12 March 2022 4:54 AM GMT
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the State Judicial Magistrates to record their satisfaction before authorizing the detention, in the exercise of powers under Section 167 Cr.P.C., and that they must apply their mind objectively in the obtaining facts of the case and pass a reasoned order.The Bench of Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice A. V. Sesha Sai also...
The Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the State Judicial Magistrates to record their satisfaction before authorizing the detention, in the exercise of powers under Section 167 Cr.P.C., and that they must apply their mind objectively in the obtaining facts of the case and pass a reasoned order.
The Bench of Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra and Justice A. V. Sesha Sai also clarified categorically that any negligence in this regard shall be viewed seriously and the Judicial Magistrate concerned shall be liable for departmental action by the High Court.
The Bench issued this order on a Writ PIL filed by Bollineni Rajagopal Naidu, who is connected with TV5 Telugu news, which is facing several criminal charges.
The case before the Court
The petitioner, in his PIL, sought a direction upon the respondents, including the State of AP not to foist cases on media personnel or social media users in a cavalier manner or sans concrete evidence corroborating the prima facie involvement of the alleged perpetrators in the crime.
Further, the petitioner also sought a direction that the copy of the First Information Report be uploaded within 24 hours from the lodging of a report.
Lastly, it was prayed that the state police be strictly directed to follow the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar (2014) 8 SCC 273, in all cases registered by them henceforth without fail.
Essentially, the petitioner had moved the Court criminal cases were lodged against the TV Channel, and therefore, arguing that Freedom of Press is for the benefit of the general community, the Petitioner submitted that foisting of false cases or harassing the media personnel is opposed to the Constitutional Doctrine of Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression.
However, the petitioner did not pray for quashing of the criminal cases registered against the T.V. channel, but PIL did pray for a direction upon the respondents not to foist cases in a cavalier manner without concrete evidence and to direct the Police to follow the guidelines laid down in Arnesh Kumar case.
At the outset, the Court stressed that there can be no general direction to the respondents not to foist false cases, because, the Court reasoned that ordinarily investigating agency is presumed to perform its duties in accordance with law and each case is to be considered on the basis of its own facts.
However, at the same time, the Court added that it is the duty of the Court to see that citizens are not harassed by arresting them in petty offences carrying punishment less than 7 years.
In this regard, the Court referred to the ruling of Arnesh Kumar case, wherein the Supreme Court had referred to the provisions contained in Section 41(1)(b) Cr.P.C., to hold that a police officer is bound to state the facts and record the reasons in writing which led him/her to come to a conclusion covered by any of the provisions aforesaid, while making such arrest and the law further requires the police officers to record the reasons in writing for not making the arrest.
Further, highlighting the duty of the Magistrate while authorizing further detention under Section 167, as laid down by the Supreme Court in Arnesh Kumar Case, the High Court, in its order, reiterated the law already laid down by the SC and directed all the Judicial Magistrates to record their satisfaction before authorizing detention, in exercise of powers under Section 167 Cr.P.C.
It may be noted that the Supreme Court had, in Arnesh Kumar Case, observed that before a Magistrate authorizes detention under Section 167 CrPC, he has to be first satisfied that the arrest made is legal and in accordance with law and all the constitutional rights of the person arrested are satisfied.
"If the arrest effected by the police officer does not satisfy the requirements of Section 41 of the Code, Magistrate is duty-bound not to authorise his further detention and release the accused. In other words, when an accused is produced before the Magistrate, the police officer effecting the arrest is required to furnish to the Magistrate, the facts, reasons and its conclusions for arrest and the Magistrate in turn is to be satisfied that the condition precedent for arrest under Section 41 CrPC has been satisfied and it is only thereafter that he will authorise the detention of an accused....The Magistrate before authorising detention will record his own satisfaction, may be in brief but the said satisfaction must reflect from his order," the Supreme Court had observed.
Recently, Telangana High Court had granted liberty to an accused to initiate proceedings against police officials if the procedure for arrest under Section 41A CrPC is violated. The Court reminded that the police are duty-bound to follow the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in the 'Arnesh Kumar' case for arrest.
A single-judge bench of Justice Lalita Kanneganti was hearing the anticipatory bail application filed by the head of an education/ job consultancy firm in Secunderabad, primarily accused of cheating under Section 420 IPC.
The Delhi High Court recently held a police officer guilty of contempt of court for arresting a man in violation of the principles laid down by the Supreme Court in the case Arnesh Kumar vs State of Bihar. The Court sentenced the police officer to one-day imprisonment for contempt of court.
Justice Najmi Waziri also imposed a fine of Rupees 2000 on the police officer and directed him to pay costs of Rupees 15,000 to the petitioner, who had suffered incarceration for 11 days before release on bail.
Case title - Blineni Rajagopal Naidu v. The State of Andhra Pradesh and others
Case citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AP) 27
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