Public When To Assist Magistrates & Police

Public : According to Section 37 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 every person is bound to assist a Magistrate or police officer reasonably demanding his aid-

  • (a) in the taking or preventing the escape of any other person whom such Magistrate or police officer is authorised to arrest; or
  • (b) in the prevention or suppression of a breach of the peace; or
  • (c) in the prevention of any injury attempted to be committed to any railway, canal, telegraph or public property.

Aid to person, other than police officer, executing, warrant

According to Section 38 when a warrant is directed to a person other than a police officer, any other person may aid in the execution of such warrant, if the person to whom the warrant is directed be near at hand and acting in the execution of the warrant.

Public to give information of certain offences

Under Section 39 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, public is required to give information of certain offences.

Section 39 of the Code states, inter alia, that every person aware of the commission of, or of the intention of any other person, to commit any offence punishable under certain sections of the Indian Penal Code (enumerated below), shall, in the absence of any reasonable excuse, forthwith give information to the nearest Magistrate of Police Officer of such commission or intention.

In order that Section 39 of the Code should be attracted, the person must be aware of the commission of any offence under the enumerated sections, then only the person has a duty to inform authorities.

See Also : T.S. John v. State of Kerala, 1984 Cr.L.J. 753

According to Section 39 every person, aware of the commission of, or of the intention of any other person to commit, any offence punishable under any of the following sections of the Indian Penal Code, (45 of 1860), namely:-

  • Offences against the State [S. 39 (1) (i)]
  • Offences relating to illegal gratification [S. 39 (1) (iii)]
  • Offences relating to adulteration of food and drugs, etc. [S. 39 (1) (iv)]
  • Offences affecting life [S. 39 (1) (v)]
  • Offence relating to kidnapping for ransom, etc. [S. 39 (1) (va)]
  • Offence of theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to the committing of the theft [S. 39 (1) (vi)]
  • Offences of robbery and dacoity [S. 39 (1) (vii)]
  • Offence relating to criminal breach of trust by public servant, etc. [S. 39 (1) (viii)]
  • Offences of mischief against property [S. 39 (1) (ix)]
  • Office of house- trespass [S. 39 (1) (x)]
  • Offences of lurking house-trespass [S. 39 (1) (xi)]
  • Offences relating to currency notes and bank notes [S. 39 (1) (xii)]

shall, in the absence of any reasonable excuse, the burden of proving which excuse shall lie upon the person so aware, forthwith give information to the nearest Magistrate or police officer of such commission or intention.

For the purposes of this section, the term “offence” includes any act committed at any place out of India which would constitute an offence if committed in India.