Supreme Court of India Judgement: D.K Basu v. State of West Bengal

Supreme Court of India Judgement: D.K Basu v. State of West Bengal

D.K Basu v. State of West Bengal


Citation:( 1997) 1 SCC 416

Judges: Kuldip Singh and A.S Anand

Number of Judges: 2

Respondent: State of West Bengal

Petitioner: Shri D.K. Basu

Here in this case, a letter was received from the non-social organization regarding the matter of lock up deaths in the state of West Bengal. This letter was treated as a writ petition and the notice was passed. In counter to this, the state of West Bengal has filed a petition. They have answered in this regard that, there were no lock-up deaths as such and if there were any there was enquiry going on whoever has done it.

After all this was done, the court came into the view and decided that there should be control on police and there should be some set guidelines for arresting a person.


Are policemen arbitrary in arresting a person?

Are there any prescribed guidelines while making a arrest?

Issues Answered:

  1. Policemen are not to act arbitrarily while arresting a person. There are some guidelines that even a policeman has to follow.
  2. Yes, the Court had laid down a number of guidelines while arresting a person.



The court in this case said that, the locks up deaths are to be reduced. It will directly take a toll on the belief of public in law and order. the Supreme Court directed all the High Courts to check on the details and punishment that are being imposed on prisoners in the jails. They were asked to give the detailed list of all the persons who were arrested and who ever were in lock ups.

Guidelines prescribed by the Court:

  1. The arrested person has the right to meet his lawyer.
  2. He has the right to medical examination for every 48hours.
  3. The arresting person has to inform the relatives regarding his arrest.
  4. He has to be produced before the magistrate within 24 hours.
  5. The arresting officer shall prepare the memo and has to be attested by at least one witness.
  6. An entry must be made regarding his arrest in the diary.
  7. A police control room should be set up in all the districts and in all the state headquarters and the information regarding the persons arrest has to be communicated to all the Districts.
  8. All the documents including the memo of the arrest has to be sent to the magistrate.
  9. The arresting officer shall have the clear identification of his name, designation.
  10. The time, place, arrest, and the place of custody have to be notified to the interested person or the friend or the relative.
  11. The person arrested has to be made aware of his right to have someone notified on his behalf.

Those are some of the set guidelines that are to be followed by every arresting person during an arrest.

Relatively used sections and Articles:

Article 21—Right to life, 22,–Right to liberty

Section 176 of Criminal Procedure Code—the inquiry to be done by the magistrate into cause of death.



Ashok Kumar Lakkaraju is an avid and sincere learner, researcher & writer and is currently pursuing B.A.LL.B at Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University.





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