Factual Query - If a Police Officer wants to search a closed place in regards to a case that he is investing, offers someone to be a witness under section 100 (4) of the CrPC but that person refuses to do so, can the Police Officer arrest such person for refusing to be a witness? Is there a case law for the same?
1. IF Police has evidence that Witness has material knowledge /information of a Crime, and IF witness refuses to cooperate in investigation, THEN such witness can be arrested for hindering /concealing matter in the case.
“Before making a search under this Chapter, the officer or other person about to make it shall call upon two or more independent and respectable inhabitants of the locality in which the place to be searched is situate or of any other locality if no such inhabitant of the said locality is available or is willing to be a witness to the search, to attend and witness the search and may issue an order in writing to them or any of them so to do.”
Thus, it is clear that Section 100(4), CrPC has mandated that seizure must be witnessed by at least 2 (two) independent witnesses. However, it has been a matter of common experience that the local populace is not interested to be made witnesses in criminal cases when they have no concern or interest in the outcome of the case. In the current days of deteriorating law and order situation, strict compliance of the rules regulating search and seizure demands a rational approach.