Expressing discontent over the police using their power indiscriminately to crush personal liberty by arresting the accused at the time of filing of charge sheet just because the law allows.
Referring to a number of High Court judgments, some dating back to the 1980s, the bench of Justices SK Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy implored the police officers not to make the arrest a routine affair just because the law arms them with the power to do so.
“The occasion to arrest an accused during investigation arises when the custodial investigation becomes necessary or it is a heinous crime or where there is a possibility of influencing the witnesses or the accused may abscond. Merely because an arrest can be made because it is lawful does not mandate that arrest must be made,” noted the bench.
A distinction must be made between the existence of the power to arrest and the justification for the exercise of it, it noted. The Supreme Court’s verdict has been passed in a case where one of the 84 persons accused in a case involving corruption in a tendering process approached the court for anticipatory bail.