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No Immediate Arrest Under 498A: Tripura High Court Warns Police

Tripura High Court has banned immediate arrest under Section 498A. The High Court has cited a Supreme Court judgment of July this year and ordered an immediate halt to the arrest under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). 

The High Court has also issued guidelines for the police in this regard. The High Court has also said that if the instructions are not followed, it will be considered contempt of court and departmental action will be taken against the concerned police officers.

As per the guidelines, investigating officers have to fill a checklist of parameters mentioned in Section 41 of the CrPC before arresting an accused. 

Failure to comply will make the officer liable for departmental action and contempt of court.

The High Court also said that Magistrates who authorize detention without recording reasons will also be liable for departmental action by the High Court. 

The High Court’s directions are aimed at ensuring that police officers do not arrest accused unnecessarily under Section 498A cases and magistrates do not authorize detention casually and mechanically.

The High Court said that the Tripura government will have to give instructions to the police officers accordingly. In the instructions, it has to state that these are the guidelines of the High Court and satisfy himself about the need for arrest under the parameters laid down in CrPC.

The police officer, while producing the accused before the Magistrate for further custody, will submit a checklist filled in with the reasons and material/evidence due to which arrest under Section 498A became necessary. The Magistrate should authorize further detention only after examining the report of the officer and recording his satisfaction.

Also, the guidelines specify that the decision not to arrest an accused under Section 498A should be given in writing to the Magistrate within two weeks from the date of inception of the case. 

The District SP can extend that period but with reasons to be recorded in writing. 

Tripura High Court guidelines state that the police should serve a notice of appearance to the accused under Section 41 of the CrPC within two weeks of the date of registration of the case.

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