New Delhi, August 1: In a recent judgment, the Supreme Court has reiterated that the police should not automatically arrest a husband or his relatives when an FIR alleging cruelty is lodged at the instance of a married woman. A bench comprising Justices S. Ravindra Bhat and Aravind Kumar said that the police officers should satisfy themselves about the necessity for arrest under the parameters laid down in Section 41 CrPC.
It directed High Courts and DGPs (Director General of Police) in all states to issue circulars containing guidelines laid down by the apex court to all lower courts and police authorities within eight weeks.
In Arnesh Kumar judgment, the apex court passed a slew of directions to prevent police officers from arresting the accused unnecessarily. It instructed police officers to not automatically arrest when a case under Section 498-A IPC or under Dowry Prohibition Act is registered and clarified that such direction will also apply to cases where offence is punishable with up to seven or less years of imprisonment.
“Affidavits of compliance shall be filed before this court within ten weeks by all the states and High Courts, through their Registrars,” the Supreme Court ordered.
The top court was hearing a special leave petition filed against denial of anticipatory bail and a direction passed by the Jharkhand High Court asking the husband to surrender before the lower court to seek regular bail in relation to dowry case lodged by the wife.
It was argued on behalf of the appellant husband that an arrest can be made does not mandate that it ought to be made in every case and an accused can be taken into custody only if the Investigating Officer believes that he or she may abscond or disobey summons.
“Ordinarily bail ought to be granted and that in serious cases….which involve allegations relating to offences carrying long sentences or other special offences, the court should be circumspect and careful in exercising discretion (to grant bail),” said the Supreme Court while allowing bail to the appellant.