Summoning or Detaining without any crime registered is contrary to law: SC

The Supreme court of India on 18 September 2021 observed that summoning a person or detaining him without any crime registered against his name is violative of basic principles of the constitution of India and the directions issued by the court in Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar will apply even if no crime was registered against the person. The bench which observed so consisted of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice Bela Mandhuriya Trivedi and Justice Shripathi Ravindra Bhat.

The facts of the case before the supreme court are as follows:

A husband had approached the Andhra Pradesh HC seeking a direction to the police not to arrest him without giving him due to notice under section 41Aof CrPc because he was fearful of his arrest as his wife had filed a complaint against him alleging offences done by him under Section 498A of IPC. The judge directed the police to follow the guidelines by SC in Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar (2014) 8 SCC 273.

Still, he was forcefully taken away by the officer in charge of Akividu police station and was detained there so he filed a Contempt of court case against the police. The Court found that the man was summoned to the police station in the name of counselling and was later detained there. The single bench then sentenced the police officer to three months of imprisonment for contempt of court. This order was set aside by the Division Bench and the court observed that the guidelines issued by SC in Arnesh Kumar Vs. State of Bihar would not be applicable in this case as no crime was registered to date, as there was no crime there the question of arresting will not arise.

The Supreme Court of India on Saturday passed the order in this case and modified the sentence passed earlier by the court from 3 months of imprisonment to 15 days of imprisonment. The SC of India observed in this case that there was a clear violation of guidelines of SC issued in the case of Arnesh Kumar and there was also a violation of directions of SC given in the case of D.K. Basu Vs State of West Bengal.

The Apex court observed that only because no crime was registered it could not be a defence or an escape as summoning a person without any type of crime registered against that person is in itself a violation of basic principles of the Constitution of India.

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