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Saturday, December 10, 2011


The Hon’ble Supreme Court in order to check or obviate the possibility of misuses of an arrest warrant, issued guidelines to be adopted in all cases where non-bailable warrants are issued by the Courts.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court in Raghuvansh Dewanchand Bhasin V State of Maharashtra.16 issued the following guidelines to be adopted in all cases where non-bailable warrants are issued by the Courts –

(a) All the High Court shall ensure that the Subordinate Courts use printed and machine numbered Form No.2 for issuing warrant of arrest and each such form is duly accounted for;

(b) Before authenticating, the Court must ensure that complete particulars of the case are mentioned on the warrant;

(c) The Presiding Judge of the Court (or responsible officer specially authorized for the purpose in case of High Courts) issuing the warrant should put his full and legible signatures on the process, also ensuring that Court seal bearing complete particulars of the Court is prominently endorsed thereon;

(d) The Court must ensure that warrant is directed to a particular police officer (or authority) and, unless intended to be open-ended, it must be returnable whether executed or unexecuted, on or before the date specified therein;

(e) Every Court must maintain a register (in the format given below), in which each warrant of arrest issued must be entered chronologically and the serial number of such entry reflected on the top right hand of the process;

(f) No warrant of arrest shall be issued without being entered in the register mentioned above and the concerned Court shall periodically check/monitor the same to confirm that every such process is always returned to the Court with due report and placed on the record of the concerned case;

(g) A register similar to the one in clause (e) supra shall be maintained at the concerned police station. The Station House Officer of the concerned Police Station shall ensure that each warrant of arrest issued by the Court, when received is duly entered in the said register and is formally entrusted to a responsible officer for execution;

(h) Ordinarily, the Courts should not give a long time for return or execution of warrants, as experience has shown that warrants are prone to misuse if they remain in control of executing agencies for long;

(i) On the date fixed for the return of the warrant, the Court must insist upon a compliance report on the action taken thereon by the Station House Officer of the concerned Police Station or the Officer In-charge of the concerned agency;

(j) The report on such warrants must be clear, cogent and legible and duly forwarded by a superior officer, so as to facilitate fixing of responsibility in case of misuse;

(k) In the event of warrant for execution beyond jurisdiction of the Court issuing it, procedure laid down in sections 78 and 79 of the code must be strictly and scrupulously followed; and

(l) In the event of cancellation of the arrest warrant by the Court, the order cancelling warrant shall be recorded in the case file and the register maintained. A copy thereof shall be sent to the concerned authority, requiring the process to be returned unexecuted forthwith. The date of receipt of the unexecuted warrant will be entered in the aforesaid registers. A copy of such order shall also be supplied to the accused.

Prepared by: S. Hemanth

Advocate at Hemanth & Associates