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‫ﮑِﺮۡﯾِﻢ‬ ٰ ‫ﺼﻠﱢﯽ َﻋ‬
َ ُ‫ﻧَۡﺤَﻤُﺪٗه َو ﻧ‬

Law of Warrants
By
[Justice ® Dr. Munir Ahmad Mughal]

Introduction

There are six modes of


production of an accused person
before a Court of law. These
modes are given in the general
criminal law of procedure
enacted and called the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1898. The
modes are:
 Summons,
 Warrant,

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 Warrant in lieu of summons,
 Proclamation of an
absconder,
 Attachment of his property,
and
 Bond with or without sureties
to appear before a Court on a
certain date.

All these modes are not


whimsical, capricious or
according to the sweet will of
the Court. All of them are under
the law and in accordance with
law and require to be used
fairly, justly and reasonably. The
object of no process of law is to
harass or damage the dignity of
mankind. All process is to

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administer justice and show the
observance of rule of law.

Summons is a mild process.


When it does not serve the
purpose of bringing the accused
or the witness and the
behaviour of the summoned is
evasive the second method
provided by the law itself is a
warrant of arrest.

WHAT IS A WARRANT ?
A warrant is an order addressed
to a certain person directing him
to arrest the accused and to
produce him before the court. It
is executed by a Magistrate on
good and legal grounds only.1
1
13 WR 27

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WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIALS
OF A WARRANT OF ARREST
AND FROM WHERE THOSE
CAN BE KNOWN?

The essentials of a warrant of


arrest are,-
 That it must be in writing,
 That it must be sufficiently
identifying the person to who
issued i.e. it must give full
name and description of the
person to be arrested
providing his parentage,
occupation and residence etc.
 That it must specify the
offences charged,
 That it must be signed. The
signature of the Magistrate

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who is issuing it must be on it
by manual signing and not
by affixing his name stamp,
 That it must be sealed with
the seal of the Court, and
 That it must bear the name
and designation of the
person,
 That where it is issued by a
bench of the Magistrate then
it must be signed by any one
member of such bench.
 That a warrant issued under
section 75 remains in force
until it is cancelled by the
Court issuing it.2 It means
that the court issuing a
warrant of arrest has a
discretion to cancel it and
2
Sub-section (2) of section 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.

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issue a summons instead of
it. When a Court issuing a
warrant cancels it, such
warrant ceases to be
effective. 3
 That the status of a warrant
of arrest is that of a public
document and it can be
proved by the production of a
certified copy of the same.4

These essentials are mentioned


in section 75 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1898.5

What is the legal effect of a


warrant signed at a place

3
AIR 1940 All. 178
4
AIR 1968 Guj. 100
5
Section 75 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898.

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outside the limits of
jurisdiction of a Magistrate?

A Magistrate who has the


jurisdiction is to sign the
warrant. The official designation
of the person signing warrant of
arrest and the place of signing
should appear on the face of the
warrant. 6Warrant signed at a
place outside the limits of
Presiding officer of the Court is
illegal and proceedings in
pursuance of an illegal warrant,
or a warrant issued without
considerations are void.
A warrant of arrest in order to
be valid must be in writing and
must be signed by the presiding
6
(1872) Bombay HCR 154.

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officer. Warrant not signed is
invalid.7

WHAT ARE KINDS OF


WARRANTS?

Warrants are of two kinds,


namely, bailable and non-
bailable.

Section 76 of the Code of


Criminal Procedure, 1898 deals
with the Bailabe Warrants (BW).
It states that Court may direct
by endorsement on the warrant
that if such person executes a
bond with different sureties for
his attendance before the Court
at a specified time and
7
AIR 1918 Pat. 252.

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thereafter , the officer to whom
the warrant is directed shall
take such security and shall
release such person from
custody.

TO WHOM A WARRANTOF
ARREST MAY BE DIRECTED
BY THE ISSUING COURT?

A warrant of arrest shall


ordinarily be directed to one or
more police officers, it may be
directed to persons other than
police officer if the following
conditions are fulfilled:
1. there must be necessity of
arrest.
2. the necessity must be for
immediate arrest.

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3. No police officer should be
immediately available.

AGAINST WHOM A WARRANT


OF ARREST MAY BE ISSUED
BY A MAGISTRATE?

A District Magistrate or Sub


Divisional Magistrate8 may direct
a warrant to any land holder,
farmer, or a manager of land
within his district or sub-division
for the arrest of,-
(i) Any escaped convict;
(ii) A proclaimed offender;
(iii) A person who has been
accused of non bailable offence
and who has eluded pursuit.

8
Ordinance II of 2010; PLD 2011 Bal. St. 1.

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[Section 78 (1) of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1898].

WHAT IS THE DUTY OF THE


PERSON EXECUTING THE
WARRANT?

