Thursday, April 23, 2015

Arnesh Kumar case: No Automatic Arrest in IPC 498A cases

Arnesh Kumar Vs State of Bihar case:No automatic Arrest by police :Dictum on Section 41 of Cr.PC.
The following direction given by Apex court on section 41 Cr.PC  
(1)All the State Governments to instruct its police officers not to automatically arrest when a case under Section 498-A of the IPC is registered but to satisfy themselves about the necessity for arrest under the parameters laid down above flowing from Section 41, Cr.PC;
(2)All police officers be provided with a check list containing specified sub-clauses under Section 41(1)(b)(ii);
(3)The police officer shall forward the check list duly filed and furnish the reasons and materials which necessitated the arrest, while forwarding/producing the accused before the Magistrate for further detention;
(4)The Magistrate while authorising detention of the accused shall peruse the report furnished by the police officer in terms aforesaid and only after recording its satisfaction, the Magistrate will authorise detention;
(5)The decision not to arrest an accused, be forwarded to the Magistrate within two weeks from the date of the institution of the case with a copy to the Magistrate which may be extended by the Superintendent of police of the district for the reasons to be recorded in writing;
(6)Notice of appearance in terms of Section 41A of Cr.PC be served on the accused within two weeks from the date of institution of the case, which may be extended by the Superintendent of Police of the District for the reasons to be recordedin writing;
(7)Failure to comply with the directions aforesaid shall apart from rendering the police officers concerned liable for departmental action, they shall also be liable to be punished for contempt of court to be instituted before High Court having territorial jurisdiction.
(8)Authorising detention without recording reasons as aforesaid by the judicial Magistrate concerned shall be liable for departmental action by the appropriate High Court.

The apex Court also said that aforesaid direction, shall not only apply to the cases under Section 498-A of the I.P.C. or Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, the case in hand, but also such cases where offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be less than seven years or which may extend to seven years; whether with or without fine.
What to do if police violates sec-41[check list] and Arnesh kumar case apex court dictum and chooses to arrest a  person arbitrarily with out following due procedure laid in Arnesh Kumar Judgment 
  • Approach concern H.C for contempt proceeding for violation of Apex court dictum in Arnesh Kumar Vs State of Bihar ,note that this apex court order  is not only for arbitrary arrest in cases under  section 498A of IPC ,but also other offences below 7 yrs imprisonment .
  • Departmental disciplinary proceeding against erring police officials

Full Text of the Apex court dictum on Section  41 of Cr.PC
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1277 OF 2014
(@SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CRL.) No.9127 of 2013)

