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Project 39A UPSC NOTE

 Why in news

  • A first-of-its-kind study on the functioning of magistrate courts in the Capital during the “first production” of an arrested person and subsequent remand proceedings has revealed that judges predominantly focus on procedural paperwork, often overlooking violations related to the arrest.

  • The “ethnographic” study by National Law University’s Project 39A is significant given that over 53.90 lakh people were arrested across India in 2022 alone, as per the National Crime Records Bureau.

Article 22(2)

  • Article 22(2) states that every arrested person must be produced before a magistrate within 24 hours — this is called “first production”


Project 39A report

  • According to the report, there is no standard format for an arrest memo across different States

  • Arrest memo is a document prepared by the police that at the time of arrest or immediately on bringing the arrested person back to the police station.

  • In Delhi courts, the arrest memo filed by police most commonly includes the date, time, and place of arrest as well as case-related information, including the First Information Report (FIR) number, police station details, and criminal provisions invoked.

  • The Project 39A report stated that there is no separate column for the age of the accused in the arrest memo, even though it is vital to verify that the arrested person is an adult when he or she is produced before the judge for the first time.

  • The report, co-authored by Jinee Lokaneeta and Zeba Sikora, observed that most magistrates are attentive to and relatively more engaged with ensuring procedural compliance during first production hearings than during subsequent remand hearings.

  • A few magistrates would interact directly with the accused, but these exchanges were largely limited to procedural necessities, such as cross-checking the name of the accused etc.,” the report said. 

  • Follow-up questions to the accused were rare. In most first production cases, the accused did not have any legal representation, and nothing was done about this by the magistrate,” the report added.

  • It further stated that magistrates do not recognise the non-preparation of the arrest memo at the time of the arrest as a serious violation of the accused’s constitutional rights.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Project 39A UPSC NOTE
Project 39A UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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