Difference between Judicial Custody and Police Custody

Difference between Judicial Custody and Police Custody

The common meaning of the word custody is detention of a person. Custody of a person is of two types of judicial custody and police custody. In both of them the person is detained in the custody of the law and the person is prevented from committing any other further crime or to interfere in the investigation of the case. An accused is kept under police custody and judicial custody according to the rules of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. They are similar yet very different.

Police Custody

When a person reports/complaints or inform police about any other person than following to that the police officer will arrest that person. The police arrest the suspects involved in the matter and prevent them from committing any further crime. As per Section 167 of CrPC the person should be produced before the Magistrate in 24 hours (excluding traveling time from the place of arrest) with the evidence against him.

Judicial Custody

Judicial Custody means the person will be kept in prison on the orders of the Magistrate. In other words, we can say that the accused is in the custody of the Magistrate. In police custody, the person is in lock up while in judicial custody the person is in jail. When the accused is presented before the Magistrate after that he can be sent to jail or can be sent back to police custody. In judicial custody, the suspect becomes the responsibility of the Court.

Laws of Custody in India

The suspect is assumed to be innocent till the charges against him are proved and only after that, the Court will punish him for the crime reported. As per Section 167 the suspect can be in police custody for 15 days but on the orders of the Magistrate. However, the person can be under judicial custody for upto 90 days when the person has committed an offence with a punishment of death, imprisonment of life or period of imprisonment exceeding 10 years and for upto 60 days for all other crimes, if the Magistrate thinks fit for the interest of the justice.

A Judicial Magistrate can give the order to extend the duration of any custody upto 15 days and an executive magistrate can extend it upto 7 days.

If the police report is not been filed within 60 or 90 days (as the case may be) then the person can be released on default bail. But if the police report is filed within the required time period then the accused won’t be released on default bail and thus will continue to be detained under judicial custody because after investigation the process of inquiry has started.

The maximum period on which a suspect can be under judicial custody is half of the punishment awarded for the concerned offence. When the accused is kept under police or judicial custody, it is important to keep in mind that they have some rights too. Many decisions have been taken by different Courts stating that the accused should not be treated badly. Different provisions of CrPC and the Constitution of India provide the rights of the arrested person.

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