Prabir Purkayastha vs State (NCT Of Delhi) 2024 INSC 414 – Article 22(1) Constitution – Written Grounds Of Arrest – UAPA –

Constitution of India, 1950; Article 22(1) – Any person arrested for allegation of commission of offences under the provisions of UAPA or for that matter any other offence(s) has a fundamental and a statutory right to be informed about the grounds of arrest in writing and a copy of such written grounds of arrest have to be furnished to the arrested person as a matter of course and without exception at the earliest. The purpose of informing to the arrested person the grounds of arrest is salutary and sacrosanct inasmuch as, this information would be the only effective means for the arrested person to consult his Advocate; oppose the police custody remand and to seek bail. Any other interpretation would tantamount to diluting the sanctity of the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India. (Para 20)- The requirement to communicate the grounds of arrest or the grounds of detention in writing to a person arrested in connection with an offence or a person placed under preventive detention as provided under Articles 22(1) and 22(5) of the Constitution of India is sacrosanct and cannot be breached under any situation. Non-compliance of this constitutional requirement and statutory mandate would lead to the custody or the detention being rendered illegal, as the case may be (Para 30)- Mere fact that a charge sheet has been filed in the matter, would not validate the illegality and the unconstitutionality committed at the time of arresting the accused and the grant of initial police custody remand to the accused. (Para 22)- – Difference in the phrase ‘reasons for arrest’ and ‘grounds of arrest’ – The ‘reasons for arrest’ as indicated in the arrest memo are purely formal parameters, viz., to prevent the accused person from committing any further offence; for proper investigation of the offence; to prevent the accused person from causing the evidence of the offence to disappear or tempering with such evidence in any manner; to prevent the arrested person for making 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 Investigating Officer. These reasons would commonly apply to any person arrested on charge of a crime whereas the ‘grounds of arrest’ would be required to contain all such details in hand of the Investigating Officer which necessitated the arrest of the accused. Simultaneously, the grounds of arrest informed in writing must convey to the arrested accused all basic facts on which he was being arrested so as to provide him an opportunity of defending himself against custodial remand and to seek bail. Thus, the ‘grounds of arrest’ would invariably be personal to the accused and cannot be equated with the ‘reasons of arrest’ which are general in nature. (Para 49) –

Unlawful Activities(Prevention) Act, 1967; Section 43B(1) –The interpretation of statutory mandate laid down in the case of Pankaj Bansal vs Union of India on the aspect of informing the arrested person the grounds of arrest in writing has to be applied pari passu to a person arrested in a case registered under the provisions of the UAPA. (Para 19)

Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 154– FIR is not an encyclopaedia and is registered just to set the process of criminal justice in motion. The Investigating Officer has the power to investigate the matter and collect all relevant material which would form the basis of filing of charge sheet in the Court concerned. (Para 41)

Constitution of India, 1950; Article 141 – once this Court has interpreted the provisions of the statute in context to the constitutional scheme and has laid down that the grounds of arrest have to be conveyed to the accused in writing expeditiously, the said ratio becomes the law of the land binding on all the Courts in the country by virtue of Article 141 of the Constitution of India. (Para 46)

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