Difference Between Judicial Custody and Police Custody

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Judicial Custody and Police Custody

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We may have all heard the term "custody" before. On the other hand, Custody refers to the responsibility of watching over someone or something. However, this is only one interpretation of the term. Generally speaking, Custody refers to the detention of an individual who has committed a crime and works in the civil service. Many of us often wonder about the phrase, such as what it means, what happens in Custody, or the many types of Custody, among other things. There are two types of Custody. Namely, judicial Custody and police custody, described here. Both appear to be the same, yet are quite different.

Police custody is under the jurisdiction of the police, and it is also the location where the first interrogation takes place. The accused is in the magistrate's custody when they are placed in judicial Custody. Police custody is typically granted when a person has been charged with a non-bailable offence, and they are prohibited from interrogating the person while in Custody without the court's authorization.

Judicial Custody vs. Police Custody

The main difference between police custody and judicial Custody is that in police custody for further investigation and investigation, whereas in the latter the accused is held in jail for a period exceeding 15 days as determined by the magistrate or court.

As stated in Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, when a police officer brings an arrested person in front of a Magistrate, the Magistrate has the authority to order that the detained individual be placed in either police or judicial Custody.

When a Magistrate directs that a person be taken into police custody, the police will have actual physical custody of the person who has been arrested. The police will detain the arrested person in the police station and question him in order to obtain the essential information.

In judicial Custody, the detained person will be in the Custody of a Magistrate, and he will be sentenced to imprisonment. Only with the authorization of the Magistrate can the police question the individual who has been arrested during this period of detention. After a lengthy legal battle, the Gian Singh v. State of Delhi Administration(III) court determined that only interrogation during judicial Custody changes the essence of judicial detention.

In the case of a cognizable offence, the arrest of a suspected criminal is made by a police officer to obtain additional information about the suspect. Another objective of police custody is to keep evidence from being destroyed. During this time, the arrested person can be interrogated by the police officer in charge of the situation.

According to Section 57 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, it is not permitted to be more than 24 hours without the permission of the magistrate in question. The person who has been arrested must appear before the Magistrate who is closest to the scene of arrest within 24 hours after being taken into custody. The time required for the journey from the place of arrest to the Magistrate's office might be eliminated from this calculation.

Difference Between Judicial Custody and Police Custody in Tabular Form

Parameter of Comparison Police Custody Judicial Custody
Control Police officers The judicial authorities
Investigation Yes No/ Partially
Duration 15 days Up to 60 days
Charges Strong charges are put Charges can be nullified
Jail Police lock-up Central Jail
Procedure Arrest On trial before the judge

What is Police Custody?

An officer of the law will place a suspect under arrest and hold them in Custody until the further investigation or the presentation of evidence is complete.

The accused person is being held in remand by the police to safeguard any evidence from being destroyed, to protect witnesses from being threatened in any way, and to allow for questioning of the accused person.

Before the accused person may be brought before the magistrate, they must remain in secure Custody for the full twenty-four hours. In addition to it, the police are required to provide the charge sheet.

People who are detained by the police are entitled to a great number of rights, all of which should be brought to their attention immediately.

If a person is arrested by the police or another investigating agency and taken into custody, and if the investigation cannot be concluded within twenty-four hours, the individual must be brought before a magistrate court. This occurs automatically. In the Criminal Procedure Code, section 167, together with other sections, lays forth the processes that may be followed depending on the circumstances.

The magistrate has the authority to further remand the individual to the Custody of the police for a length of time that is cumulatively limited to 15 days. When someone is said to be in police custody, it signifies that they are detained at a lockup or continue to be in the control of an officer.

The subject may be further remanded to judicial Custody after the passage of 15 days or the duration of time that the judge has authorized for the person to remain in police custody.

Additionally, various adjustments to Section 167 have been made that are unique to particular states within the nation. This topic is very complicated, multi-faceted, and subject to various interpretations due to the very extensive legal requirements and case laws that follow judgments from higher courts.

Investigation agencies may decide not to seek police custody immediately in certain circumstances; one of the grounds for this decision may be a desire to make efficient use of the limited 15 days at their disposal.

If a court determines that there is no need for a person to be held in police custody or for the length of time that they have been held in police custody to be extended, the court has the authority to remand that individual immediately to judicial Custody.

What is Judicial Custody?

