Police Officer Guilty Of Contempt For Violating ‘Arnesh Kumar Guidelines’ Allahabad High Court
- The Allahabad High Court last week sentenced a police officer to undergo simple imprisonment for 14 days after holding him guilty of contempt for deliberately bypassing the mandate of the Supreme Court in the case of Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar.
Guidelines: Arnesh kumar V. State of Bihar
- The Supreme Court of India under Para 13 of the judgement in order to ensure that police officer do not arrest the accused unnecessarily and magistrate do not authorize detention, the Court giving the following directions:
- All the State Government should instruct its police officers not to automatically arrest a person when an offence under section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code is registered. The necessity of arrest arises when the case falls under the parameter of section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
- All police officers be provided with the check list containing specified clauses under Section 41 (1) (b) (ii).
- The police officer shall forward the check list duly filed and furnished with the reason and material necessitated the arrest while producing accused before the magistrate for further detention.
- The magistrate while authorizing the order of further detention shall rely upon the report furnished by the police officer and only after recording the reason duly furnished on Police report and on the satisfaction, the Magistrate will authorize further detention.
- The decision not to arrest an accused be forwarded to Magistrate within two weeks from the date of institution of the case with a copy of Magistrate which may extended by the Superintendent of police of the district for the reason to be recorded in writing.
- Notice of Appearance in terms of Section 41-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure be served upon the accused within two weeks from the date of institution of case which may be extended by the Superintendent of Police after recording the reason in writing.
- Failure to comply with the directions mentioned above shall rendered the police officer liable to be punished for contempt of court before High Court having jurisdiction.
In Re v. Shri Chandan Kumar, Investigating Officer
- In the instant case, the contemnor [Chandan Kumar, Incharge of Police Station, Kanth, District Shahjahanpur] though served a notice under Section 41-A Cr.P.C. on the accused, but, he had willfully and deliberately recorded in the GD that the accused declined to accept the terms and condition of the notice.
- In fact, he tried to give a communal color to the matter by stating that since the accused belongs to a Muslim community and therefore, there was an apprehension of communal riots, if he was not arrested.
- However, the Court noted that no such apprehension did exist as admittedly, the FIR was not lodged at the police station until intervention by the higher authorities.
- There was no entry in the GD that there was any such apprehension of a communal flare-up in the event of the accused not being arrested.
- This was done to somehow arrest the accsued by bypassing Supreme Court’s guidelines laid down in the case of Arnesh Kumar.
- The Bench of Justice Suneet Kumar and Justice Syed Waiz Mian refused to take a sympathetic view on the matter of sentencing, as it noted that the same would not sub-serve the public interest and the administration of justice.
- in order to secure public respect and confidence in the judicial process, the Court ordered Chandan Kumar, Incharge of Police Station, Kanth, District Shahjahanpur to undergo simple imprisonment for 14 days and imposed a fine of Rs. 1000/ for committing contempt.
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