Custodial interrogation implies when an accused is in the custody of enforcement
officials or police officers for interrogation. While in custody, several rights of the
accused are on hold but some basic human and fundamental rights are nonetheless
within his reach.
The conditions for grant of custodial interrogation: (section 167 Cr.P.C.)
Investigation not complete within 24 hours as under section 57 Cr.P.C.
The accused is required in custody for further investigation
The existence of grounds to believe that the information against the accused is well
A copy of the diary entries as well as the accused shall be forwarded to the nearest
Duration of Custody
Not more than 15 days at a time
Police custody cannot be more than 15 days in toto.
In case of offences punishable with death, life imprisonment, or 10 years
imprisonment, custody for a maximum period of 90 days.
In case of any other offence for a maximum period 60 days.
Elumalai v. State of Tamil Nadu, 1983 LW (Crl) 121
A few guidelines before granting custodial interrogation:
Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. applies to arrest u/s 41(1) Cr.P.C. and in exceptional
circumstances, to arrest u/s 151(1) Cr.P.C.
The magistrate should be very watchful under this section that police does not
violate liberty of citizens, arbitrarily and unreasonably.
Section 167 Cr.P.C. does not apply to arrest u/s 41 (2) Cr.P.C and court can order
remand or extension of remand.
The courts cannot mechanically pass orders without verifying the entries in diary
and satisfying themselves about the real necessity for granting remand or extension
The production of the accused before the court is mandatory, and no magistrate can
order custody in the absence of the accused.
The jail authorities shall not withhold the accused even for a minute than the order
of detention as detention without proper orders amounts to illegal detention
Gian Singh v. State (Delhi Administration) 1981 Cr L J 100
It is prudent for the police to allow a lawyer where the accused wants to have one
at the time of interrogation if they want to escape the censure that police
interrogation is carried on in secrecy by physical and psychic torture.
Hussainara Khatoon (IV) v. Home Sec., State of Bihar (1980) 1 SCC 98
In respect of remand of prisoners to judicial custody section 167 (1) Cr.P.C. must
be strictly complied with.
Citizens for Democracy v. State of Assam (1995) 3 SCC 743
A Remand by a magistrat – Judicial or non-judicial- the accused shall not be
handcuffed unless there is a special order to that effect from the magistrate at the
time of grant of remand.
Abdul Rehman Antulay v. R. S. Nayak (1992) 1 SCC 225
The court while issuing guidelines for speedy trial said that:
The period for remand and pre-conviction detention should be as short as possible.
In short the accused not be subjected to unnecessary or unduly long incarceration
prior to his conviction.
Khatri (II) v. State of Bihar (1981) 1 SCC 627
The provision helps a magistrate to keep a check on the police investigation and a
magistrate should try to enforce this requirement and wherever it is not observed
come down heavily on police.
Injury sustained by under trial prisoner – it has to be enquired by the magistrate
and the magistrate should not mechanically sign the order.
Kehar Singh v. State (Delhi Admm.) 1988 3 SCC 609
The avertments in the application of remand are only self serving. The silence of
the accused cannot be construed as his admission.
State of Maharashtra v. Ramesh Taurani (1998) 1 SCC 41
It was lain down that the remand applications should be filed by the investigating
agency to satisfy the court that there are justifiable grounds to detain an accused in
police custody. In other words the IA should bring to the notice of the court the
materials collected against an arrested accused to persuade the court to grant
remand. Negatively, the IA is not required to state in the application such material,
if any, collected against a person yet to be arrested.
State of U P v, Ram Sagar Yadav (1985) 1 SSC 552
Remand orders should be passed by magistrate on proper application of mind and
Budh Singh v. State of Punjab (2000) 9 SCC 266
After the expiry of 15 days of police remand, order for police remand for a further
period of 7 days violates S. 167 Cr.P.C.
Chaganti Satyanarayana v. State of A. P. (1986) 3 SCC 141
The period of 60 days or 90 days has to be compujted from the date of remand and
not from the date of arrest under section 57 Cr.P.C.
In 2008, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill, 2008 was
introduced for speedy investigation and it sought to extend the maximum number
of days a suspect can be detained for interrogation to 180 days, if it is not possible
to complete the investigation within 90 days.
Section 43D of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2008 brings
back the disputed Section 49(2) (a)-(b) of POTA. The section permitted the pre-
trial imprisonment of the accused till 180 days.
The Lok Sabha on 30th November, 2012 passed the Unlawful Activities
(Prevention) Amendment Bill by a voice vote. The Bill includes economic
offences within the ambit of terror acts. The bill seeks to expand the definition of
“terrorist act” to include offences that threaten the country’s economic security and
also seek to include procurement of weapons, raising funds for terrorist activities
and counterfeiting Indian currency under the definition of a “terrorist act”.
India’s 180-day period is much longer than the permitted maximum detention in
other democratic states. In the United States no citizen could be detained for more
than seven without being presented before the magistrate, while in Canada no
person can be detained for more than one day without charges being framed. In
Russia, the period is five days and in France six days. In U.K., under the
Terrorism Act, 2006, an accused could be detained for 28 days.
This clearly shows that such provisions under Unlawful Activities (Prevention)
Amendment Act, 2008 for custodial interrogation is definitely beyond any logic
and the longest period allowed for custody of detainees compared to most