Custodial interrogation implies when an accused is in the custody of enforcement officials or police officers for interrogation. While in custody, several rights of the accused are on hold but some basic human and fundamental rights are nonetheless within his reach.
The conditions for grant of custodial interrogation: (section 167 Cr.P.C.)
Investigation not complete within 24 hours as under section 57 Cr.P.C.
The accused is required in custody for further investigation. The existence of grounds to believe that the information against the accused is well founded. A copy of the diary entries as well as the accused shall be forwarded to the nearest judicial magistrate.
Duration of Custody
Not more than 15 days at a time. Police custody cannot be more than 15 days in toto.
In case of offences punishable with death, life imprisonment, or 10 years imprisonment, custody for a maximum period of 90 days. In case of any other offence for a maximum period 60 days.
According to the Supreme Court in the case of Elumalai v. State of Tamil Nadu, 1983 LW (Crl) 121:
A few guidelines before granting custodial interrogation:
Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. applies to arrest u/s 41(1) Cr.P.C. and in exceptional circumstances, to arrest u/s 151(1) Cr.P.C. The magistrate should be very watchful under this section that police does not violate liberty of citizens, arbitrarily and unreasonably.
Section 167 Cr.P.C. does not apply to arrest u/s 41 (2) Cr.P.C and court can order remand or extension of remand. The courts cannot mechanically pass orders without verifying the entries in diary and satisfying themselves about the real necessity for granting remand or extension thereof. The production of the accused before the court is mandatory, and no magistrate can order custody in the absence of the accused.
The jail authorities shall not withhold the accused even for a minute than the order of detention as detention without proper orders amounts to illegal detention.
Supreme Court observed in the case of Budh Singh v. State of Punjab (2000) 9 SCC 266 that after the expiry of 15 days of police remand, order for police remand for a further period of 7 days violates S. 167 Cr.P.C.
In the case of Chaganti Satyanarayana v. State of A. P. (1986) 3 SCC 141, Supreme Court held that “The period of 60 days or 90 days has to be compujted from the date of remand and not from the date of arrest under section 57 Cr.P.C.”
In 2008, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2008 was introduced for speedy investigation and it sought to extend the maximum number of days a suspect can be detained for interrogation to 180 days, if it is not possible to complete the investigation within 90 days.
Adv. Rajiv Malhotra