What are the Main Difference between Arrest and Custody?

What are the Main Difference between Arrest and Custody are as follows:

Arrest is a mode of formally taking a person in police custody. Whereas ‘custody ‘ merely denotes surveillance or restriction on the movement of the person concerned.

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A person may be taken in custody completely or even partially. The concept of being in custody is, therefore, different from that of a formal arrest. Thus it would be seen that in every arrest there is custody but the converse is not true and as such, arrest and custody are not synonymous terms.


The provisions of this section are not exhaustive as there are various other Acts such as the Arms Act, the Explosives Act etc. which also confer powers on police officers to arrest a person without a warrant or an order from the Magistrate.

The police officer can arrest a person on suspicion but such suspicion should be ‘reasonable’ and based on ‘credible information’ relating to certain definite averments which must be considered by the police officer before he arrests a person.

The arrest of a person, on the suspicion that he is a Pakistani or he came to India with a view to commit an offence, was held to be illegal.

The provision contained in Section 41 (1) (d) of the Code will have to be read in conjunction with the provisions contained in Sections 155 and 156. The powers of the


Police to arrest a person without a warrant only confined to such persons who are accused or suspected of an offence at the time of making the arrest and not anytime in the past. Thus a person who was alleged to have been in possession of an illicit arm sometime in the past cannot be called presently an accused or a suspect of that offence and hence cannot be so arrested.

Sub-section 1 (c) of this section refers to the power of the police to arrest or cause to be arrested any person who has been proclaimed as an offender.

Sub-section (2) deals with those matters which are not offences but in which an officer-in-charge of a police station may arrest a person without a warrant. The provisions of this sub-section are independent of the provisions of Chapter VIII of the Code and are not applicable to the proceedings under Section 107 of the Code.

In Sahacleviah v. N. Srinivasa Cliari, the High Court of Andhra Pradesh has held that under Section 41 of the Code, a police officer can arrest any person who has been concerned in any cognizable offence, even where accused is a police officer, when arrest of offender has significance investigation, trial and prosecution of an offender guilty of committing cognizable offence.


Police have to act impartially having regard to principles of equality before law and justice to all in dealing with culprits especially police officers who are guilty of committing an offence.


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