41A Notice in India

What is a 41A notice in India?

A 41-A notice is a pre-arrest notice issued by a police officer, calling upon a suspect or accused person in a criminal offence to appear before the Investigating Officer and participate in the investigation of the offence.

Why is it called a 41A notice?

41A Notice is named after the section 41 sub-section A of the Criminal Procedure Code which deals with a pre-arrest notice.

41A. Notice of appearance before police officer.–
(1) The police officer shall, in all cases where the arrest of a person is not required under the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 41, issue a notice directing the person against whom a reasonable complaint has been made, or credible information has been received, or a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed a cognizable offence, to appear before him or at such other place as may be specified in the notice.
(2) Where such a notice is issued to any person, it shall be the duty of that person to comply with the terms of the notice.
(3) Where such person complies and continues to comply with the notice, he shall not be arrested in respect of the offence referred to in the notice unless, for reasons to be recorded, the police officer is of the opinion that he ought to be arrested.
(4) Where such person, at any time, fails to comply with the terms of the notice or is unwilling to identify himself, the police officer may, subject to such orders as may have been passed by a competent Court in this behalf, arrest him for the offence mentioned in the notice.

What is the format for the 41A Notice?

To whom is the 41A notice issued?

The 41-A Notice is issued to a person who is accused of committing a criminal offence of a Cognizable nature, but the Police Officer feels that it may not be necessary to arrest the accused person if he cooperates with the investigation.

Is it mandatory for the police to issue a 41A notice to all Accused persons? In which circumstances is 41A Notice not required?

When is the 41A notice issued to the Accused person?

Ideally the 41-A notice is issued to the Accused person within 2 weeks from the date of registration of the offence i.e. the date of the FIR. Incase of delay, the time maybe extended after recording reasons.

Are there any guidelines for issue of the 41A Notice?

Amandeep Singh Johar v State of NCT Delhi and Anr (W P Civil 7608 of 2017), dated. 07-02-2018 has detailed guidelines on the 41A Notice.

It contains details like:

  • the model format and contents of the notice under section 41A
  • the mode and manner of its service
  • guidelines of acknowledgement

What happens if the Accused does not comply with the notice under section 41A of CrPC?

What is the punishment is the police does not comply with the guidelines for issue of 41A Notice?

Hon’b1e Supreme Court in the case of Arnesh Kumar Vs State of Bihar (2014) 8 SCC 273

Landmark Decisions regarding 41A Notice

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