Difference Between Judicial Custody and Police Custody (With Table)

Judicial Custody vs Police Custody

Police custody is controlled by the police and is also a place where the first interrogation starts. The judicial custody is wherein the accused is in the custody of the magistrate.

The police custody is usually given when there is a non-bailable offense on a person and they cannot interrogate the person in custody without the permission of the magistrate.

The key difference between police custody and judicial custody lies in the fact that the accused is kept in police custody/lock up for further inquiry or investigation whereas in the latter accused is kept in the jail as per the magistrate/court decision for duration above 15 days.

 In the police custody, the police cannot keep the accused in the police lock-up for more than 15 days, unless they have special permission.

Read through criminal procedure code to get clarity on the various systems at the place. To understand the law systemic mandated internationally, ICCPR is paramount.


Comparison Table Between Judicial Custody and Police Custody (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonPolice CustodyJudicial Custody
ControlPolice officersThe judicial authorities
InvestigationYesNo/ Partially
Duration15 daysUp to 60 days
ChargesStrong charges are putCharges can be nullified
JailPolice lock-upCentral Jail
ProcedureArrestOn trial before the judge

Custody basically implies to gain control or put a charge against a person in particular which restricts the physical movement of the accused.

As per article 21 of the Indian constitution, the police or judicial custody must be reasonable, applicable and legally viable adjust.

Custody and arrest are not the same.  Custody is plainly a remand taken while the arrest is forceful confinement. The arrest is followed by custody.


What is Police Custody?

Police Custody
Police Cus6ody

A police officer arrests suspect and keep them in custody out of suspicious or evidence.

The accused is kept in the police remand in order to interrogate, protect the destruction of evidence or any kind of threatening done to the witnesses of the case in hand.

The custody is strictly kept for 24 hours before the accused is presented in front of the magistrate. The charge sheet has to be filed by the police as well.

There are lots of rights of people in police custody which is a must to be aware of.


What is Judicial Custody?

When the accused is presented in front of the magistrate, the magistrate can take the accused in their judicial custody or send back the accused to police custody for 15 days.

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If the accused is sent to the police custody, police have all the rights to interrogate the accused. If the accused is sent to the judicial custody, the accused will be sent to jail away from the public scrutinizing eye. Section 1671 (2)  is crucial to be understood.

Judicial Custody
Judicial Custody

Main Differences Between Judicial Custody and Police Custody


In police custody, the police officer at duty as complete control over taking charge, arresting a suspect or accused in their provisional area.

The police can take charge of the evidence, but the suspect or accused in the police lock-up and file a charge sheet on what all information his/her team has gathered via interrogation.

The FIR is the precursor before the arrest takes place. FIR and charge sheet are not the same.

The judicial custody works on the principals of the court laws wherein the judge/magistrate takes a call on the navigation of the case.

The suspect can be set free on no accord of misconduct found, or sent back to the police custody for 15 days or moved to the central jail for up to 60 days before the accused is presented in front of the magistrate once again.


An investigation is done by the police when the accused is in police custody.

The investigation is not the job of the magistrate. The magistrate goes by the evidence provided by the interrogation reports and the hearing in the trial court.

If there is a need for further investigation, the judicial court sends back the accused to police custody for close to two weeks duration.


First and foremost an FIR is filed against a particular person followed with an arrest, interrogation, investigation, and remand in the first 24 hours of an FIR filed.

Filing of an FIR is not always a mandate and police themselves can arrest someone based on their source’s communication or whereabouts information.

The procedure of judicial functionaries and functioning is mostly covered.


The charges put on a suspect of accused in police custody can be nullified at the judicial court if not proven guilty.

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The duration to keep an accused in the police custody is from 2 hours to 15 days.

While in the judicial custody the accused is kept from a minimum of 24 hours to 60 days before being presented to the judges again.

If found guilty; the accused is moved to the judicial jail. Judicial jail is also called a central jail.


The accused is kept in the police lock-up while as per the judicial custody the accused is kept away for the public is the central jails.

Central jails are the jails in the various States of India. Read about the rights of prisoners as per Indian law to understand what the rights of prisoners are while they are serving a term.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Judicial Custody and Police Custody

  1. What is judicial custody remand?

    The term remand means the order to put way someone who is accused of doing something terrible and illegal in judicial custody, especially when a trial is going on.

    It also conveys the fact that the police have custody of that particular person who is given the judicial custody.

  2. How long can you be in jail without a trial?

    If a person who is in jail for doing something wrong or illegal is incarcerated, then the usual deadline which is given is of six months.

    If a person is in any of the prisons and the prosecutor is waiting to file the charges, then, in this case, the 180-day rule can become an issue.

  3. Can bail be granted in police custody?

    Yes, bail can be granted if a person is in police custody only if the accused person has done something against which bail can be given or a bailable offense has been done.

    In such a case, a person cannot be detained in police custody for more than 24 hours.

  4. Can police tell you if someone is in custody?

    In the normal scenario, police are not allowed to tell anyone about the fact that they have detained someone in their custody without the permission of the family members.

    If the person who himself has got arrested wants you to know about his whereabouts, then the police will let you know only about the news and no additional information will be provided.

  5. What are the different types of bail?

    Talking about India, only three types of bail are available which depends on the type of criminal offense the person has done.

    They are as follows:
    The first type of bail is the regular bail, the second is the interim bail and the third type of bail is the anticipatory bail.

  6. What is the difference between custody and remand?

    Both of these words, remand, and custody come into the picture when someone is arrested by the police because of some criminal case.

    The custody of the person inside the police lock-up is called as the remand. A person stays in remand till his hearing date in the court comes.

  7. Why is bail denied?

    There are many reasons because of which bail is denied.

    The main reasons are as follows:
    One of the reasons can be that the person is accused of something which is an offense for which prison cannot be granted and there are many grounds on which it can be believed that the person can abscond.

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India has a constitution at the place, with various laws that govern them.  Also, laws to abide are at its plentiful.

It’s important to note, the rights of people who are in the grips of any type of offenses. Be it criminal, juvenile, hostile or various other types of crimes shared HERE.

Police custody is the first step to enter into any legal battles and without the police involvement; no case can reach the court of law.


Word Cloud for Difference Between Judicial Custody and Police Custody

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Judicial Custody and Police Custody This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Judicial Custody and Police Custody
Word Cloud for Judicial Custody and Police Custody



  1. https://www.kaanoon.com/54978/fir-to-charge-sheet
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10439463.1990.9964609