ARNESH KUMAR ..... APPELLANT
VERSUS
STATE OF BIHAR & ANR. .... RESPONDENTS

J U D G M E N T

Chandramauli Kr. Prasad
The petitioner apprehends his arrest in a case under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter called as IPC) and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. The maximum sentence provided under Section 498-A IPC is imprisonment
for a term which may extend to three years and fine whereas the maximum sentence provided under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act is two years and with fine.Petitioner happens to be the husband of respondent no.2 Sweta Kiran. The marriage between  them was solemnized on 1st July, 2007. His attempt to secure anticipatory bail has failed and hencehe has knocked the door of this Court by way of this Special  Leave Petition.
Leave granted.
In sum and substance, allegation levelled by the wife against the appellant is that demand of Rupees eight lacs, a maruti car, an airconditioner, television set etc.was made by her mother-in-law and father-in-law and when this fact was brought to the appellant’s notice, he supported his mother and threatened to marry another woman. It has been alleged that she was driven out of the matrimonial home due to nonfulfilment of the demand of dowry. Denying these allegations, the appellant preferred an application for anticipatory bail which was earlier rejected by the learned Sessions Judge and thereafter by the High Court.
There is phenomenal increase in matrimonial disputes in recent years. The institution of marriage is greatly revered in this country.
Section 498-A of the IPC was introduced with avowed object to combat the menace of harassment to a woman at the hands of her husband and his relatives.The fact that Section 498-A is a
cognizable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives.The simplest way to harass is
to get the husband and his relatives arrested under this provision. In a quite number of cases, bed-ridden grand-fathers and grand-mothers of the husbands, their sisters living abroad for decades
are arrested. “Crime in India 2012 Statistics” published by National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs shows arrest of 1,97,762 persons all over India during the year 2012 for
offence under Section 498-A of the IPC, 9.4% more than the year 2011. Nearly a quarter of those arrested under this provision in 2012 were women i.e. 47,951 which depicts that mothers and sisters of the husbands were liberally included in their arrest net. Its share is 6% out of the total persons arrested under the crimes committed under Indian Penal Code.It accounts for 4.5% of total
crimes committed under different sections of penal code, more than any other crimes excepting theft and hurt. The rate of charge-sheeting in cases under Section 498A, IPC is as high as 93.6%, while the conviction rate is only 15%, which is lowest
across all heads.As many as 3,72,706 cases are pending trial of which on current estimate, nearly 3,17,000 are likely to result in acquittal.Arrest brings humiliation, curtails freedom,and cast scars forever. Law makers know it so also the police.There is a battle between the law makers and the police and it seems that police has not learnt its lesson; the lesson implicit and embodied in the Cr.PC. It has not come out of its colonial image despite six decades of independence, it is largely considered as a tool of harassment, oppression and surely not considered a friend of public.The need for caution in exercising the drastic power of arrest has been emphasized time and again by Courts but has not yielded desired result. Power to arrest greatly contributes to its arrogance so also the failure of the Magistracy to check it. Not only this, the power of arrest is one of the lucrative sources of police corruption. The attitude to arrest first and then proceed with the rest is despicable. It has become a handy tool to the police officers who lack sensitivity or act with oblique motive.
Law Commissions, Police Commissions and this Court in a large number of judgments emphasized the need to maintain a balance between individual liberty and societal order while exercising the
power of arrest. Police officers make arrest as they believe that they possess the power to do so. As the arrest curtails freedom, brings humiliation and casts scars forever, we feel differently. We
believe that no arrest should be made only because the offence is non-bailable and cognizable and therefore, lawful for the police officers to do so. The existence of the power to arrest is one thing, the justification for the exercise of it is quite another. Apart from power to arrest, the police officers must be able to justify the
reasons thereof. 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 and wise for a police officer that no
arrest is made without a reasonable satisfaction reached after some investigation as to the genuineness of the allegation. Despite this legal position, the Legislature did not find any improvement. Numbers of arrest have not decreased. Ultimately, the Parliament had to intervene and on the recommendation of the 177th Report of the Law Commission submitted in the year
2001, Section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (for short ‘Cr.PC), in the present form came to be enacted. It is interesting to note that such a recommendation was made by the Law Commission in its 152nd and 154th Report submitted as back in the year 1994. The value of the proportionality permeates the amendment relating to arrest. As the offence with which we are concerned in the present appeal, provides for a maximum punishment of imprisonment which may extend to seven years
and fine, Section 41(1)(b), Cr.PC which is relevant for the purpose reads as follows:
“41.When police may arrest without warrant.-(1) Any police officer may without an order from a Magistrate and without a
