Jan 10, 2018
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Attendance Of Persons Confined Or Detained In Prisons

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Attendance Of Persons Confined Or Detained In Prisons under Code of Criminal procedure, 1973

Chapter XXII of the Code of Criminal Procedure addresses six important sections which safeguards the presence of people detained in prisons.  It lays down precise requirements and circumstances under which such persons presented before court. It appears that these sections have incorporated having record to the provisions of the Prisoners (Attendance in Courts) Act, 1991 which also makes provision for the production of persons confined and detained in prisons.

Definitions

“Detained” includes detained under any law providing for preventive detention;

“Prison” includes,

  • any place which has declared by the State Government, by general or special order, to be a subsidiary jail;
  • any reformatory, Borstal institution or other institution of a like nature.

Power to require attendance of prisoners (section 267)

In the course of an inquiry, trial or also other proceeding under this code, if it appears to a Criminal Court that :

  1. a person confined or detained in a prison should presented before the court for examination of the offence. Also for the purpose of any proceedings against him, or
  2. it’s necessary for the purpose of justice to examine the detained person as a witness,

the Court may order to the officer in charge of the prison to produce detained person before the Court for examination to the charge or for the purpose of such proceeding, for giving evidence.

If a Magistrate of the second class passes order, unless it’s countersigned by Chief Judicial Magistrate, order can not handed over to person in charge. The magistrate of second class is a subordinate magistrate to chief judicial Magistrate. Every order submitted for countersigning shall have annexure of statement of the facts. Only if magistrate thinks it necessary. The chief Judicial magistrate, may after considering such statement, decline to countersign the order.

Power of State Government to exclude certain persons from operation of section 267 (section 268)

The State Government may by special order direct the person in charge. The special order directs that any person or class of person so detained, shall not removed from such detention or form the prison. Till the special remains in force, no order under section 267 shall effect in respect of person or class of such persons.  Before passing special order, the State Government shall have regard to the following matters :

  1. the nature of the offence for which, or the grounds on which, the person or class of persons has ordered to remain confined or detained in prison;
  2. the likelihood of the disturbance of public order if such person or class of persons discharged from the prison;
  3. the public interest, generally.

Officer in charge of prison to abstain from carrying out order in certain contingencies (section 269)

The officer in charge of the prison restrained from carrying out his duty to follow the Court’s order. In such situation he shall record the reason for abstaining and also send it to the court. Such situations arises if the detained person is:

  1.  sick or infirmity unfit; or
  2.  under committal for trial or under remand pending trial or also pending a preliminary investigation; or
  3.  in custody for a period which would expire before the expiration of the time required for complying with the order and for taking him back to the prison in which he is confined or detained; or
  4. a person to whom an order made by the State Government under section 268 applies,

Provided that where the attendance of such person required for giving evidence. The place situated within twenty-five kilometers distance from the prison. The the officer in charge of the prison shall not so abstain for any reason given above.

Prisoner to be brought to Court in custody (section 270)

Subject to the provisions of section 269, the officer in charge of the prison shall present the detained person before the court. Also shall cause him to kept in custody nearby to the court until he has examined. On receiving the order under section 267 and also duly countersigned.

Power to issue commission for examination of witness in prison (section 271)

The provisions of this Chapter shall be without prejudice to the power of the Court to issue, under section 284, a commission for the examination, as a witness, of any person confined or detained in a prison; and the provisions of Part B of Chapter XXIII shall apply in relation to the examination on commission of any such person in the prison as they apply in relation to the examination on commission of any other person.

Conclusion

These sections  incorporated in the Act to safe guard the interest of detained persons. Also to guarantee the appearance of individuals or people who have  restrained, confined and apprehended in prisons, reformatories, or penitentiaries before the Criminal Courts. The detailed conditions under which this can be done along with the reasonable and valid justifications to do or not do so have also been laid down.  This Chapter adds to provisions laid down in the Prisoners (Attendance in Courts) Act, 1991 which was the first Act laid down for prisoners.

Article Categories:
Criminal law

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