The words custody and arrested are not synonymous terms. In every arrest, there is custody, but not vice versa. Before we see the Difference between custody and arrest, let's see Meaning of arrest and custody.

 Meaning of arrest - 

Arrest with a warrant and without a warrant -

 There are two types of arrests which are as follows -

1)  Arrest made in pursuance of a warrant issued by a magistrate and;

2)  Arrest made without such a warrant but made in accordance with some legal provision for meeting such an arrest.

Must Read...When police may arrest without warrant

Meaning of Custody - 

     Generally, the meaning of the custody is the charge and control of a person or item of property. Custody can be in relation to family law, property or in regards to a prisoner

Distinction/difference between arrest and custody





The Term Arrest is not defined either in the Code of Criminal Procedure Code or the Various Substantive Acts.  The word Arrest is derived from the French word ‘Arret’ which means “to stop or Stay”.

According to Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 the expression “in Custody” denotes Surveillance or restriction on the movements of the person connected.


Meaning and Definition of Arrest - An arrest is a restraint of the Liberty of the Person. An arrest is the act of apprehending a person and taking them into custody, usually because they have been suspected of committing or planning a crime.

Meaning and Definition of Custody - Custody is the state of being guarded, or kept in prison temporarily, especially by the police. It is the legal right or duty to take care of somebody/ something


Every arrest is custody, but not Vice Versa

A custody may Amount to an arrest in certain cases but not in all cases.

Taking a person by a Police Officer for interrogation or investigation is neither arrest nor detention nor taking into custody.  Custody Does not mean physical custody by arrest.

 See Also...

Distinction/Difference between warrant and summons


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