Can Civilians buy and use Handcuffs for performing "Citizen's arrest"?

Tilak Marg Forum for Legal Questions Forums Criminal Law Can Civilians buy and use Handcuffs for performing "Citizen's arrest"?


This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Dr. Ashok Dhamija Dr. Ashok Dhamija 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #4744

    Namaskar to all,

    As you might be aware, in terms of Section 43 of the CrPC, private citizens in India are allowed to effect arrest of persons who are caught in the act of committing a cognizable, non-bailable offence and to keep them detained until Police arrive/or alternatively to transport them to the Police Station.

    As in many areas the Police is understaffed and thinly spread, my question is can a Private Citizen purchase a set of Police Handcuffs for using it to detain a person in the course of committing a cognizable, non-bailable offence ? Can we put handcuffs on such an apprehended person until the Police arrive or take him in handcuffs to the Police Station ?

    Are private citizens prohibited from possessing and using Police Handcuffs ? Is there any clause in the Arms Act or other statutes that restrict their use only to sworn Police employees ?

    Will any Civilian person effecting such a “Citizen Arrest” open himself to prosecution under Sections 339-340 of IPC (Wrongful restraint and wrongful confinement) and S. 362 of IPC (abduction) if the person so arrested is acquitted of all charges ? Would the Prosecution and Magistracy give the benefit of doubt to the Citizen at the Threshold Level ?

  • #4752

    It is an academic type of question. Even the police is not allowed to use handcuffs in India in most situations, barring some exceptional situations, how do you expect private individuals being allowed to use handcuffs?

    Frankly speaking, I have never seen even a single case where a private individual has arrested some accused.

    How do you expect yourself continuously moving with handcuffs in streets waiting for someone to commit a cognizable non-bailable offence in your presence?

    Please do not ask such academic questions.


    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

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