Who Can Arrest under CrPC?


The Law of Criminal Procedure, 1973 is intended to provide a mechanism for the enforcement of criminal law. Chapter V of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 deals with the arrest of persons under sections 41 to 60. Empty threats don’t deter and without deterrent effect, the law of crimes would have hardly any meaning or justification. Thus, the law of criminal procedure creates necessary machinery for the detection of crime, arrest of suspected criminals, collection of evidence, determination of guilt or innocence and imposition of punishment on the guilty ones. This article explains in detail about,what is meant by arrest and who are theauthorized persons can make an arrest of the criminals?


The term “Arrest” is not defined either in the code of criminal procedure or in the various substantive Acts. The term “arrest” means apprehension of a person by legal authority so as to cause deprivation of liberty.In criminal law, arrest is an important tool for bringing an accused before the court and to prevent him from absconding[1]. Further, every compulsion or physical restraint is not arrest but when the restraint is total and deprivation of personal liberty is complete, that would amount to arrest. Thus, after arrest, a person’s liberty is under the control of arrester. An arrest also serves the function of notifyingsociety that an individual has been committed a crime and to deter him from committed any other crime in future.

Also Read – How To Make Complaint Against Police?


EXCEPTIONS- created in case of members of Armed forces [S.45] from being arrested for anything done or purpoted to be done by them in discharge of their official duties except after obtaining the consent of the Government.


Section 43[2]– Any private person may arrest without a warrant on the subsequent grounds;

  • Any person committing a non-bailable and cognizable offence in his presence.
  • Any proclaimed offender.

Such a private person arresting the accused shall, handover him to the police officer without any delay or, taken him to the custody of the nearest police station. The police officer may then re arrest the accused if there is a reason to believe that such person committed the crime and he shall be dealt under the provisions of Section 42 of Crpc. If any of the above mentioned provisions for arrest without warrant by a police officer is applicable and if no such provisions is applicable or there is no sufficient reasons to believe that he has committed any offence, the police shall be at once release that person.


Section 44 –

  • Any person committing any offence within the local jurisdiction of, and in the presence of such Magistrate whether Executive or Judicial, he may himself arrest such offender or order any other person to arrest such offender and take him to the custody.
  • Any person within his local jurisdiction for whose arrest the Magistrate whether Executive or Judicial is competent to issue a warrant.


A warrant for arrest may be issued by a Magistrate after taking cognizance of any offence, whether it is “cognizable” “non-bailable and serious offences” [an offence for which an police officer may, in accordance with the 1st Schedule of the Code or under any other law, arrest without warrant] or “non-cognizable”“bailable and less serious offences” [an offence for which the police officer has no authority to arrest without a warrant]. Here, one must undergo the distinction between the summons cases and warrant cases because both are equally important in deciding the cases. The summon case is a case in which the cognizance has been taken and a summons shall be issues to the accused person in the first instance for his attendance in court. The warrant case is a case in which a warrant for the arrest of the accused is issues for the accused to be brought before the court. For instance, a) if the accused willfully disobeyed the court rules or summons or may be absconded, then in such cases he may issue a warrant for his arrest. b) just in case of breach of bond for appearance.

Also Read – Magistrate Power To Take Cognizance Of An Offence

The cognizance of any offence can be taken by a Magistrate not only upon a police report but also a) upon receiving a complaint b) upon information received from any person other than police officer c) upon the knowledge of the Magistrate himself. Hence, in such cases, where the cognizance of offence has been taken on a police report in respect of non- cognizable offence, the Magistrate may issue warrant for arrest of the offenders. In Raghuvansh Dewanchand case[3]– the arguments of the court cannot issue “non-bailable” warrants because such phrase or terminology is not mentioned either in Section 71 and 72 or Form 2, was rejected by the Supreme Court, as the Form 2 in the 2nd Schedule indicates the form in which such a warrant could also be issued.


The arrest without warrant is mainly done on emergent situations and the powers are widely conferred only to police officers but in some circumstances these are conferred to others also. As per Section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008[Act 5 of 2009], the subsequent conditions must satisfy to arrest without the warrant.

  1. Any person concerned or suspected to be concerned in a “cognizable offence”.
  2. Any person has committed a cognizable offence in the presence of a police officer.
  3. where a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed a cognizable offense punishable with imprisonment for a term which may be less than seven years or which may extend to seven years whether with or without fine. And where the creditable information received on this basis means, the police has the reason/rationale to believe of that complaint/information/suspicion that such person has committssssed such offence.
  4. In the above mentioned clause (b), before making arrest, the police must satisfy certain conditions.
    • The arrest is necessary so as to prevent further offence.
    • The arrest for proper investigation of the offence.
    • To prevent such person from causing the evidence of the offense to disappear or tampering with such evidence in any manner.
    • to prevent such person from making any inducement, threat or promise to any person acquainted with the facts of the case so as to dissuade him from disclosing such facts to the Court or to the police officer
    • The arrest of the person is very much necessary to ensure his presence/attendance in the court.
  5. Any person escaped from lawful custody
  6. Any released convict committing a breach of any rule made under Section 356(5).
  7. Who is reasonably suspected of being a deserter from any of the Armed Forces of the Union.
  8. Any person obstructing a police in discharge of his duties.
  9. Any person found in possession of any implement of house breaking without any lawful excuse.
  10. Any person found in possession of stolen property and who may reasonably suspected of having committed an offence with reference to such property.
  11. Who has been proclaimed as an offender either under this Code or by order of the State Government.
  12. Any person concerned or suspected to be concerned in any act committed at a place outside India which, if committed in India, would be punishable as an offence for which he would be liable to apprehended or detained in custody in India.

When the arrest is not requiredunder sub-section (1) of 41, the police may issue a notice directing such person against whom a complaint is made/creditable information received/suspicion exists that he has committed a cognizable offence and order him to appear before him or such other place as specified in notice. When such person fails to comply with the terms in the notice, then the police may lawfully arrest such person. This power is, however, subject to such orders that may be passed by a court of competent jurisdiction[4]. Notice of appearance is served on accused within 2 weeks from the date of institution of the case, which can be extended by the Superintendent of Police for the reasons to be recorded in writing[5].


Hence, the above explained are the essential conditions to be satisfied by the police officers to make a legal arrest of an accused. There are some provisions concerning to the rights of the accused, if such an arrest is illegal. If the arrest is legal, it is tort of false imprisonment and therefore, the arrested person is entitled to claim damages from the person who made such an arrest.



[3]Raghuvansh Dewanchand Bhasin V. State of Maharastra, (2012) 9 SCC 791

[4]S.41-A(1), 41-A(4) inserted by the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment)Act, 2008 (Act of 2009).

[5]Arnesh Kumar V. State of Bihar, (2014)8 SCC 273

This Article is Authored by Shruthi.U, 4th Year, B.A.L.L.B(Hons). Student of Sastra Deemed to be University, Tanjore.

Law Corner

Leave a Comment