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The house arrest was not purported to be under Section 167: SC

The requirement of Article 22(1) that no person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest indicates that the clause really contemplates an arrest without a warrant of court, for, as already noted, a person arrested under a court's warrant is made acquainted with the grounds of his arrest before the arrest is actually effected. (Para 20 of Punjab v. Ajaib Singh)


GAUTAM NAVLAKHA V NATIONAL INVESTIGATION AGENCY

Criminal Appeal No.510 of 2021

May 12, 2021


The Hon’ble Supreme Court Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice K. M. Joseph decided the present case. The FIR was registered under Sections 153A, 505(1B) and section 34 of Indian Penal Code to which Section 120(B) of Indian Penal Code and Section 13, 16, 17, 18, 18B, 20, 38, 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. The appellant been arrested from his residence in Delhi. The appellant filed writ of habeas Corpus in the high of Delhi. The Chief metropolitan magistrate granted the transit remand. The writ petition was filed before the Supreme Court by five human rights activist, the appellant was ordered house arrest. The writ petition was rejected by majority of Judges. The High Court allowed the Writ of Habeas Corpus.


The appellant filed a Writ petition for quashing the FIR. The High Court of Bombay dismissed the writ petition and denied the anticipatory bail and protected from arrest. The appellant enjoyed the protection for one and half years, three weeks and one week time to surrender. The appellant surrender before the National Investigation Agency, for seven days the police custody was granted by sessions court on 15. 04. 2020. Then further seven days remand was order, he was remanded to judicial custody on 25. 04. 2020. The appellant applied for default bail including the period of house arrest for the period of 34 days, and 11 days with custody with National Investigation Agency, 48 days in judicial custody. The National Investigation Agency rejected the application of default bail. The appellant preferred an appeal before the High Court. The High Court dismissed the appeal filed under section 21 of National Investigation Agency Act. The learned counsel on behalf of the petitioner and respondent submitted the statements.

In A. K. Roy and Ors v. Union of India, states besides, keeping a person in detention in a place other than the one where he habitually resides makes it impossible for his friends and relatives to meet him or for the detenu to claim the advantage of facilities like having his own food. The High Court declared the authorisation by the Magistrate is said to be illegal. The House arrest custody cannot be treated as authorised custody under Section 167(2) of The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. In Chaganti Satyanarayan & Ors v. State of Andhra Pradesh, to hold that the period of 90 days will commence only from the date of remand and not from any anterior date in spite of the fact that the accused may have been taken into custody earlier.


The requirement of Article 22(1) that no person who is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest indicates that the clause really contemplates an arrest without a warrant of court, for, as already noted, a person arrested under a court's warrant is made acquainted with the grounds of his arrest before the arrest is actually effected. (Para 20 of Punjab v. Ajaib Singh)


In this case, the legality of the arrest both on the ground that the offences being non cognizable arrest which was illegally effected by the police officer and also there was violation of Article 22(1). The case does not deal with legality of house arrest, it with the issue the house arrest is under section 167. Section 167 in appropriate cases it will be open to courts to order house arrest. As to its employment, without being exhaustive, we may indicate criteria like age, health condition and the antecedents of the accused, the nature of the crime, the need for other forms of custody and the ability to enforce the terms of the house arrest. The house arrest of the appellant was not purported to be under Section 167.


The appeal is dismissed.



Shantha Gopika R

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