No arrests in offences with up to 3 years punishment: Rajasthan HC

The court passed this order while keeping in mind the risk of spread of Covid through asymptomatic persons in prisons, among other things


The Rajasthan High Court has directed the state police to not arrest any person accused of offences which have punishment of up to 3 years, in order to prevent spread of Covid in prisons and also to reduce the burden on police. This order has been made operational until July 17.

The bench of Justice Pankaj Bhandari was dealing with an anticipatory bail application where the accused was charged under sections 457 (Lurking house-trespass or house-breaking) and 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) of the Indian penal Code (IPC).

At the outset, the court noted that the court has a huge pendency of bail applications and as many as 5 benches of the court were hearing them. The court recognised that the police have the powers to arrest persons accused of cognisable and non-bailable offences. The court had presented a query to the Additional Advocate General asking whether the police, who are involved in other more important task of enforcing the lock-down, be directed not to arrest an accused charged with offence punishable with a term, which may extend upto 3 years till July 17. The AAG responded in the affirmative. court also observed that arrest of persons in cases where imprisonment extends upto 3 years and are triable by First Class Magistrate under present circumstances will prove to be counter-productive. “If a person, who is arrested and produced before the Magistrate and thereafter, sent to Jail is an asymptomatic carrier of Covid-19, the inmates may be put at risk,” observed the court.

The court ordered thus,

“Taking note of the above and also in view of larger public interest, this Court is of the view that the police may be restrained for the time being from making arrest of the accused persons, who are charged with offence where maximum sentence is upto three years, till 17th July, 2021. Thus, listing of bail applications under Section 438 Cr.P.C both before Sessions Court as well as High Court will be avoided.”

At the request of the AAG, the court directed the Director general of Police (DGP) to issue instructions to all officers in police stations to not make such arrests until July 17. The court also directed the registry to not list bail applications under Section 438 Cr.P.C in offences where maximum sentence extends up to three years and the offence is triable by First Class Magistrate till reopening of Courts after Summer Vacation.

The complete order may be read here:


Bombay HC sets up video call with Father Stan Swamy on May 21
Bombay High Court to hear plea for release of Hany Babu for urgent medical care
Gauhati HC seeks info on female declared foreigners and their children in Detention Camps



Related Articles