According to the Criminal Procedure Code of 1973, an arrest is the restriction of a person’s liberty by a legitimate authority or by an apparent legitimate authority. It is a basic component of the criminal justice system. As per the CrPC, an individual may be arrested by a Police Officer (section 41), a Private Individual (section 43), or a Magistrate (section 44).This article explores the different sections of the CrPC that deal with arrests, emphasizing the legal foundation, procedural protections, rights of the arrested, and significant court rulings.

Arrest can either be done with a warrant or without a warrant. Arrest without a warrant and without the order of the Magistrate.

Arrest without a warrant can be done by a police officer when,

1.A person commits a cognizable offence

2.A reasonable complaint is made against the concerned person and on the basis of the complaint, there is suspicion that such person has committed the offence or when the police is satisfied that arrest is necessary

3.To prevent such a person from committing further offence

4.When proper proper investigation is to be done.

5.To prevent such person from tampering to any evidence related to the case or to try disappearing the evidence.

6.To prevent such person from causing any inducement, threat or any promises to any person acquainted with the facts of the concerned case.

Arrest by the police office can be done with a warrant,

No person concerned in a non-cognizable offence or against whom a complaint has been made or credible information has been received or reasonable suspicion of his having so concerned shall be arrested without a warrant or the order of the Magistrate.

Private Person

A private person can make an arrest by a virtue of Section 43 of CrPC, when the person commits a non-bailable and cognizabe offence, or is a proclaimed offender.   


A Magistrate ca make arrest under Section 44 of the CrPC of a person:

1.Either by himself or order any other person to arrest the offender within his local jurisdiction.

2.He may any time arrest or direct the arrest, in his presence, within his local jurisdiction of any person for whose arrest he is competent at the time and in the circumstances to give warrant.


The procedure of arrest is provided  in the Section 46 of the CrPC.

1.In the making of an arrest, officer shall actually touch or confine the body of the person about to be arrested, unless there Is a submission to the custody by word or by action. Provided where a woman is to be arrested, unless the circumstances create to the contrary, her submission to custody on an oral submission of custody on an oral intimation of arrest shall be presumed and, unless the circumstances otherwise require or unless the Police Officer is a female, the police officer shall not touch the woman for making her arrest.

2. If such person forcibly resists the endeavour to arrest him or attempts to evade the arrest, such Police Officer or other person shall use all means necessary for the arrest.

3. Nothing in this section give a right to cause the death of a person who Is not accused of an offence punishable with death or with imprisonment of life.

4.Save in exceptional circumstances no woman shall be arrested after sunset and before sunrise, and where such exceptional circumstances exist, the women Police Officer shall, by making a written report, obtain the prior permission of the Judicial Magistrate of the First Class within whose local jurisdiction the offence is committed, or the arrest is to be made.

Legal Basis for Arrest

The CrPC provides statutory basis for arrest through several sections, primarily section 41, which empowers police officers to arrest without a warrant under specific conditions. These conditions include the commission of a cognizable offense, reasonable suspicion, or credible information. Section 41 lays out that any police officer may arrest without an order from a Magistrate and without a warrant any person who has committed a cognizable offence.

Rights Of the Arrested Person

In order to stop power abuse and protect human rights, the CrPC guarantees the following protections for the person who has been arrested:
1. Right to know the reason for an arrest (section 50):
As previously stated, the reason for the arrest must be disclosed to the person who has been arrested.

2. Right to Consult a Legal Practitioner (Section 50): During questioning and during the legal proceedings, the arrested individual is entitled to speak with the lawyer of their choosing.
3.Right to be Produced before a Magistrate (Section 56): Within 24 hours after the arrest, excluding travel time, the police are required to produce the detained person before a magistrate. This clause forbids wrongful imprisonment after the allotted period.
4. Medical Examination (Section 54): The person who has been arrested is entitled to a medical examination by a licensed healthcare provider in order to record any injuries.

Preventive  Arrests

Arrests Made in Prevention
CrPC Sections 151 and 107 provide for the enforcement of preventive arrests as a means of maintaining public order. Section 151 permits an arrest without a warrant for the purpose of preventing someone from committing a crime, and Section 107 covers measures taken to put an end to a disturbance.

Key Judicial Interpretations

Numerous noteworthy decisions have impacted the application of the CrPC’s arrest provisions. For instance, the Supreme Court outlined specific guidelines for arrest and detention in the case of DK Basu v. State of West Bengal, emphasizing the necessity of accountability and transparency in the arrest process. According to these rules, police officers have to carry visible identification and write an arrest memo that is witnessed by a witness.

Challenges and Reforms

Despite the robust framework, challenges persist in the arrest process, including instances of arbitrary arrests and custodial violence. There is a need for continuous training of law enforcement personnel on legal  procedures and human rights to address these issues effectively.

Arbitrary Arrests:  There are reports of arrests being made without sufficient legal grounds, often influenced by extraneous factors such as political pressure or personal vendettas.

Custodial Violence: Instances of torture and ill treatment in custody highlight the urgent need for reforms to protect the rights of arrested individuals.

Reform Proposals

1.Enhanced Training: Regular training programs for police officers on legal procedures, human rights, and ethical conduct.

2.Strengthening Judicial Oversight: Ensuring that magistrates rigorously review the legality of arrests and detentions to prevent misuse of power.

3.technological interpretation: Using technology to document arrests and detentions, including the use of body cameras and electronic records to enhance transparency and accountability.


Arrest is a critical function within the criminal justice system, balancing the need for law enforcement with the protection of individual rights. The Criminal Procedural Code provides a comprehensive legal framework to govern arrests, incorporating procedural safeguards and rights to ensure fairness and justice. Continuous reforms and vigilant judicial oversight are essential to address the challenges and uphold the rule of law. Through adherence to legal procedures and protection of human rights, the criminal justice system can maintain public trust and ensure that the process of arrest is both just and effective.

by Sidak (Intern)

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