Misuse of non-bailable warrants by policemen has prompted the Supreme Court to issue guidelines, asking courts to desist from prolonging the execution of warrants.
A bench of justice DK Jain and justice HL Dattu said: "Ordinarily, 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."
Directing courts to maintain a register, the bench added that each warrant must be entered chronologically with a serial number mentioned in the document.
Issuing guidelines even for high courts, the apex court directed them to ensure that subordinate courts use printed and machine number form No. 2 to issue arrest warrant. Holding that each form should be accounted for, the bench ordered the guidelines to be put into practice within six months.
The SC directions came on a petition filed by Mumbai-based lawyer RD Bhasin, seeking action against the police for misusing non-bailable warrants issued against the advocate. Bhasin alleged that the police arrested even as the trial court had cancelled the warrants.
"All courts in the country 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," the bench observed.