Difference Between Custody and Police Custody

This article defines meaning or arrest, custody and police custody. The distinction between judicial and police custody was adequately emphasized

What is an arrest?

Generally, a person who breaks the law is arrested. The term arrest represents the meaning of the arrest of a person by the legal authority to cause imprisonment. Arrest can also be understood as seizure or forcible restraint. It is an exercise of power to deprive a person of his or her liberty and involves the detention of a person by the judicial authority, particularly in response to a criminal charge.

Under Criminal law;; An arrest is an important tool to bring a defendant to justice and not to let him escape.

What is custody?

The word “custody” means to arrest someone for protective measures. It can be understood as caring for, owning and controlling a thing or person. Custody refers to a person who is held in custody after being charged with or convicted of a crime.

Police custody

In the case of an identifiable crime, it is the arrest of a suspect for the police officer to collect more details. Another goal of police custody is to avoid tampering with evidence. During this time, the detainee is interrogated by the officer in charge. Section 57 of the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure states that the person arrested should be presented to the magistrate within 24 hours. However, the time required to travel from the place of arrest to the magistrate is not included in the prescribed minimum time of 24 hours.


According to Section 167 (2) of the 1973 Code of Criminal Procedure, if a police officer presents the arrested person to the magistrate, the police officer can order that the person be taken into police custody or into judicial custody.

If the magistrate orders the person in police custody to be taken, the police have actual physical custody of the person arrested. The police are holding the arrested person in prison and interrogating them in order to gather the necessary information.

In judicial custody, the judge has custody of the arrested person. During this detention, the police can only interrogate the arrested person with the permission of the magistrate.

Milestone judgments

  1. State of UP against Dharam Pal and others

In this case it was found that the type of custody can be changed from judicial custody to police custody and vice versa during the first 15-day period referred to in Section 167 (2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. After 15 days, the accused is only held in judicial or other type of custody ordered by the magistrate, but not in police custody.

In this case, the court ruled that 7 days of custody after 15 days of pre-trial detention violated Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

In this case, the Patna Supreme Court ruled that the defendant’s detention was legal; if the deposit request is preferred, its previous one illegal detention should not be considered.

In this case, the court ruled that pre-trial detention should be passed on by the magistrate with proper use of the spirit and not mechanically.

In this case, the court ruled that pre-trial detention in police custody, including a second pre-trial detention application, can only take place within the first 15 days of the arrest and not thereafter.

Difference Between Police and Custody

Below are some of the key differences between the police and the judiciary:

S. No. Police custody care
1. The defendant is in the prison cell of a police station or under the care of an investigative agency that is investigating the matter. The accused is locked up in prison and is in the custody of the magistrate.
2. The accused is in police custody and this is where the first interrogation process begins. In judicial custody, the accused is under the custody of the magistrate.
3. The defendant is detained for further investigation or investigation. The defendant is imprisoned for a period of more than 15 days by order of the judge or court.
4th The defendant in police custody must appear before the judge concerned within 24 hours. The defendant is locked up pending bail from the court.
5. Police custody begins as soon as the suspect is arrested by a police officer after receiving a complaint or an FIR. Custody begins after the prosecutor has convinced the court that the defendant’s custody is necessary for an investigation.
6th In police custody, the period is 24 hours, which can be extended to 15 days by order of a competent judge. In non-punishable cases, punishable with life imprisonmentIn the event of death or imprisonment of at least ten years, the maximum period of imprisonment is 90 days. In cases of bail, however, the maximum period of detention is 60 days.
7th Security is placed in police custody by the police. The judge / magistrate provides security in judicial custody.
8th. The police officer in charge has complete control over the arrest of the accused or suspect / investigator in his or her temporary area. Custody is granted by order of the court at which the judge receives a call to navigate the case.
In police custody, the investigation is carried out by the police officer. In custody, it is not the judge’s responsibility to investigate. The judge adheres to the evidence obtained from the reports and the hearing of the experts before the court.


According to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, police or judicial custody must be adequate, applicable and legally viable. It is important to note that arrest and imprisonment are not synonymous. Custody is pre-trial detention, while arrest is a form of compulsory detention. After the detention is the arrest.

Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deals with the provisions of police and judicial detention. Both custody and police custody restrict a person’s freedom and freedom of movement in both state situations. According to the laws established in the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.PC); In 1973 the convicted person was arrested and held in police and judicial detention.

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