There is a common belief in the public that the responsibility to maintain peace and execution of law is with forces and legal authorities. But as per the prevailing law in India, it is the duty of the citizen to help various authorities for execution of law and prevention of crime. Every citizen should be aware of their responsibility to assist the Judiciary and Police for prevention of crime and successful execution of law. The following are the circumstances in which the public is responsible to assist Magistrate and Police.
Public when to assist Magistrates and police - Section 37 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) 1973
As per Section 37 of CRPC "Every person is bound to assist a Magistrate or police officer reasonably demanding his aid-
(a) in the taking or preventing the escape of any other person whom such Magistrate or police officer is authorised to arrest; or
(b) in the prevention or suppression of a breach of the peace; or
(c) in the prevention of any injury attempted to be committed to any railway, canal, telegraph or public property."
Aid to person, other than police officer, executing warrant - Section 38 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) 1973
As per Section 38 of CRPC "when a warrant is directed to a person other than a police officer, any other person may aid in the execution of such warrant, if the person to whom the warrant is directed be near at hand and acting in the execution of the warrant."
Public to give information of certain offences - Section 39 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC) 1973
As per Section 39 (1) of CRPC "Every person, aware of the commission of , or of the intention of any other person to commit, any offence punishable under any of the following sections of the Indian Penal Code,(45 of 1860) namely:
(i) sections 121 to 126, both inclusive, and section 130 (that is to say, offences against the State specified in Chapter VI of the said Code);
(ii) sections 143, 144, 145, 147 and 148 (that is to say, offences against the public tranquility specified in Chapter VIII of the said Code);
(iii) sections 161 to 165A, both inclusive (that is to say, offences relating to illegal gratification);
(iv) sections 272 to 278, both inclusive (that is to say, offences relating to adulteration of food and drugs, etc.);
(v) sections 302, 303 and 304 (that is to say, offences affecting life);
(vi) section 382 (that is to say, offence of theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to the committing of the theft);
(vii) sections 392 to 399, both inclusive, and section 402 (that is to say, offences of robbery and dacoity);
(viii) section 409 (that is to say, offence relating to criminal breach of trust by public servant, etc.);
(ix) sections 431 to 439, both inclusive (that is to say, offences of mischief against property);
(x) sections 449 and 450 (that is to say, offence of house-trespass);
(xi) sections 456 to 460, both inclusive (that is to say, offences of lurking house-trespass); and
(xii) sections 489A to 489E, both inclusive (that is to say, offences relating to currency notes and bank notes), shall, in the absence of any reasonable excuse, the burden of proving which excuse shall lie upon the person so aware, forthwith give information to the nearest Magistrate or police officer of such commission or intention.
(2) For the purposes of this section, the term "offence" includes any act committed at any place out of India which would constitute an offence if committed in India.