ARREST: RIGHTS OF ARRETEE AND DUTIES OF POLICE
By nature human beings are social animals. Without society and company of fellow beings they can not live. As for maintenance and survival of a healthy society discipline and order must be maintained some principles and rules have to be followed by all the members of the society. The rules which are thus recognised and have the sanction of the state can be called laws. The acts in violation of any of such rules of laws may be called crimes. The state mainly performs the task of implementing laws and preventing their violations through the agency of police. The institution of police is a machinery of state for implementing laws, maintaining peace and order in the society by ensuring justice for its each and every member by preventing crimes or acts or omission in violation of law. For this sometimes it has to nab and detain suspicious and anti-social elements. To bring an accused to book with enough evidence is a duty of police. Here comes the mast bitter and unwanted term ‘ARREST. There are many kinds of arrest in legal terminology. But in the popular sense, a detention or restriction of movements of a person by an authority acting with the authority given by law can be called a legal arrest. Here police is the authority to do so in certain circumstances. Those circumstances have been defined by law clearly. Actually a human being can not be arrested as he or she is born free and has his or her birth-right of freedom and more definitely the right to freedom of movement. This right is a natural right and a basic human right which can not be curtailed or infringed. As human rights inhere only in human beings so no animal has been given any of human rights including this right to freedom of movement. When a human being ceases to be a human and his being is possessed by animalist elements he loses his all such rights which are called human rights. Restriction of a person also becomes necessary when his freedom may cause infringement of others freedom. In this way sometimes arrest of a person becomes inevitable. However, arrest is a necessary evil. So when an arrest have to be made it should be made in strict accordance with the law, at least the Constitution of India says so. In the context of India it has to be said that the state of affairs is very sorrowful. The Indian police works still under the colonial Police Act of 1861. With this weapon of mass destruction in its hand the Police strides in a society which is in the extreme verge of explosion as it has been overflowing with corruption and erosion. The transparency International places Police in the first position in the list of bribe-takers in India.
The facts of crossing the Lakshman Rekha (delicate boundary line) and itself breaking laws when police goes to arrest or deal with an accused due to greed of money or being intoxicated by the beverage of power or merely as a habit are not new in India. Custodial deaths in this country can by no means be called rare incidents, they are very much regular. Whereas Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees right to life and personal liberty of every person: “no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”. Article 22 lays down the broad principles of law, to be made and implemented by state, of procedure of arrest. Clause (1) of the Article thunders: “no person who is arrested shall be detained in custody by without being informed, as soon as may be of the grounds for such arrest nor shall he be denied the right to consult and to be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice”. Then comes clause (2) with the stricture that “every person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before the nearest magistrate within a period of twenty four hours of such arrest excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the magistrate and no such person shall be detained in custody beyond the said period without any authority of a magistrate.” But these two clauses have been made inapplicable where the arrestee is an enemy alien or detained under the laws of preventive detention. Torture in police custody and in the time of interrogation including the so-called third degree method is made a crime punishable with imprisonment for seven yours or fine under section 330 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.