The Right to life of Arrestee (the Habeas Corpus case)
Joginder Kumar v. State of Uttar Pradesh , AIR 1994 SC 1349
Facts: On 7-1-1994 at about
12-55 p.m., the brother of the petitioner being apprehensive of the intentions of respondent No. 4, sent a telegram to the Chief Minister of U. P. apprehending his brother's implication in some criminal case and also further apprehending the petitioner being shot dead in fake encounter.
In spite of the frequent enquiries, the whereabouts of the petitioner could not be located. On the evening of 7-1-1994, it came to be known that petitioner is detained in illegal custody of 5th respondent, S.H.O , P. S. Mussorie.
On 8-1-1994, it was informed that the 5th respondent was keeping the petitioner in detention to make further enquiries in some case. So far the petitioner has not been produced before the concerned Magistrate. Instead the 5th respondent directed the relative of the petitioner to approach the 4th respondent S.S.P. Ghaziabad for release of the petitioner.
On 9-1-1994, in the evening when the brother of petitioner along with relatives went to P.S. Mussorie to enquire about the well-being of his brother, it was found that the petitioner had been taken to some undisclosed destination. Under these circumstances, the present petition has been preferred for the release of Joginder Kumar, the petitioner herein.
This Court on 11-1-1994 ordered notice to State of U.P. as well as S.S.P. Ghaziabad.
The said Senior Superintendent of Police along with petitioner appeared before this Court on 14-1-1994. According to him, the petitioner has been released. The question as to why the petitioner was detained for a period of five days, he would submit that the petitioner was not in detention at all. His help was taken for detecting some cases relating to abduction and the petitioner was helpful in co-operating with the police. Therefore, there is no question of detaining him.
Issue: Whether the law of arrest is one of balancing individual rights, liberties and privileges.
Judgment: No arrest could be made because it was lawful for the Police Officer to do so. The existence of the power to arrest is one thing. The justification for the exercise of it is quite another. The Police Officer must be able to justify the arrest apart from his power to do so. The arrest and detention in police lock-up of a person could cause incalculable harm to the reputation and self-esteem of a person. It would be prudent for a Police Officer in the interest of protection of the Constitutional rights of a citizen. Denying a person of his liberty is a serious matter.