Criminal Law in India: Warrant of Arrest

A warrant of arrest is issued by the court, in consonance with the criminal law in India, which authorizes the arrest and detention of an accused/offender. A warrant is issued when an individual summoned by the court fails to appear before it.



An arrest warrant is either bailable or non-bailable. It shall be in written form and shall bear the seal of the Court. It shall also bear the signatures of the presiding officer of the Court. Further, it shall specify the nature of the offence, the name of the criminal, name of the magistrate and date.


Also, a warrant shall remain valid, unless it is executed or cancelled by the Court, which originally issued it. In a landmark case of Sanjay Suri vs. Delhi Administration, the Supreme Court ordered that a warrant of detention must state the age of the offender. Further, it ruled that the jail authorities can refuse to acknowledge a warrant, if the age of the detained person is not mentioned.

Criminal Law in India: Procedure of Execution of Warrant of Arrest

As per criminal law in India, an arrest warrant of a fugitive, an offender or any person who is charged with non-bailable crime, shall be directed to police officials. However, in case there is unavailability of police officials and an immediate execution of the warrant is required, the court may direct it to any person or persons. Such a person or persons shall confirm in writing the receipt of the warrant. Further, the person or persons shall also execute the warrant. After, the offender is arrested; he shall be handed over to the police, along with the warrant. Thereafter, he shall be presented before the Magistrate having jurisdiction to decide the case.

The court that has issued a warrant in a person’s name can use its discretion to order his release from custody. For this, the said person must sign a bond with sufficient surety and promise to be present before the court as specified, unless directed otherwise by the said court. When we talk of surety as per criminal law in India, it refers to the amount of money that is assured to the court, by the arrested person’s family members, friends or acquaintances and this amount will have to be paid by that person if the accused fails to appear in court.

To make it simpler, if you stand as surety for somebody who is arrested, in case that person is absconding or runs away to another place or country, the police officials and the judicial system will follow up with you to ensure that you are liable to pay the amount as agreed for because you have stood as surety for the accused. 

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