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Police Officer’s power to require attendance of witnesses-section 160 of Cr.P.C.

160. Police Officer’s power to require attendance of witnesses.

(1) Any police officer making an investigation under this Chapter may, by order in writing, require the attendance before himself of any person being within the limits of his own or any adjoining station who, from the information given or otherwise, appears to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances of the case; and such person shall attend as so required:

Provided that no male person under the age of fifteen years or woman shall be required to attend at any place other than the place in which such male person or woman resides.

(2) The State Government may, by rules made in this behalf, provide for the payment by the police officer of the reasonable expenses of every person, attending under sub-section (1) at any place other than his residence.

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“powers on a lowest rank of police official and lays down no guidelines for exercise of the powers of issuing notice so as to ensure that there was no misuse or abuse of power. It is submitted thatSection 160 Cr.P.C was also violative of Article 21 of the Constitution of India as it encroaches upon the liberty of a citizen. The facts stated in the petition are peculiar to the petitioners and not relevant in considering the question whether Section 160 Cr.P.C is unconstitutional or not. The constitutionality of Section 160 has to be considered per se.”

 

The powers under Section 160 Cr.P.C are necessary for the police for proper and effective investigation of a crime. A police officer who receives information that a person may be acquainted with the facts of the case can issue notice under Section 160 Cr.P.C to call such person and interrogate him. No specific guidelines are required for issuing such notice as issuance of such notice would not in any way infringes the W.P. (Crl.) No.1422/08 & 152/2010 Page 3 Of 7 personal liberty of any person. Chapter IV of Cr.P.C casts a duty on the public person to provide necessary help to Magistrate and police as and when demanded regarding information about commission of a crime and help apprehending the criminals. A duty has been cast upon the public to give information of certain offences as mentioned in Section 39 CrP.CSection 41 of Cr.P.Cgives power to police not only to arrest a person, without warrants, if he has been involved in a cognizable offence or against whom credible information has been received of his having been involved in an offence.

The cord registered and notices under Section 160 Cr.P.C were issued to the petitioners and the petitioners made this writ petition. 9. The petitioners have already obtained a copy of complaint by using provisions of RTI Act. It is not obligatory on the part of the police to furnish a copy of FIR/complaint to the accused. Section 154(2) puts an obligation on police to furnish a copy of FIR/complaint to the complainant and not to the accused. Police has got every right to issue noticeunder Section 160 Cr.P.C and notice under Section 160 cannot be quashed by a Court. Notice under Sections 160 Cr.P.C is a step in furtherance of investigation and the court cannot interfere into investigation. If the petitioners were apprehending arrest on account of their alleged involvement, the appropriate course available for the W.P. (Crl.) No.1422/08 & 152/2010 Page 6 Of 7 petitioner was to apply for bail and not to approach this Court for quashing the notices underSection 160 Cr.P.C. As far as allegations of surveillance by taping the phones of petitioners are concerned, no material has been placed on record.

 

IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

Date of Reserve: November 01, 2010

Date of Order: November 30, 2010

+ W.P. (Crl.) No.152/2010

% 30.11.2010 Satish Mohan Agarwal & Anr. …Petitioner

Versus

UOI & Ors. …Respondents 

 

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