FIR is lodged naming some persons as probable accused. The police conducts investigation. During investigation, the police arrest persons who appears to be connected with the commission of offence.
It is the duty of the police officer arresting the accused without warrant to tell him the full particulars of the offence for which he is being arrested and the reasons for his arrest. ( section 50). The arrested person can not be kept by the police in lock up for more than 24 hours.
If the police finds that it is unable to complete the investigation in 24 hours, it is bound to produce the arrested person (accused) before the concerned Magistrate.
When the police produce the accused before the Magistrate, it makes an application that the investigation is not yet complete and that it needs the accused for interrogation in connection with the commission of the offence and therefore the custody of the accused may be given to them for some more days. The giving of custody of the accused to the police in this manner is called ‘police remand’. In such a situation , there are three possibilities :
a. The Magistrate may agree with the police and grant remand to the police. However, the Magistrate can not give police remand for more than 15 days in total.
b. The Magistrate may not agree with the police and may be of the opinion that nothing is to be found out from the accused and that the police is requesting for remand only to torture him in custody. In this situation, the Magistrate reject the application of the police and send the accused to judicial custody i.e. jail. During investigation by police, the magistrate can authorize the detention of the accused person in judicial custody beyond 15 days if he is satisfied that adequate grounds exist for doing so. However, during investigation, he can not keep him in judicial custody for more than 60 days in case of offences punishable with less than 10 years imprisonment and for more than 90 days in case of other offences. While the person is in judicial custody, he is notionally in the custody of the court. (The incidents of torture mostly happen in police custody. In the jail, the accused has various safeguards and it is difficult to inflict torture upon him. The Hindi film movies exaggerate the conditions in jail. Particularly, the Tihar Jail in Delhi is perhaps the best jail in the country where the prisoners feel themselves to be the part of the society. The hygienic conditions in the kitchen there equals that of a Five star hotel. Computer courses are organized for the inmates of the jail. Inter-jail competitions are organized where the inmates display their skills and talent.)
c. The Magistrate may consider the application moved on behalf of the accused by his lawyer for grant of bail and may grant interim bail and fix a date for arguments on the bail application. On the subsequent dates, the arguments are made by the accused’s lawyer and the public prosecutor. The bail application is either allowed in which case the interim bail is confirmed, or the bail application is dismissed.
The investigation is considered to be completed on the day when the challan/chargesheet is filed in the court by the police (Section 173). If the investigation is not completed (i.e. if challan is not filed) by the police within 60 days from the date of arrest of the accused, the Magistrate is obliged to release him on bail on the 61st day. However in case of serious offences punishable with death, life imprisonment or imprisonment above 10 years, this period, within which the challan can be filed, is 90 days (Section 167).
It must always be remembered that an accused becomes entitled to be released on bail under section 167 only if the police fails to file the chargesheet in the court within 60 or 90 days, as the case may be. However, if the police files it before the expiry of 60/90 days, say on 59th day or 89th day, then the accused can not claim any right to be released on bail under section 167.