The Difference Between Police Custody And Judicial Custody Explained

Police Custody And Judicial Custody: Not many of us understand legal terms. Only people studying law or working under Indian law has a clear idea about these legal terms. If you are asked the difference between arrest and custody, you will not be able to provide the correct answer. Many people think that there is no difference between arrest and custody. However, to clear all your notions about these legal terms, here is a write-up explaining the difference between police custody and judicial custody.

What is police custody                     

In simple terms, custody means to possess the legal right to protect someone from something or the phase in which a person is kept imprisoned before the court trial begins. Often, people confuse custody with arrest. However, custody occurs only after arresting a person by the police. But every arrest may not be followed by custody. An arrest is basically when police imprison someone forcefully.

Police custody means the arrest of a person suspected to have committed a crime. When an FIR is lodged against a person for committing a recognizable offence, police immediately arrest the accused. The accused is taken to the lockup of a police station. The accused cannot tamper or destroy any evidence against the person or threatens the witness to not go against him.

After the arrest, the accused is taken to the Magistrate within 24 hours and the police ask for the accused’s remand in order to complete the process of investigation. Here, the police gets the choice to decide the tenure for the accused’s stay in police custody. As per Section 57 of CrPC, no accused can be confined by the police for more than 24 hours, irrespective of the completion station of the investigation. However, this time period should not exceed 15 days.

What is judicial custody?

Judicial custody meaning agreeing to the request of the police to give bail to the accused after the police custody period of the accused expires. Judicial custody is given to prevent the destroying of any evidence or influencing the witness. For criminal cases, filing a chargesheet within 90 days is mandatory.

In case of failing to produce the chargesheet, the accused is granted bail. However, when the accused has committed a heinous crime, such as murder or rape, the judicial custody duration of the accused is extended, despite producing the chargesheet, to ensure safety during the trial process. This judicial custody period may continue for 60 days, provided the Court feels convincing reasons are produced. On the grounds of logical reasons, the accused may be released on bail.

On what grounds do police custody and judicial custody differ?

Given below are the points of difference between judicial custody vs police custody:

  • In police custody, the accused is taken to the lockup by the police or kept in the custody of an investigating officer looking into the concerned matter. On the contrary, judicial custody means the accused is taken to jail and kept under the Magistrate’s custody.
  • When a person is lodged under police custody, he must be produced before the Magistrate within 24 hours. On the other hand, in judicial custody, the accused is kept locked up in jail unless and until the court releases an order for his bail.
  • As soon as a police officer arrests a suspect after an FIR is filed against him or a complaint is lodged against him, the police custody begins. In the case of judicial custody, the public prosecutor must first satisfy the court and plead with them about the necessity for investigating.
  • The period in police custody is 24 hours, which can later to extended to 15 days under the guidance of the appropriate Magistrate. Whereas the maximum period for detention in judicial custody is 90 days when the accused can be charged with punishable offences, death or imprisonment for not less than ten years. For imprisonment less than ten years, the period for judicial custody is 60 days.
  • The security provided in the police custody is by the police, while in judicial custody, this security is offered by the Magistrate or the judge.
  • In police custody, the first level of interrogation begins under the control of the police. On the other hand, in judicial custody, the accused is controlled by the Magistrate.
  • The accused in police custody is kept in lockup for detailed investigation. In judicial custody, the accused is kept in jail following the orders of the Magistrate or court for 15 days or more.
  • In police custody, substantial charges can be put on the accused. While in judicial custody, the charges put by the police can be nullified at the court if not proven guilty.


Therefore, by now, you must have a clear idea about the difference between police custody andjudicial custody. The executive must ensure that the people taken under custody are aware of their rights.

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