Suspects of minor crimes cannot be remanded for over 15 days: High Court
The High Court on Wednesday declared that the total remand period for a suspect arrested over minor crimes may not exceed more than 15 days, even if their remand period is extended a number of times.
According to Article 60 of the Penal Code, a suspect can be remanded for a 15-day period, without evidence, if authorities have room to believe that the suspect either destroyed or influenced the evidence, may flee when released, or poses a danger to the public.
However, the remand period can only be extended further if the suspect is arrested over a serious criminal offence. The Article does not provide details on extending remand for longer than 15 days on minor offences.
The High Courts ruling over the issue was announced in a verdict delivered on Wednesday, regarding a case appealed at the court by a suspect arrested over assaulting his partner, who was first remanded for 10 days, and had the remand period extended by another 15 days.
Referring to the Penal Code, the verdict noted that the law does not specifically state that suspects arrested on minor offences should not be remanded for more than 15 days, as it is clearly implied.
Therefore, the High Court ruled that the suspect's remand period was extended in violation of the Penal Code, noting that it should have been extended for 5 days at most, during the second hearing.
The unanimous verdict, delivered by the three judges on the bench, stated that the laws do not aim to hold a suspect in custody on an allegation for a long period of time.
Moreover, the verdict also noted that the remand can be extended if authorities collect sufficient evidence, or if the suspect fits the criteria listed in Article 60 of the Penal Code.
The judges bench for this case consisted of Judge Sameer, Judge Ali Sameer, Judge Shuaib Hussain Zakariyya and Judge Abdul Rauf Ibrahim.