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Miscellaneous Provisions

General miscellaneous provisions of Crpc:-

Requirement of age in a warrant which authorises detention:

Supreme Court of India

Sanjay Suri & Anr vs Delhi Administration, Delhi & Anr on 9 December, 1987

We call upon every Magistrate or trial Judge authorised to issue warrants for detention of prisoners to ensure that every warrant authorising detention specifies the age of the person to be detained. Judicial mind must be applied in cases where there is doubt about the age-not necessarily by a trial-and every warrant must specify the age of the person to be detained. We call upon the authorities in the jails throughout India not to accept any warrant of detention as a valid one unless the age of the detenu is shown therein. By this order of ours, we make it clear that it shall be open to the jail authorities to refuse to honour a warrant if the age of the person remanded to jail custody is not indicated. It would be lawful for such officers to refer back the warrant to the issuing court for rectifying the defect before it is honoured. Since it will create problems in keeping the undertrial or the prisoner during the intervening period, the judicial officer should realise his responsibility in accepting this direction and giving full effect to it. In exceptional cases, when the warrant is referred back for rectification, the person covered by the warrant may be kept at the most for a week pending rectification, and taking responsibility of the situation. On the basis of the age indicated in the warrant, it shall be the obligation of the jail authorities to find out, so far as Delhi is concerned, whether the prisoner covered by the warrant should be detained in the Tihar Jail or in the Juvenile Jail.

In Omwati v.State of UP & Another (2004) 4 SCC 425, this court dealt with a rather unusual matter wherein the High Court firstly issued bailable warrants against the appellant and thereafter by issuing non-bailable warrants put the complainant of the case behind bars without going through the facts of the case. This Court observed that the unfortunate sequel of such unmindful orders has been that the appellant was taken into custody and had to remain in jail for a few days, but without any justification whatsoever. She suffered because facts of the case were not considered in proper perspective before passing the orders. The court also observed that some degree of care is supposed to be taken before issuing warrants.

In State of U.P. v. Poosu & Another (1976) 3 SCC 1 at para 13 page 5, the Court observed:

Whether in the circumstances of the case, the attendance of the accused respondent can be best secured by issuing a bailable warrant or non- bailable warrant, is a matter which rests entirely in the discretion of the court. Although, the discretion is exercised judiciously, it is not possible to computerize and reduce into immutable formulae the diverse considerations on the basis of which this discretion is exercised. Broadly speaking, the court would take into account the various factors such as the nature and seriousness of the offence, the character of the evidence, circumstances peculiar to the accused, possibility of his absconding, larger interest of the public and the State.

Personal liberty and the interest of the State Civilized countries have recognized that liberty is the most precious of all the human rights. The American Declaration of Independence 1776, French Declaration of the Rights of Men and the Citizen 1789, Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights 1966 all speak with one voice - liberty is the natural and inalienable right of every human being. Similarly, Article 21 of our Constitution proclaims that no one shall be deprived of his liberty except in accordance with the procedure prescribed by law.

The issuance of non-bailable warrants involves interference with personal liberty. Arrest and imprisonment means deprivation of the most precious right of an individual. Therefore, the courts have to be extremely careful before issuing non-bailable warrants.

Just as liberty is precious for an individual so is the interest of the society in maintaining law and order. Both are extremely important for the survival of a civilized society. Sometimes in the larger interest of the Public and the State it becomes absolutely imperative to curtail freedom of an individual for a certain period, only then the non-bailable warrants should be issued.

When non-bailable warrants should be issued Non-bailable warrant should be issued to bring a person to court when summons of bailable warrants would be unlikely to have the desired result. This could be when: * it is reasonable to believe that the person will not voluntarily appear in court; or * the police authorities are unable to find the person to serve him with a summon;

or * it is considered that the person could harm someone if not placed into custody immediately.