What is a warrant of arrest -

       A warrant is a return order of a magistrate giving official authority to arrest a suspected criminal or accused person.  Dictionary meaning of Warrant -  It is a writ issued by a competent Magistrate authorizing any officer to make an arrest, a seizure or search or to do any other act incidental to the administration of Justice.

A valid warrant must fulfil the following conditions

1. A warrant must be in writing

2. It must be signed by the presiding officer.

3. A warrant must bear the seal of the court.

4. It shall be bear the name and designation of the person who is to executed it.

5. It must give full particulars of name and address along with the age of the accused of so as to identify him clearly.

6. A warrant must specify the offences charged;

7. It should indicate the date of issue of a warrant.

Form of warrant of arrest and duration -

        Section 70 of the code of criminal procedure deals with the form of warrant of arrest and duration. Section 70 of the code of criminal procedure 1973 run as follows -

(1) Every warrant of arrest issued by a Court under this Code shall be in writing, signed by the presiding officer of such Court and shall bear the seal of the Court.

(2) Every such warrant shall remain in force until it is cancelled by the Court which issued it, or until it is executed.

It must be noted that - 

  • A warrant once issued shall remain in force until it is cancelled or executed even though it bears a returnable date. 
  • A warrant can only be cancelled by the court issuing it. 
  • Where a warrant is cancelled, it is at an end and cannot be reissued.
  • A Magistrate is competent to issue a warrant of arrest for production of a person before his own court and not before a police officer.


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