warrant, arrest any person –
(a)x x x x x x
(b)against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists that  he has committed a cognizable offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be less than seven years or which may extend to seven years whether with or without fine,
if the following conditions are satisfied, namely :-
(i) x x x x x
(ii) the police officer is satisfied that such arrest is necessary –
(a) to prevent such person from  committing any further offence; or
(b) for proper investigation of the offence; or
(c) to prevent such person from causing the evidence of the offence to disappear or tampering with such evidence in any manner; or
(d) to prevent such person from making any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to the police officer;
or
(e) as unless such person is arrested,his presence in the Court whenever required cannot be ensured, and the police officer shall record while making such arrest, his reasons in writing:
Provided that a police officer shall, in all cases where the arrest of a person is not required under the provisions of this sub-section, record the reasons in writing for not making the arrest.
X x x x x x
From a plain reading of the aforesaid provision, it is evident that a person accused of offence punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be less than seven years or which may extend
to seven years with or without fine, cannot be arrested by the police officer only on its satisfaction that such person had committed the offence punishable as aforesaid. Police officer before arrest, in such cases has to be further satisfied that such arrest is necessary to prevent such person from committing any further offence; or for proper investigation of the case; or to prevent the accused from causing the evidence of the offence to disappear; or tampering with such evidence in any manner; or to prevent such person from making any inducement, threat or promise to a witness so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or the police officer; or unless such accused person is arrested, his presence in the court whenever required cannot be ensured.
These are the conclusions, which one may reach based on facts. Law mandates the police officer to state the facts and record the reasons in writing which led him to come to a conclusion covered by any of the provisions aforesaid, while making such arrest. Law further requires the police officers to record the reasons in writing for not making the arrest. In pith and core, the police office before arrest must put a question to himself, why arrest? Is it really required? What purpose it will serve? What  object it will achieve? It is only after these questions are addressed and one or the other
conditions as enumerated above is satisfied, the power of arrest needs to be exercised. In fine, before arrest first the police officers should have reason to believe on the basis of information and material that the accused has committed the offence. Apart from this, the police officer has to be satisfied further that the arrest is necessary for one or the more purposes envisaged by sub-clauses (a) to (e) of clause (1) of Section 41 of Cr.PC.
An accused arrested without warrant by the police has the constitutional right under Article 22(2) of the Constitution of India and Section 57, Cr.PC to be produced before the Magistrate without unnecessary delay and in no circumstances beyond 24 hours excluding the time necessary for the journey. During the course of investigation of a case, an accused can be kept in detention beyond a period of 24 hours only when it is authorised by the Magistrate in exercise of power under Section 167 Cr.PC. The power to authorise detention is a very solemn function. It affects the liberty and freedom of citizens and needs to be exercised with great care and caution. Our experience tells us that it is not exercised with the seriousness it deserves. In many of the cases, detention is authorised in a routine, casual and cavalier manner. Before a Magistrate authorises detention under Section 167, Cr.PC, he has to be first satisfied that the arrest made is legal and in accordance with law and all the constitutional rights of the person arrested is satisfied. If the arrest effected by the police officer does not satisfy the requirements of Section 41 of the Code, Magistrate is duty bound not to authorise his further detention and release the accused. In other words, when an accused is produced before the Magistrate, the police officer effecting the arrest is required to furnish to the Magistrate, the facts, reasons and its conclusions for arrest and the Magistrate in turn is to be satisfied that condition precedent for arrest under Section 41 Cr.PC has been satisfied and it is only thereafter that he will authorise the detention of an accused.The Magistrate before authorising detention will record its own satisfaction, may be in brief but the said satisfaction must reflect from its order. It
shall never be based upon the ipse dixit of the police officer, for example, in case the police officer considers the arrest necessary to prevent such person from committing any further offence or for proper investigation of the case or for preventing an accused from tampering with evidence or making inducement etc., the police
officer shall furnish to the Magistrate the facts, the reasons and materials on the basis of which the police officer had reached its
conclusion. Those shall be perused by the Magistrate while authorising the detention and only after recording its satisfaction in writing that the Magistrate will authorise the detention of the accused. In fine, when a suspect is arrested and produced before a Magistrate for authorising detention, the Magistrate has to
