The Hon’ble bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Hritikesh Roy held that “section 170 of The Code of Criminal procedure,1973(hereinafter referred to as ‘CrPC’) does not oblige the officer-in-charge to arrest each and every accused at the time of filing of charge-sheet.”
The Hon’ble bench noted in the case herein that “we have come across some cases in which accused cooperated in the whole investigation process but for the production of charge sheet before magistrate non-bailable warrants were issued for the production of accused before the court.”
Needful to mention here, it is also stated by the Hon’ble bench that “when the Investigation Officer (hereinafter referred to as ‘IO’) is of the belief that accused will not abscond then there is no requirement to produce in custody.”
Further, it is also made clear regarding the word ‘custody’ that “the word custody appearing in section 170 CrPC does not merely denote police or judicial custody but just the production accused by IO before magistrate while presenting the charge sheet”
moreover, it is stated by the hon’ble bench that “the intent of section 170 CrPC is being misplaced when the trial courts are insisting on the obligation to arrest the accused as a prerequisite formality to produce charge sheet.”
The bench observed as above after noting some judicial precedents available on the interpretation of the section CrPC such as Delhi high court judgment in own motion v. Central Bureau of Investigation, Deendayal Kishanchand & Ors. v. State of Gujarat
In the instant case, the appellant herein along with other 83 members were sought to be roped in an FIR that was registered 7 years ago. the appellant is stated to have joined the investigation before approaching the court to submit the charge sheet but an arrest memo is stated to have been issued against the appellant for the production of the accused before the court for the submission of the charge sheet.
The counsel for the respondent disputed that “trial courts are of the view that unless the accused are taken into custody charge sheet cannot be taken into the record under section 170 CrPC”.