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Supreme Courts Guidelines On Arrests

In D. K Basu vs State AIR 1997, SC 610, where law relating to arrest has been dealt with more exhaustedly and direction given therein have been ordered to be followed mandatorily. The relevant direction s in this regard read as follows:

We , therefore, consider in appropriate to issue the following requirements to be followed in all cases of arrests or detention, till legal provisions are made in that behalf, as preventive measures :
  1. The police personnel carrying out the arrest and handling the interrogation of the arrestee should bear accurate, visible, and clear identification and name tags with their designations. The particulars of all such police personnel who handle interrogation of the arrestee must be recorded in a register.
  2. That the police officer carrying out the arrest of the arrestee shall prepare a memo of arrest at the time of arrest, and such memo shall be attested by at least one witness, who may be either a member of the family of the arrestee or a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. It shall also be countersigned by the arrestee and shall contain the time and date of arrest.
  3. A person who has been arrested or detained and is being held in custody in a police station or interrogation center or other lock-up shall be entitled to have one friend or relative or other person known to him or having an interest in his welfare being informed, as soon as practicable, that he has been arrested and is being detained at the particular place unless the attesting witness of the memo of arrest is himself such a friend or a relative of the arrestee.
  4. The time, place of arrest, and venue of Custody of an arrestee must be notified by the police where the next friend or relative of the arrestee lives outside the district or town through the Legal Aid Organisation in the District and the police station of the area concerned telegraphically within a period of 8 to 10 hours of the arrest.
  5. The person arrested must be made aware of this right to have someone informed of his arrest or detention as soon as he is put under arrest or is detained.
  6. An entry must be made in the diary at the place of detention regarding the arrest of the person, which shall also disclose the name of the next friend of the person who has been informed of the arrest and the names and particulars of the police officials in whose Custody the arrestee is.
  7. The arrestee should, where he so requests, be also examined at the time of his arrest, and major injuries, if any, present on his/her body, must be recorded at the time. The inspection Memo must be signed both by the arrestee and the police officer effecting the arrest, and its copy provided to the arrestee.
  8. The arrestee should be subjected to a medical examination every 48 hours during his detention in Custody by a trained doctor on the panel of approved Doctors appointed by Director, Health Services, of the concerned State or Union Territory. Director, Health Services should prepare such a panel for all Tehsils and Districts as well.
  9. Copies of all the documents, including the memo of arrest referred to above, should be sent to the local Magistrate for their record.
  10. The arrestee must be permitted to meet his lawyer during interrogation, though not during the interrogation.
A police control room should be proved at all districts and state headquarters, where information regarding the arrest and the place of Custody of the arrestee must be communicated by the Officer causing the arrest, within 12 hrs, of effecting the arrest and at the police control room it should be displayed on a conspicuous police report.

A failure to comply with the above-mentioned direction s hereinabove shall, apart from rendering the concerned police officials liable for department action, also render him liable to be punished for contempt of court and the proceedings for contempt of court may be instituted in the High Court of the country, having territorial jurisdiction over the matter .

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