After Jul, 2014 SC judgment against automatic arrest under 498a and home ministry advisory to follow CrPC 41 and 41a guidelines to avoid arbitrary arrest in 498a (and offences less than 7 years punishment), probably a first judgment has come from a Delhi court criticizing the Punjab police investigation officer for doing his supposedly god-given duty of proceeding to arrest the Delhi resident after a IPC 498a complaint was filed in Amritsar, Punjab.
It’s about time that police learn to follow the law else it’s a matter of time someone who was arbitrarily arrested without following CrPC 41, 41a by police will file a contempt against police in high court, and at that time there will be no escape from punishment because of precedent created by SC.
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Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau noted that the police must follow the checklist/guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court against casual arrests in cases under Section 498A of the IPC as also under cases where punishment is for seven years or less.
The apex court had in July directed that the police must satisfy itself of the necessity of an arrest and the magistrate to record its satisfaction before authorising detention.
The court was hearing the pleas for anticipatory bails filed by North-West Delhi resident Manoj and his mother since they were apprehending arrest in a case lodged against them by Manoj’s wife who left the matrimonial house within six months of their marriage.
The woman had left the house and lodged a case at Amritsar in Punjab.
Manoj and his mother argued in the court that the complaint was false and even otherwise, the Punjab police have no jurisdiction whatsoever to arrest them.
The court noted that the “investigating officer (of Punjab police) admits that only allegations against the applicants/ accused are oral and non-specific without any supporting documents in the form of MLCs to prima facie confirm the allegations of beating and hence under the given circumstances the possibility of the abuse of the provisions of Section 498A only for purposes of creating pressure upon the in-laws cannot be ruled out.”
It noted that there was no order from the Superintendent of Police to the investigating officer to arrest the applicants, as required in compliance of the Supreme Court guidelines and called it a serious non-compliance of law.