Pankaj Bansal Judgment

Arrest Rights

The Supreme Court has declared that investigating agencies should provide people arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) with a written copy of information specifying the grounds of their arrest.

The Court applied its earlier judgment in the Pankaj Bansal case — which had held that an arrested person should be informed of the grounds of arrest under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) — to UAPA cases.

The purpose of informing to the arrested person the grounds of arrest is salutary and sacrosanct inasmuch as, this information would be the only effective means for the arrested person to consult his advocate; oppose the police custody remand and to seek bail.

Any other interpretation would be tantamount to diluting the sanctity of the fundamental right guaranteed under Article 22(1) of the Constitution.

The judges found no significant difference in the language employed in Section 19(1) of the PMLA and Section 43B(1) of the UAPA. The provisions in both Acts deal with the power and procedure of arrest.