AIR 1986 SC 494

Vartika Shrivastava

An arrest which is made without a reasonable suspension and then the person arrested in a cognizable offence can give rise to a claim for the damages done for the false imprisonment. When arrest is made without any reason and the arrest takes place in the abuse of power, courts provide awards with suitable compensations to the one who suffered through these damages. If a wrongful arrest is made, the police shall be directed to pay an amount as a compensation to every individual who has suffered under section 151 of Criminal Procedure Code which states that whenever a person who was arrested without any intention of malice, then the court shall possess the power to provide monetary compensation to the sufferer. The safeguard for the protection of arrested persons are abused by the police officials, and sometimes the magistrates may even abuse their power which was the case in Bhim Singh vs State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr. Bhim Singh was an MLA of Jammu and Kashmir. He was arrested by the police officials and was further detained by them. This was done deliberately, as he was detained to prevent him from attending the session of the legislative assembly which was to be held on 11th September 1985. He was arrested on 9th September 1985 by the station house officer and an allegation was put against him stating that he was arrested for delivering a speech which was defamatory in nature, at a public meeting. Bhim Singh was not produced before the magistrate till 13th of September 1985. His whereabouts were unknown, and as a result his wife filed a writ of Habeas Corpus before the Supreme Court.
After that it was later found out that Bhim Singh was illegally detained by the police officials. The magistrate was negligent and ordered for a remand without the production of the arrested person before him. It was pointed out in the court that the Magistrate concerned acted without any responsibility and concern and the police arrested and imprisoned Bhim Singh with a mischievous and malicious intent which was a violation of the right of the accused person under article 21 as well as article 22(2) of the Indian Constitution.


Whether the detention was illegal and qualified as false imprisonment?

The court in this case observed that “the police officers are the custodians of law and order and should have the greatest respect for personal liberty of the citizens and should not float the laws by stopping to search weird acts of lawlessness.
The custodians of law and order should not become the predators of civil liabilities as their paramount duty is to protect and to abduct.

Henceforth, in this case, State was directed to pay Bhim Singh an amount of 50,000 Rs. within two months.

Justice is an important component of the Indian constitution which guarantees the fundamental rights that cannot be abused. The protection of these rights is the main aim of the constitution.
An important dimension of these remedies is the award of compensation as a part of the relief that can be granted to the person who is affected. This shows that the state has a legal duty in protecting the rights guaranteed to all the individuals.