot usually arrest anyone without a warrant. But the police have the power to arrest without a warrant in certain exceptional cases and it is regulated by law. The code of criminal Procedure is a procedural law. Several sections of the Act state when the police can arrest a person without a warrant. 54, 55, 57, 128, 151, 401(3) in particular, the police can arrest any person without a warrant.
A court warrant is required to arrest any person except under these sections. Otherwise, the police cannot arrest any person. Below is a detailed discussion of the sections under which the police can arrest a person without a warrant.
Section 54 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
In most cases, the police make arrests without a warrant under this section. This section provides that the police may arrest without warrant any person who is involved in any cognizable offense or who is alleged to have committed such an offense. The cognizable offenses are given in the third column of the Second Schedule to the Code of Criminal Procedure.
A person may be arrested under this section without a warrant if any person without lawful cause has in his possession any instrument of house-breaking, if any person has been declared a criminal by order of the Government, or if any stolen property is found in the possession of any person, or where there is reasonable ground to believe that such person is found.
A person who obstructs a police officer in the performance of his duty or attempts to escape from police custody. A person can be arrested even if he receives a request from another police officer to arrest him.
Section 55 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
The police have the power to arrest persons such as vagrants and habitual bandits without a warrant. If the officer in charge of the police station has reasonable grounds to believe that any person within the precincts of the police station is taking precautions to conceal his presence or is moving about for the purpose of any cognizable criminal organization, the officer in charge may arrest or cause him to be arrested.
Secondly, if a person has no obvious source of income within the police station area or cannot give any satisfactory account of himself, such a person can be arrested.
Thirdly, a person who is habitually known as a robber, burglar, or thief or who is notorious for habitually taking stolen goods or who is habitually infamous for taking another’s property by force or threatening to injure another for such a purpose.
Such a person can be arrested by the police without a warrant as per Section 55 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Section 57 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
When a person commits an indictable offense in the presence of a police officer or is accused of committing such an offense and refuses to give his name, or address when demanded by the said officer. or gives such name, or address that appears to the concerned police officer to be false, then the police officer may arrest him and release him after ascertaining the name, and address in accordance with the provisions of this section.
Section 128 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
As discussed in this section, the police can arrest or detain persons participating in an unlawful assembly to take them to court for punishment according to the law. Unlawful assembly means any assembly which causes disturbance of public peace.
Section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure
If any police officer receives information of a conspiracy to constitute a cognizable offense or it appears to him that the commission of the offense cannot otherwise be prevented, he may immediately arrest the person conspiring without the order and warrant of a Magistrate.
Section 401(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure
This section primarily deals with the suspension or remission of the sentence of a convicted defendant. The Government may at any time release any convicted accused under this section. Sub-section 3 of the same section provides that the Government may set aside the order of remission if any of the conditions under which the sentence of an accused has been suspended or commuted is deemed not to have been complied with.
If such an order is granted, any police officer may arrest him without a warrant and commit him to jail to serve the unexpired portion of his sentence.
So from the above discussion, we see that there is a total of six sections of the Criminal Procedure Code that allow police to arrest various persons without a warrant. Apart from the said section, even if it is mentioned in any other special law, many times the police can arrest without a warrant. In short, the power to arrest without a warrant is an inherent power of the police. Analyzing the above discussion, it can be understood that in every case filed at the police station, the police can arrest the accused person without a warrant.
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