address the question whether specific reasons have been recorded for arrest and if so, prima facie those reasons are relevant and secondly a reasonable conclusion could at all be reached by the police officer that one or the other conditions stated above are attracted. To this limited extent the Magistrate will make judicial scrutiny.
Another provision i.e. Section 41A Cr.PC aimed to avoid unnecessary arrest or threat of arrest looming large on accused requires to be vitalised. Section 41A as inserted by Section 6 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008(Act 5 of 2009), which is relevant in the context reads as follows:
 “41A. Notice of appearance before police officer.-(1) The police
officer shall, in all cases where the arrest of a person is not
required under the provisions of  sub-section (1) of Section 41, issue a notice directing the person against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed a cognizable offence, to appear before him or at such other place as may be specified in the notice.
(2) Where such a notice is issued to any person, it shall be the duty of that person to comply with the terms of the notice.
(3) Where such person complies and continues to comply with the notice, he shall not be arrested in respect of the offence referred to in the notice unless, for reasons to be recorded, the police officer is of the opinion that he ought to be arrested.
(4) Where such person, at any time, fails to comply with the terms of the notice or is unwilling to identify himself, the police officer
may, subject to such orders as may have been passed by a competent Court in this behalf, arrest him for the offence mentioned in the notice.”
Aforesaid provision makes it clear that in all cases where the arrest of a person is not required under Section 41(1), Cr.PC, the police officer is required to issue notice directing the accused to appear before him at a specified place and time. Law obliges such an accused to appear before the police officer and it further
mandates that if such an accused complies with the terms of notice he shall not be arrested, unless for reasons to be recorded, the police office is of the opinion that the arrest is necessary. At this stage also, the condition precedent for arrest as envisaged under Section41 Cr.PC has to be complied and shall be subject
to the same scrutiny by the Magistrate as aforesaid.
We are of the opinion that if the provisions of Section 41, Cr.PC which authorises the police officer to arrest an accused without
an order from a Magistrate and without a warrant are scrupulously enforced, the wrong committed by the police officers intentionally or unwittingly would be reversed and the number of cases which come to the Court for grant of anticipatory bail will substantially reduce.We would like to emphasise that the practice of mechanically reproducing in the case diary all or most of the reasons contained in Section 41 Cr.PC for effecting arrest be discouraged and discontinued.
Our endeavour in this judgment is to ensure that police officers do not arrest accused unnecessarily and Magistrate do not authorise
detention casually and mechanically. In order to ensure what we have observed above, we give the following direction:
(1) All the State Governments to instruct its police officers not to automatically arrest when a case under Section 498-A of the IPC
is registered but to satisfy themselves about the necessity for arrest under the parameters laid down above flowing from
Section 41, Cr.PC;
(2) All police officers be provided with a check list containing specified sub-clauses under Section 41(1)(b)(ii);
(3) The police officer shall forward the check list duly filed and furnish the reasons and materials which necessitated the arrest,
while forwarding/producing the accused before the Magistrate for further detention;
(4) The Magistrate while authorising detention of the accused shall peruse the report furnished by the police officer in terms
aforesaid and only after recording itssatisfaction, the Magistrate will authorise detention;
(5) The decision not to arrest an accused, be forwarded to the Magistrate within two weeks from the date of the institution of
the case with a copy to the Magistrate which may be extended by the Superintendent of police of the district for the reasons
to be recorded in writing;
(6) Notice of appearance in terms of Section 41A of Cr.PC be served on the accused within two weeks from the date of
institution of the case, which may be extended by the Superintendent of Police of the District for the reasons to be recorded in writing;
(7) Failure to comply with the directions aforesaid shall apart from rendering the police officers concerned liable for departmental action, they shall also be liable to be punished for contempt of court to be instituted before High Court having territorial jurisdiction.
(8) Authorising detention without recording reasons as aforesaid by the judicial Magistrate concerned shall be liable for departmental action by the appropriate High Court.
We hasten to add that the directions aforesaid shall not only apply to the cases under Section 498-A of the I.P.C. or Section 4
of the Dowry Prohibition Act, the case in hand, but also such cases where offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be less than seven years or which may extend to seven years; whether with or without fine.
We direct that a copy of this judgment be forwarded to the Chief Secretaries as also the Director Generals of Police of all the State
Governments and the Union Territories and the Registrar General of all the High Courts for onward transmission and ensuring its
compliance.
By order dated 31st of October, 2013, this Court had granted provisional bail to the appellant on certain conditions. We make this order absolute. In the result, we allow this appeal,making our aforesaid order dated 31st October,2013 absolute; with the directions aforesaid.
J.(CHANDRAMAULI KR. PRASAD)
J.(PINAKI CHANDRA GHOSE)


