Don't allow prolonging of execution of warrants: SC to courts

"Ordinarily, the courts should not give a long time for return or execution of warrants, as experience has shown that warrants are prone to misuse if they remain in control of executing agencies for long," a bench of justices D K Jain and H L Dattu said in a judgement.

The bench said that every court must maintain a register and enter each warrant chronologically, with the serial number of such entry reflected on the top right of the document.

"All the high courts shall ensure that the subordinate courts use printed and machine numbered Form No 2 for issuing warrant of arrest and each such form is duly accounted for," the bench said, adding that all these guidelines should be put into practice within six months.

The court passed the order on a petition filed by a Mumbai-based lawyer, seeking action against the police officials for misusing non-bailable warrants issued against him by a lower court.

The lawyer, R D Bhasin, said that he was arrested by the police officials despite the warrant being cancelled by the court.

Expressing concern over the misuse of warrant, the bench said, "The courts have to be extra cautious and careful while directing issue of non-bailable warrant, else a wrongful detention would amount to denial of constitutional mandate envisaged in Article 21 of the Constitution of India."

"No warrant of arrest shall be issued without being entered in the register mentioned above and the concerned court shall periodically check/monitor the same to confirm that every such process is always returned to the court with due report and placed on the record of the concerned case," the court said while issuing guidelines.

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