A Proclaimed Offender (P.O) proceeding is a process of the court through which the person is declared proclaimed offender and directs the concerned police officials to arrest the person named in the proceeding and produce him before the court and the name and details of the proclaimed offender are published in the newspapers  declaring him/her to be a proclaimed offender.

What Are Proclaimed Offender (P.O) Proceedings?

Section 82 of the Criminal Procedure Code says a ‘Proclaimed Offender’ or ‘PO’. A Proclaimed Offender is a procedure of the court through which the court announces the individual as broadcasted wrongdoer and guides the concerned police authorities to capture the individual named in the procedure and create him under the watchful eye of the court.

Also when Accused is not giving the appearance in Court after issuing the bailable warrant, then the court will Issue Non-Bailable Warrants against the person/accused under Section 70 of the Code of Criminal procedure. 

This Warrant under Section 70 will give powers to the Police to arrest the accused at any moment at any place [even by breaking doors and walls of your house or the place where you are trying to hide from the arrest].

If even after Non-Bailable Warrants accused doesn’t care to appear in Court then the Judge can declare the accused “Proclaimed Offender” under Section 82 and 83 of the Code of Criminal procedure.

Meaning of proclaimed offender or consequence of being a proclaimed offender –

(1) The meaning of being declared as proclaimed Offender is that accused can be arrested by ANY citizen of India at any time or any place.

(2) The Passport of the proclaimed offender will be automatically confiscated so that the offender doesn’t go out of the country.

(3) If at the time of being declared proclaimed offender person was doing any Government Job — he will be expelled and if not he cannot apply for any government job at any level throughout the life– even if you are declared proclaimed offender only for One day.

Offenses for which the Court may declare an absconder to be a Proclaimed Offender? 

An absconder can be proclaimed as an offender by the court if he is accused of any of the following: 

  1. Someone committing house-trespassing in order to commit a punishable offense with death. Anyone causing grievous hurt or death while house-trespass or house-breaking;
  2. Culpable homicide not amounting to murder or Murder.
  3. Abduction or kidnapping in order to murder. Abduction or kidnapping in order to subject a person to grievous hurt, slavery, etc.
  4. Being a member of a group that causes grievous hurt/death while trespassing a property.
  5. Someone causing mischief by fire or explosive substance with the intent to destroy property. Someone committing theft with the intent or attempt to hurt or murder. Attempting or committing robbery. Causing hurt in committing robbery. Committing dacoity or dacoity with murder; Committing dacoity or robbery with an attempt to cause death or grievous hurt; Attempting to commit robbery/dacoity when armed with a deadly weapon; Preparing to commit or assembling to commit dacoity; Belonging to a gang of dacoits.

When The Court Issue Proclamation Against The Person/Accused?

If any court has reason to believe (whether after taking evidence or not) that any person against whom a warrant has been issued by it has absconded or is concealing himself so that such warrant cannot be executed, such court may publish a written proclamation requiring him to appear at a specified place and at a specified time not less than thirty days from the date of publishing such proclamation.

Procedure To Publishing The Proclamation Notice By The Court-

The proclamation shall be published as follows-

(1) It shall be publicly read in some conspicuous place of the town or village in which such person ordinarily resides.

(2) It shall be affixed to some conspicuous part of the house or homestead in which such person ordinarily resides or to some conspicuous place of such town or village.

(3) A copy thereof shall be affixed to some conspicuous part of the Courthouse.

(4) The court may also, if it thinks fit, direct a copy of the proclamation to be published in a daily newspaper circulating in the place in which such person ordinarily resides.

(5) A statement in writing by the court issuing the proclamation to the effect that the proclamation was duly published on a specified day, in the manner specified in Clause (i) of subsection (2), shall be conclusive evidence that the requirements of this section have been complied with, and that the proclamation was published on such day.

(6) Where a proclamation published under sub-section (1) is in respect of a person accused of an offence punishable under Sections 302, 304, 364, 367, 382, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 402, 436, 499, 459 or 460 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) and such person fails to appear at the specified place and time required by the proclamation, the Court may, after making such inquiry as it thinks fit, pronounce him a proclaimed offender and make a declaration to that effect.

Who can arrest a Proclaimed Offender? 

The police station from where the offender is a  resident holds the prime responsibility to arrest. However, a Proclaimed Offender may be arrested by any police officer without a warrant or order any order from a Magistrate. Any person may arrest a Proclaimed Offender and hand him over to a police officer/ nearest police station without unnecessary delay. 

The Superintendent of Police revises the list of Proclaimed Offenders regularly.

The Superintendent of Police periodically revises the list of Proclaimed Offenders names and also people concerned in the cases. If there is no sufficient evidence on record or is procurable the names of the POs are removed after consultation with the District Magistrate and the SP of the district in which such person was proclaimed. Whenever a  Proclaimed Offender is arrested a statement is sent to the police station and district of which he was a resident so that his name can be eliminated from the list of POs. The name is likewise removed from the receipt of intimation on the death of the proclaimed person.

To Summarize

An announcement distributed under sub-segment (1) is in regard to a man blamed for an offense culpable under Sections 302, 304, 364, 367, 382, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 402, 436, 499, 459 or 460 of the Indian Penal Code neglects to show up at the predetermined place and time required by the decree, the Court may, subsequent to making such request as it supposes fit, articulate him a broadcast-ed guilty party and make a revelation to that impact.

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