File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

When an Arrest Warrant Can Be Issued

In India, an arrest warrant, a legal document authorizing police to apprehend a specific individual, is issued by a magistrate under the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), 1973, only under specific conditions and legal provisions.

Legal Basis and Provisions:
The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) establishes the legal framework for the issuance of arrest warrants in Sections 70 to 81. These sections encompass the circumstances, processes, and authorized individuals involved in granting an arrest warrant. They outline the necessary conditions, procedural steps, and the authority empowered to issue such warrants.

Under Order XXI Rule 37 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), civil courts have the power to issue arrest warrants for judgment debtors who disregard court orders. This provision allows the court to summon the judgment debtor to explain their non-compliance with the decree. If they fail to appear or provide a satisfactory explanation, the court can order their arrest and detention in civil prison. This rule, a key component of the CPC's enforcement mechanisms, aims to ensure compliance with court decrees and judgments.

Conditions for Issuing an Arrest Warrant:

  1. Non-Bailable and Bailable Offenses: Arrest warrants are often issued by the court for serious non-bailable offenses, where the police can detain suspects without a warrant and commence investigations without court approval. Examples of such offenses include heinous crimes like murder, dacoity, treason, sexual assault, and major fraud, which pose significant threats to public safety and order. However, in bailable offenses, an arrest warrant can also be issued if the accused is found absconding.
  2. Failure to Appear in Court: Individuals who fail to respond to court summons may face arrest warrants to enforce their presence. Additionally, those who violate bail conditions, such as skipping scheduled court appearances, can be subject to arrest warrants.
  3. Anticipatory Bail Rejection: If a court denies an application for anticipatory bail, which allows individuals to seek bail before being arrested, an arrest warrant may be issued to prevent the accused from evading arrest or tampering with evidence.
  4. Investigation Requirements: Arrest warrants can be issued during investigations when individuals/accused persons refuse to cooperate or evade questioning. The police may also request the court to issue arrest warrants to facilitate the arrest of suspects to prevent the potential destruction or tampering of crucial evidence.
  5. Submission of Charge Sheet: If a charge sheet is submitted by the investigating police officer showing some accused persons as absconding with a prayer to the magistrate for issuance of arrest warrants against the absconding accused persons, then also arrest warrants can be issued by the concerned magistrate against such persons.
  6. Other Considerations: In addition to the aforementioned grounds, arrest warrants may also be issued in certain circumstances. For instance, if an individual is found committing a cognizable offense in public view, the police can arrest without a warrant and initiate an investigation. Additionally, if a warrant is issued for a person who is already in custody, the arrest warrant serves as a formal authorization for their continued detention.

The Process of Obtaining an Arrest Warrant:
The issuance of an arrest warrant is a crucial step in the legal process. Two primary avenues exist for applying for an arrest warrant. Firstly, law enforcement agencies, such as the police, can request for issuance of an arrest warrant from a magistrate. This request must be accompanied by compelling evidence and a detailed explanation of why the issuance of a warrant is necessary.

Once an application for an arrest warrant is received, the magistrate undertakes a thorough review. They meticulously examine the evidence presented and assess whether sufficient grounds exist to justify the issuance of an arrest warrant. The magistrate also scrutinizes the application to ensure that it adheres to legal requirements and aligns with principles of justice. This rigorous examination safeguards against unlawful detentions and upholds the fundamental rights of individuals.

Upon concluding their review and finding the application satisfactory, the magistrate issues the arrest warrant. This official document clearly specifies the identity of the individual to be apprehended and outlines the legal basis for the arrest. The warrant is then handed over to the police, who are responsible for executing it. Upon apprehending the individual, the police must promptly present them before the magistrate to commence the legal proceedings. This ensures accountability and transparency in the administration of justice.

In certain circumstances, private individuals may directly approach the magistrate with a complaint, seeking the issuance of an arrest warrant. In India, the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) empowers individuals to file complaints directly with a magistrate. Section 190 of the CrPC allows any private person to lodge a complaint regarding the commission of an offense. This complaint can initiate a legal process, enabling the magistrate to take cognizance of the alleged crime.

Upon receiving a complaint, the magistrate has several options under Sections 200 to 204 of the CrPC. They may examine the complainant and witnesses, order an inquiry or investigation, or issue a summons or warrant for the arrest of the accused. The issuance of an arrest warrant under Section 204 is a possibility if the magistrate deems it necessary based on the evidence provided.

This provision allows private citizens in India to pursue legal action against suspected offenders by filing complaints with a magistrate. The magistrate can then take appropriate steps, including potentially issuing an arrest warrant, based on the presented evidence and the applicable legal framework.

Safeguards and Rights:

Judicial Oversight

  • To prevent arbitrary arrests, a magistrate plays a pivotal role as a check and balance. They meticulously review arrest warrants, ensuring that they are supported by sufficient and lawful grounds. This process safeguards the rights of individuals by preventing wrongful detentions.
  • Moreover, after an arrest, the individual must be presented before the magistrate within 24 hours, providing a prompt opportunity for judicial oversight and protection.

Rights of the Accused

  • The rights of the accused are paramount in criminal justice proceedings. They are entitled to legal representation, ensuring that they have an advocate to guide them through the legal complexities and defend their interests.
  • Furthermore, the accused have the right to apply for bail after being produced before the magistrate. This provision allows for the possibility of temporary release pending trial, under appropriate conditions.

Protection Against Illegal Detention

  • Article 22 of the Indian Constitution serves as a bulwark against illegal detention. It mandates that individuals cannot be deprived of their liberty without being informed of the grounds for arrest and without the right to consult and engage a legal practitioner of their choice.
  • This fundamental safeguard ensures that individuals are not subjected to arbitrary or prolonged detention without due process of law.

An arrest warrant in India serves as a pivotal instrument within the administration of criminal justice, fulfilling the imperative task of guaranteeing the attendance of an individual in legal proceedings and preserving public tranquillity and safety. Its issuance is meticulously regulated by rigorous conditions, designed to mitigate potential misuse and safeguard individual rights. This process entails stringent judicial oversight, ensuring that the issuance of warrants is meticulously justified, thereby striking a delicate balance between the necessity for robust law enforcement and the inviolable protection of personal freedoms.

Written By: Md.Imran Wahab, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9836576565

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly