Umar Khalid arrest: Court told Delhi Police that no person can be detained without being informed about the grounds of arrest

The court said in its order that Article 22 (1) of the Constitution stipulated that no police official can arrest an individual without informing the grounds of his arrest, and Article 22 of the Constitution guaranteed the fundamental right of protection against the arrest and detention.

Umar Khalid

On October 21, 2020, a month and eight days after his arrest, the court of Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Purushotam Pathake ordered the Police to supply the former JNU student Umar Khalid a copy of the First Information Report (FIR), remand application and remand order of the case related to the north east Delhi violence in which he was arrested. It also directed the police to provide the reports of the medical examination conducted during police custody. The court was hearing an application moved by Umar Khalid’s counsel seeking copies of the FIR related to the Khajuri Khas violence case, the remand application moved by the police for his police custody, the remand order, the medical report and reply filed by the investigating officer (IO) to an application filed earlier with the same prayers so as to know the grounds of his arrest. Special Public Prosecutor Manoj Chaudhary appeared for the Delhi police.

He was re-arrested in connection with the riots in Khajuri Khas on October 1, 2020 while he was in judicial custody in another case related to an alleged conspiracy behind the Delhi riots violence. Special Public Prosecutor Manoj Chaudhary opposed the said application saying that there was no provision in law to supply the documents before taking cognizance by the court. He informed the court that Umar Khalid has been told about the grounds of his arrest and if the documents were supplied to him at this stage, it would open a “Pandora’s box” as he might move a number of applications for supplying one or the other document.

The court said that Article 22 (1) of the Constitution provides that no police official can arrest an individual without informing the grounds of his arrest and Article 22 of the Constitution guarantees the fundamental right of protection against the arrest and detention of individuals. It further noted that section 50 of the Code of Criminal Procedure provided that every police official with authority to arrest someone without warrant, must inform the person getting arrested about the crime for which he is arrested and other relevant grounds for the arrest.

“It is a settled proposition of law that no person shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest. The provisions of Section 50 of the Code are mandatory. The police official must inform the arrested person all his rights after detainment and this is the duty of police official which he cannot refuse”, the court observed.

The court also added that “An accused must be informed of the bare necessary facts leading to his arrest such as the grounds and the reasons, and the facts that in respect of whom and by whom the offence is said to have been committed as well as the date, time and the place of offences, etc, and for that purpose there is no prohibition in law restricting the supply of certain documents to accused who has been remanded to judicial custody.”

Agreeing to supply all documents to Umar, the court ruled, “Considering these facts and circumstances and settled position of law, it is expedient and in the interest of justice that a copy of FIR (101/2020), Police Station Khajuri Khas, copy of the remand application dated October 1, remand order dated October 1, granting police custody, medical reports of the medical conducted during the police custody and a copy of reply of IO relied upon in the order dated October 3 should be granted to the accused (Umar Khalid).”

Communal violence had broken out in February this year between citizenship law protestors and supporters in north east districts of Delhi.


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