According to section 80 of the


Code of Criminal Procedure,
1898 the Police Officer or other
person executing a warrant of
arrest shall notify the substance
thereof to the person to be
arrested, and, if so required, to
show him the warrant.

The language o section 80 of the


Code of Criminal Procedure,
1898 is affirmative in nature.
The word “shall notify” has

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made it mandatory for the
executing officer to notify the
substance of the Warrant to the
person to be arrested.9
Further that an opportunity is to
be afforded to the person to be
arrested to read the same (i.e.
the warrant).10

PERSON ARRESTED IS TO BE
BROUGHT BEFORE COURT
WITHOUT DELAY

According to section 81 the


Code of Criminal Procedure,
1898 the Police officer or other
person executing the warrant of
arrest shall (subject to the
provisions of section76 as to the
9
(1855) 23 Calcutta 896.
10
(1899) 26 Cal 748.

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security) without unnecessary
delay bring the person arrested
before the Court before which
he is required by law to produce
this person.

WHERE WARRANT MAY BE


EXECUTED:
According to section 82 the
Code of Criminal Procedure,
1898 a warrant of arrest may be
executed at any place in
Pakistan. The Explanation added
to this section states that
warrant of arrest includes a
warrant of arrest issued under
this Code as enforced in Azad
Jammu & Kashmir.11

11
ACTVIII of 1993 added this Explanation to section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, See PLJ
1993 Fed. St. 195.

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It means a warrant issued by
courts of Pakistan as well as by
courts of AJ&Kashmir are
executable both i Pakistan and
in the territory of AJ&Kashmir.

WHAT IS THE OBJECT OF


SECTION 80 OF THE CODE OF
CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, 1898

The object of section 80 the


Code of Criminal Procedure,
1898 is to ward off illegal
arrests or arrest on a false and
fake warrant. The person to be
arrested has a right to be
satisfied as to the genuineness
of the warrant. By this right the
person arrested has been

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enabled to arrange his lawful
defence.12

WHEN WARRANT IN LIEU OF


SUMMONS CAN BE ISSUED
AND BY WHOM AND UNDER
WHAT AUTHORITY?

A court competent to issue


summons for the appearance of
any person, may issue warrants
for his arrest after recording its
reasons in writing
(a) as to his belief that the
person summoned has
absconded or will not obey the
summons; or
12
AIR 1918 All 246.

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(b) if such person has appeared
in the court, without offering
reasonable excuse, inspite his
service in time.
The recording of reasons in
writing is a condition precedent
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to the exercise of the power.
The omission to do so is an
irregularity not cured by section
537 the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1898. The adoption
of stereo typed printed form
(Schedule V No. VII) is not
sufficient compliance with the
imperative language of the
section.
13
A condition is a stipulation. It is of three kinds, namely, condition precedent, condition subsequent,
condition throughout. Condition precedent is that which must be fulfilled before doing an act. If that
condition is not fulfilled the action will be invalid. A condition throughout means that condition or state of
affairs that must remain prevailing from start to end. As in civil cases the right of pre-emption must exist
throughout the continuity of the suit. A condition subsequent is that which is after the doing of the act. Here
the power to issue a warrant lies with a Court who can issue summons. But to exercise that power the
condition precedent is the recording of reasons in writing to the exercise of that power. Non compliance of
a mandatory thing is called a violation of law and it renders the proceeding unlawful and thus illegal and
section 537 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 is of no help to cure any such irregularity which is in
fact and in law an illegality.

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FOR CLOSING PROSECUTION
CASE RESORTING TO
COERCIVE MEASURE TO
OBTAIN ATTENDANCE OF
THE WITNESSES IS AN
OBLIGATION ON THE COURT:

It is obligatory for Court to


resort to coercive measures
prescribed by law (in sections 90
to 93 of the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1898). Thus Court
cannot close prosecution case
without resorting to obtain
attendance of witnesses under
sections 90 to 93 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1898.

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Requirements of section 90 that
court should record its reasons
in writing before issuing NBWs
is directory. Held issuance of
NBWs in first instance after
taking cognizance under section
204 the Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1898 was not called
for.14

CONCLUSION

Substance of a warrant is to be
notified to the person to be
arrested and if required it is to
be shown to him [s. 80 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure,
1898];

14
NLR 1990 Cr. Sukkur p. 495.
.

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Person arrested is to be brought
without delay to the Court
before which he is to be
produced [s. 81 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1898 ]; and
A warrant may be executed any
where in Pakistan [s. 82 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure,
1898].

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Constitution of Pakistan
1973
The Code of Criminal
Procedure, 1898
The Frontier Crimes
Regulations

19
Qanun-i-Shahadat Order,
1984.
Pakistan Legal Digest.
All India Reporter.
Pakistan Law Journal.

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