Published on: 06 May 2023 at 23:06 IST
A proclaimed offender, also referred to as a PO, is an individual who has been accused of committing a crime and has a warrant issued for their arrest but has not appeared in court or has evaded arrest.
Essentially, a proclaimed offender is someone who the court has deemed to be evading the legal process and is considered a fugitive from justice.
When someone is accused of committing a crime, the legal system provides them with the opportunity to defend themselves in Court. However, there are times when a person who has been accused of a crime may choose to run and evade the legal process. These individuals are called proclaimed offenders (POs), and they are wanted by the authorities for not appearing in court or evading arrest.
So, why do some fugitives choose to run?
One reason is that they may believe that they are innocent and do not trust the legal system to give them a fair trial. They may feel that they are being unfairly targeted or that the evidence against them is weak. In such cases, they may choose to flee rather than face a trial that they believe they cannot win.
Another reason why people choose to run is that they may be afraid of the consequences of being found guilty. They may be aware that the punishment for the crime they are accused of committing is severe, and they may not want to face the consequences. They may also be afraid of retaliation from other inmates or members of the community if they are sent to jail.
In some cases, individuals who are accused of a crime may choose to run simply because they do not want to face the legal process. They may be afraid of the embarrassment and stigma associated with being accused of a crime, and they may believe that running is the only way to avoid it.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to note that choosing to run as a proclaimed offender can have severe consequences. Once a person has been declared a proclaimed offender, their property can be attached, and they can be arrested without a warrant. If they are caught, they may face additional charges and a longer sentence for evading the legal process.
Moreover, running as a proclaimed offender is not a sustainable way of life. Fugitives must live in constant fear of being caught, and they may have to abandon their families, friends, and careers to avoid detection. Even if they manage to evade the authorities for a time, they will always be looking over their shoulder, knowing that they could be caught at any moment.
In conclusion, while there may be several reasons why some proclaimed offenders choose to run, the consequences of doing so are severe. The best course of action is to work within the legal system to defend oneself against the accusations and let the justice system run its course. Running away may seem like an easier option, but it only leads to more trouble in the long run.
As per Section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the court may issue a proclamation declaring the individual as a proclaimed offender and requesting them to appear before the court within a specified period. If they fail to do so, their property may be seized, and they may be arrested without a warrant.
When one can be declared as proclaimed offender?
An individual can be declared as a proclaimed offender (PO) when they have been accused of committing a crime and a warrant has been issued for their arrest, but they have failed to appear in court or have evaded arrest. This means that the court has reason to believe that the person is intentionally avoiding the legal process, and their whereabouts are unknown.
Under Section 82 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, the court can issue a proclamation declaring the individual as a proclaimed offender and requiring them to appear before the court within a specified period. If the person fails to do so, their property may be attached and confiscated, and they may be arrested without a warrant.
It’s important to note that the process of declaring someone as a proclaimed offender can only be initiated by the court after due process has been followed, and it is not something that can be done arbitrarily or without sufficient evidence.
What its difference with a offender?
An offender is someone who has committed a crime and has been found guilty of the offense through a legal process.
They may have been arrested, charged, and convicted for their actions. On the other hand, a proclaimed offender (PO) is a person who has been accused of committing a crime, and a warrant has been issued for their arrest, but they have failed to appear in court or evaded arrest.
While an offender has already gone through the legal process and has been convicted, a proclaimed offender is considered a fugitive from justice and is wanted by the authorities for not complying with the legal process.
Once a person has been declared a proclaimed offender, they may face further legal consequences, including having their property seized and being arrested without a warrant.
Consequences of Declaration as a proclaimed offender
In case the accused fails to appear in court after a bailable warrant has been issued, the court may issue a non-bailable warrant against the defendant under Section 70 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
This gives the police the authority to arrest the accused at any time and any place, even by breaking open the doors or walls of their home or hiding place.
If the accused continues to evade court appearances despite the warrants being issued, the judge may declare the accused as a “criminal accused” under Sections 82 and 83 of CrPC.
1. When a person is declared a proclaimed offender, it means that any Indian citizen has the authority to arrest the accused at any time and place.
2. The accused’s passport is also seized automatically to prevent them from leaving the country. If the accused was a government employee at the time of the declaration, they will be dismissed from their post.
3. If not, they will be barred from holding any government position at any level for their entire life, even if they were declared a proclaimed offender for just one day.