Can A Private Person Arrest Another Person; If So How

There are various sections in Chapter V of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 titled “Arrest of persons” of which Sections 41, 42, 43 and 44 empower different authorities and even private person to arrest a person in given situation.

Section 43 empowers any private person to arrest any person who in his presence commits a non-cognizable offence, or any proclaimed offender.

The private person is not authorised to take the person arrested, to a Magistrate.

# Arrest by private person and procedure on such arrest

According to Section 43 (1) Cr.P.C. any private person may arrest or cause to be arrested any person who in his presence commits a non-bailable and cognizable offence, or any proclaimed offender, and, without unnecessary delay, shall make over or cause to be made over any person so arrested to a police officer, or, in the absence of a police officer, take such person or cause him to be taken in custody to the nearest police station.

If there is reason to believe that such person comes under the provisions of section 41, a police officer shall re-arrest him. [S. 43 (2)]

If there is reason to believe that he has committed a non- cognizable offence, and he refuses on the demand of a police officer to give his name and residence, or gives a name or residence which such officer has reason to believe to be false, he shall be dealt with under the provisions of section 42; but if there is no sufficient reason to believe that he has committed any offence, he shall be at once released. [S. 43 (3)]

Thus the Code gives power of arrest not only to a police officer and a Magistrate but also under certain circumstances or given situations to private persons.

Case Law Reference

  • Mohandas v. State of Kerala, 2006 (3) KLT 173
  • The Senior Intelligence Officer v. M.K.S. Abu Bucker, 1990 CriLJ 704