PROCEDURE FOR ARREST IN CRPC- WAS ARNAB GOSWAMI’S ARREST LEGAL?

Arnab Goswami was recently arrested by Mumbai Police under Section 306 of IPC for allegedly abetting the suicide of Avnay Naik- who reportedly designed the sets of Republic TV.  The suicide was committed in 2018 and three people including Arnab Goswami were named in the suicide note in which Naik alleged that his dues were not paid by the channel. 

Chapter V of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 deals with the aspects of arrests. When a person is arrested, he/she is taken into the custody of an authority permitted by law and is then asked to answer the charges against him/her. An arrest can be made by a police officer, magistrate or any private person as per the provisions of CrPC.

Section 41 of CrPC allows a police officer to arrest a person for a cognizable offence without a warrant; whereas Section 42 allows them to arrest a person for a non-cognizable offence if the person refuses to give his/her name and residence. Section 43 vests a private person to arrest in certain circumstances. Further, an arrest can be made by the magistrate as per Section 44(1). 

Section 46 of CrPC states the mode of the arrest with or without a warrant. Section 46(1) states that, “in making an arrest the police officer or other person making the same shall actually touch or confine the body of the person to be arrested, unless there be a submission to the custody by word or action”

Section 50 of CrPC states that, “Every police officer or other person arresting any person without warrant shall forthwith communicate to him full particulars of the offence for which he is arrested or other grounds for such arrest.”

Arnab Goswami was arrested for abetting suicide which is a cognizable offence. Therefore, as per Section 41 of CrPC, Police Officers did not acquire any warrant and moreover, the grounds of his arrest were informed to him. Additionally, as per the videos released in the public domain, Mr. Goswami was seen to be accusing the police of physically assaulting him. However, as per Section 46 of CrPC, the Police are permitted to touch the body of a person if he has not submitted to the custody by word or action. He was demanding to seek medical assistance before the arrest, however, section 54 of CrPC has laid down mandatory medical examination of the arrested which would have fulfilled the concerns. Thus, the arrest of Mr. Goswami prima facie appears to be legally performed. However, the arrest in the mentioned case was to be made a long time ago therefore one can reasonably question the motive behind this act. Even after two years of the complaint being filed, Mr. Goswami had not been arrested which depicts the failure of the justice system in India. 

The existing political influence on state police’s action renders the public at large helpless and devastated. As of yesterday, the Bombay HC denied Mr. Goswami’s bail application. 

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