Judiciary is one of the four pillars of democracy in India. It’s independent and ensures justice for the people of India. Judges have the responsibility to decide cases and make sure that justice is done and it’s also seen to be done.

The power given to the judges comes with greater responsibilities. To ensure safety of judges and fair adjudication of cases the legislature enacted the JUDICIAL OFFICER PROTECTION ACT, 1850 to protect the judges who are acting in bonafide manner; therefore they may deliver free and fair justice to every person.

JUDICIAL OFFICER PROTECTION ACT provides immunity to Judges from criminal proceeding or civil suit. If an act done by the judge in his judicial capacity and in good faith, wouldn’t constitute an offence under section 77 of CRPC, 1973.

In India, we follow Rule of law that means every person is equal before the law. If any illegal activity committed by the judge, he can be arrested for the same. But as he is a member of a prestigious institution, the procedure for his arrest is not same as in the case of any other person.

In DELHI JUDICIAL SERVICE ASSOCIATIONS VS STATE OF GUJARAT, the Supreme Court propounded some guidelines for the arrest of a judicial officer. They are:

  • Before the arrest of judicial officer, district judge or High court should be informed about this fact.
  • In case of immediate arrest, the arrest can be made after recording of reasons for such arrest. The fact related to immediate arrest should be communicated to the district judge or judge of the high court.
  • The permission of the session judge or district judge is required for taking the arrested judicial officer to a police station.
  • Arrest information should be communicated to family or friends and the opportunity to talk with a lawyer and judicial officer (session judge or district judge) should be provided to a judicial officer.
  • Statement of the judicial officer can be recorded in the presence of a lawyer or the presence of a judicial officer of high rank.
  • Police are not allowed to handcuff the judicial officer except in the case of imminent danger.
  • About the handcuffing of judicial officer session judge or district judge or chief justice of high court should be informed. The police officer will satisfy the court about the necessity of handcuffing, if he failed to do so he will be liable for misconduct.

Thus, the judges can be arrested for the commission of an illegal act.

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