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Section 498A: Calcutta HC issues guidelines for arrest in cruelty cases lodged by wife; says no automatic arrest

Team SoOLEGAL 28 Aug 2023 5:16pm

Section 498A: Calcutta HC issues guidelines for arrest in cruelty cases lodged by wife; says no automatic arrest

New Delhi: The Calcutta High Court issued a circular last week notifying the State police and criminal courts of guidelines to be followed while arresting a person, especially in cases related to cruelty to wife under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) or the Dowry Act.

According to a notification issued by the Calcutta High Court on August 23, the High Court has instructed the State police to ensure that an individual is not 'automatically' detained just because a complaint under Section 498A has been registered.

"All the State Governments to instruct its police officers not to automatically arrest when a case under Section 498-A is registered but to satisfy themselves about the necessity for arrest under the parameters flowing from Section 41 Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC)," the notification stated.

The notice was issued after the Supreme Court ordered on July 31 that the directives granted in an earlier judgement in Arnesh Kumar be framed into notifications and guidelines to be implemented by sessions courts and other criminal courts.

In its decision, the Supreme Court also directed the Directors General of Police in each state to ensure strict adherence to such guidelunes

The High Court notification issued in response indicates that all police officers must be furnished with a check list comprising defined sub-clauses under Section 41(1)(b)(ii), which defines the procedure for arresting a person. Also, that while authorizing detention of the accused, the Magistrate shall review the report provided by the police officer and only after recording its satisfaction such detention must be authorized.

Notice of appearance in accordance with Section 41A CrPC should be served on the accused within two weeks of the date of institution of the case, which may be extended by the Superintendent of Police of the district for reasons to be recorded in writing.

A similar action is proposed against Magistrates who authorize detention without recording the reasons.

The High Court clarified that these guidelines will apply not only to cases under Section 498A or Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, but also to cases where the offence is punishable by imprisonment for a term of less than seven years or a term of up to seven years, with or without fine.



Tagged: Calcutta High Court  
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