NEW DELHI,July 2, 2014.





Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Supreme Court directions on treatment for acid attacks victims

Supreme Court of India directions on treatment of acid attack victims at Private hospitals :

In Land mark judgement for the protection of acid attack victims ,Hon'ble Supreme Court gave directions to private hospitals to be followed.  


The States/UTs will take a serious note of the directions of the Supreme Court with regard to treatment and payment of compensation to acid attack victims and to implement these directions through the issue of requisite orders/notifications.

• The private hospitals will also be brought on board for compliance and the States/UTs will use necessary means in this regard.

•No hospital/clinic should refuse treatment citing lack of specialized facilities.

•First-aid must be administered to the victim and after stabilization, the victim/patient could be shifted to a specialized facility for further treatment, wherever required.

•Action may be taken against hospital/clinic for refusal to treat victims of acid attacks and other crimes in contravention of the provisions of Section 357C of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. 

Full Text of Judgement : 

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION WRIT PETITION (CRL.)NO.129 OF 2006

LAXMI ...PETITIONER VERSUS UNION OF INDIA & ORS. ...RESPONDENTS
                                           O R D E R
Pursuant to our order dated 06.02.2015, the Ministry of Home Affairs has filed an affidavit dated 8 th April, 2015. We have heard learned counsel for the parties in considerable detail. A meeting was convened by the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and the Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India with all the Chief Secretaries/their counterparts in the States/Union Territories on 14.03.2015. From the affidavit, the provisional figures for 2014 indicate that there were 282 acid attacks in all the States. The majority of acid attacks were in the States of Uttar Pradesh (185), Madhya Pradesh (53) and Gujarat (11).
 As far as the Union Territories are concerned, Delhi is the only Union Territory where acid attacks have taken place and the total number of such attacks in the year 2014 provisionally is 27.
In all, therefore, 309 acid attacks are said to have taken place provisionally in the year 2014. As mentioned in our order dated 06.02.2015, with the amendment to the Indian Penal Code, nothing survives in the first prayer made by the petitioner. The second and third prayers relate to the cost of treatment of the acid attack victims and application of Section 357C of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which was inserted by an Amendment Act in 2013 with effect from 03.02.2013.
In the meeting convened by the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 14.03.2015, it has been noted that a Victim Compensation Scheme has already been notified in almost all the States and Union Territories. However, we are told today that the Victim Compensation Scheme has been notified in all States and Union Territories. We have gone through the chart annexed along with the affidavit filed by the Ministry of Home Affairs and  we find that despite the directions given by this Court in Laxmi Vs. Union of India [(2014) 4 SCC 427], the minimum compensation of Rs.3,00,000/- (Rupees three lakhs only) per acid attack victim has not been fixed in some of the States/Union Territories. In our opinion, it will be appropriate if the Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority takes up the issue with the State Government so that the orders passed by this Court are complied with and a minimum of Rs.3,00,000/- (Rupees three lakhs only) is made available to each victim of acid attack. From the figures given above, we find that the amount will not be burdensome so far as the State Governments/Union Territories are concerned and, therefore, we do not see any reason why the directions given by this Court should not be accepted by the State Governments/Union Territories since they do not involve any serious financial implication. We also direct the Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority to obtain a copy of the Victim Compensation Scheme from the concerned State/Union Territory and to give it wide and adequate publicity in the State/Union Territory so that each acid attack victim in the States/Union Territories can take the benefit of the Victim Compensation Scheme.  Insofar as the proper treatment, aftercare and rehabilitation of the victims of acid attack is concerned, the meeting convened on 14.03.2015 notes unanimously that full medical assistance should be provided to the victims of acid attack and that private hospitals should also provide free medical treatment to such victims. It is noted that there may perhaps be some reluctance on the part of some private hospitals to provide free medical treatment and, therefore, the concerned officers in the State Governments should take up the matter with the private hospitals so that they are also required to provide free medical treatment to the victims of acid attack. The decisions taken in the meeting read as follows:
• The States/UTs will take a serious note of the directions of the Supreme Court with regard to treatment and payment of compensation to acid attack victims and to implement these directions through the issue of requisite orders/notifications.
• The private hospitals will also be brought on board for compliance and the States/UTs will use necessary means in this regard.
• No hospital/clinic should refuse treatment citing lack of specialized facilities.
• First-aid must be administered to the victim and after stabilization, the victim/patient could be shifted to a specialized facility for further treatment, wherever required.
• Action may be taken against hospital/clinic for refusal to treat victims of acid attacks and other crimes in contravention of the provisions of Section 357C of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. 
We expect the authorities to comply with these decisions. Although it is not made clear in the meeting held on 14.03.2015, what we understand by free medical treatment is not only provision of physical treatment to the victim of acid attack but also availability of medicines, bed and food in the concerned hospital. We, therefore, issue a direction that the State Governments/Union Territories should seriously discuss and take up the matter with all the private hospitals in their respective State/Union Territory to the effect that the private hospitals should not refuse treatment to victims of acid attack and that full treatment should be provided to such victims including medicines, food, bedding and reconstructive surgeries. We also issue a direction that the hospital, where the victim of an acid attack is first treated, should give a certificate that the individual is a victim of an acid attack. This certificate may be utilized by the victim for treatment and reconstructive surgeries or any other scheme that the victim may be entitled to with the State Government or the Union Territory, as the case may be. In the event of any specific complaint against any private hospital or government hospital, the acid attack victim will, of course, be at liberty to take further action. With regard to the banning of sale of acid across the counter, we direct the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to take up the matter with the State Governments/Union Territories to ensure that an appropriate notification to this effect is issued within a period of three months from today. It appears that some States/Union Territories have already issued such a notification, but, in our opinion, all States and Union Territories must issue such a notification at the earliest. The final issue is with regard to the setting up of a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. In the meeting Page 7 7 held on 14.03.2015, the unanimous view was that since the District Legal Services Authority is already constituted in every district and is involved in providing appropriate assistance relating to acid attack victims, perhaps it may not be necessary to set up a separate Criminal Injuries Compensation Board. In other words, a multiplicity of authorities need not be created. In our opinion, this view is quite reasonable. Therefore, in case of any compensation claim made by any acid attack victim, the matter will be taken up by the District Legal Services Authority, which will include the District Judge and such other co-opted persons who the District Judge feels will be of assistance, particularly the District Magistrate, the Superintendent of Police and the Civil Surgeon or the Chief Medical Officer of that District or their nominee. This body will function as the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for all purposes. A copy of this order be sent to learned counsel appearing for the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for onward transmission and compliance to the Chief Secretary or their counterparts in all the States and Union Territories. Page 8 8 The Chief Secretary will ensure that the order is sent to all the District Magistrates and due publicity is given to the order of this Court. A copy of this order should also be sent to the Member Secretary of NALSA for onward transmission and compliance to the Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority in all the States and Union Territories. The Member Secretary of the State Legal Services Authority will ensure that it is forwarded to the Member Secretary of each District Legal Services Authority who will ensure that due publicity is given to the order of this Court. The writ petition is disposed of in the above terms. .
                                         .J. (MADAN B. LOKUR)
                                       .J. (UDAY UMESH LALIT)

                                     NEW DELHI APRIL 10, 2015
Courtesy : Supreme Of India Website 

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