Police custody only within first 15 days of arrest: HC
KOLKATA: High-profile prisoners falling sick immediately after their arrest has raised a legal debate. From which day, would a judicial magistrate count the 15-day police custody provision under CrPC? Should it be from the day of production, or should it be counted from the day the magistrate is intimated about the arrest? The Calcutta high court on Friday set to rest such questions making it clear that the police custody cannot be ordered in any circumstances beyond the first remand period of fifteen days.
Justice Shib Sadhan Sadhu while delivering an order said, “It is not for the police officer to admit the accused in a hospital and to violate legal and constitutional mandate of production of the arrested accused before the Magistrate within twenty four hours of his detention under arrest. Such action on the part of the police officers is likely to lead unscrupulous tendencies like in the present case, where the accused was allowed to remain in hospital from 31.01.2015 to 06.02.2015 after his arrest without production before a Magistrate, till the accused was declared fit by the hospital authorities and he was produced on 07.02.2015.” He was referring to the arrest of former union minister Matang Singh by CBI on January 31 and his subsequent admission to SSKM hospital.
The judge held that, “Such activity on the part of the police officers will give wrong signals to the society and to the public at large that rich and influential person can manage unscrupulous police officers, so that they need not go either to a Court or to a prison even after arrest while in custody. The said C.B.I. Officer prima-facie committed a Constitutional violation in not producing the accused before the Magistrate within twenty four hours of his arrest. His action/inaction in this regard is highly deplorable.”