Taking someone into Custody entails apprehending them to provide them with protective care. Suppose you are in charge of a room containing some children and you see behaviour from one of the children that put the safety of the other children in jeopardy. In that case, you should restrain that child's arms and direct him to sit in a separate area from the other children. Protect the safety of other members of the community is the driving force behind the practice of apprehending criminal suspects.

The terms "arrest" and "custody" are not interchangeable. It is correct to say that every arrest results in detention, but it is not accurate to say the opposite. A person is not subject to arrest for the simple act of uttering words, making a gesture, or flitting their eyes. It is essential to physically seize or touch a person to arrest that individual.

After the accused has been brought before the judge, the magistrate has the option of either taking the accused into their judicial Custody or returning the accused to the custody of the police for a period of 15 days.

A person can be detained in the custody of the police or in the Custody of the court. When a suspect is arrested, the first thing that occurs to him is that he is taken into custody by the police. After that, he is brought before a judge, and the magistrate will decide whether the suspect will be remanded to judicial Custody or returned to the Custody of the police.

If the accused is taken into custody by the police, the officers have the legal authority to question the accused. If the accused is taken into judicial Custody, then they will be placed in a secure location away from the prying eyes of the general public, such as a prison. It is essential to have a firm grasp of clause (2) of section 1671.

The judicial custody system operates according to the fundamentals of the court statutes, in which the judge or magistrate makes decisions on how the case should proceed.

Before the accused is brought before the magistrate for a second time, the suspect has the potential to be released if there is no evidence of wrongdoing, remanded to the custody of the police for a period of up to 15 days, or sent to the central prison for a period of up to 60 days.

Differences Between Judicial Custody and Police Custody in Points

  • In judicial Custody, an FIR is filed first, followed by an arrest, questioning, investigation, and remand within the first 24 hours, but in police custody, a FIR is submitted first. The filing of an FIR is not always a requirement, and police might arrest someone based on their source's communication or location information.
  • In police custody, the officer on duty has total power overtaking a charge, arresting a suspect or accused in their temporary region, while judicial Custody operates under the principles of court rules, with the judge/magistrate making the final decision on the case's navigation.
  • When the accused is in police custody, the police conduct an investigation; however, the magistrate does not conduct an inquiry. The magistrate considers the information presented by the interrogation reports and the trial court hearing. If more investigation is required, the accused is sent to police custody for about two weeks.
  • First and foremost, a FIR is filed against a specific person, followed by an arrest, interrogation, investigation, and remand in police custody within the first 24 hours of the FIR being filed, whereas filing a FIR is not always a requirement, and police can arrest someone based on their source's communication or whereabouts information.
  • If a suspect or accused in police custody is not found guilty, the charges might be dismissed in court.
  • An accused is held in police custody ranges from 2 hours to 15 days. The accused is held in judicial detention for 24 hours to 60 days before being brought before the judges again.
  • A person detained in police custody must appear before the appropriate magistrate within 24 hours, but a person detained in judicial Custody is held in prison until the court grants bail.
  • A maximum of 15 days of police detention may be extended. For offences punishable by more than ten years in prison, judicial Custody may be prolonged for up to 90 days, and for all other offences, it can be extended for up to 60 days.


There is a constitution in effect in India at this time and several laws that regulate them. Additionally, the number of laws to obey is at an all-time high.

It is essential to be aware of the rights of those who are currently being victimized by any wrongdoing. Whether it be a criminal offence, a juvenile offence, an aggressive offence, or one of the many different forms of offence.

Getting someone taken into custody by the police is the first stage in every legal struggle, and without the intervention of the police, no case can ever make it to a court of law.

There are certain fundamental distinctions between the two, the most notable of which apply to the scope of authority and the location of imprisonment. When a suspect is in the custody of the police, the investigating authority can question them, but when a suspect is in the custody of the court, the authorities require permission from the judge before they may interview the suspect.

When a person is in the custody of the police, they have the right to access to legal representation and the right to be informed of the reasons that the police are required to guarantee. While a person is in judicial Custody in prison and under the authority of a judge, the Prison Manual comes into play for the person's everyday behaviour.


  1. https://www.kaanoon.com/54978/fir-to-charge-sheet
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10439463.1990.9964609



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"Difference Between Judicial Custody and Police Custody." Diffzy.com, 2024. Tue. 14 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-judicial-custody-and-police-custody-288>.

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