Remand and its Types


The dictionary meaning of the the word ‘remand’ means to return or send back. The legal definition, however, has different meanings:

  1. This term is used to refer to the sending back of the accused or prisoner to the custody of a competent authority.
  2. It is also used when a case is sent back to the same court from which it came forward, for the purposes of taking further action (1981 CLC 1561; 1993 MLD 1333; 1990 ALD 150), or back to a lower court or tribunal for re-hearing.
  3. In the context of a detained person, remand means to send an arrested person (waiting to conclude trial) back to police custody for further interrogation.

Need and Purpose

The legal fraternity is divided regarding the need for remand, but it is generally understood that remand becomes necessary on the following grounds:

  • when the original purpose of remand is to obtain custody of a person in order to ensure that the accused attends a court hearing as required;
  • for the protection of victims; and
  • for the final disposition of matters for which the accused has been remanded in custody.

Constitutional Status

The concept of remand can also be found in the Constitution of Pakistan 1973. According to Article 10 (2),every person who is arrested and detained in custody is to be produced before a Magistrate within a period of twenty four hours of such arrest, excluding the time necessary for the journey from the place of arrest to the court of the nearest Magistrate, and no such person is to be detained in custody beyond the said period without the authority of a Magistrate.


Three types of remand can come into play when an individual is arrested:

1. Police Remand or Physical Remand

Section 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1898 sheds some light on the matter but other sections including Sections 61, 62 and 173 of CrPC are also relevant. According to Section 167, when the investigation of an offence cannot be completed within twenty four hours, the accused is to be produced before a First-Class Magistrate who may order remand as deemed necessary. The Magistrate is authorized to give remand irrespective of whether he or she can try that case. Remand can also be given by the Magistrate in murder cases.

Physical remand can be granted multiple times but the aggregate amount should not exceed 14 days plus an additional 3 days, if necessary. The Magistrate is bound to record reasons for passing an order of remand while considering all conditions and circumstances and must also send a copy of the order to the Sessions Court.

  • Remand application:

To obtain physical remand, an application has to be filed by police officials before a Magistrate. This application is called ‘parcha’ remand. In this remand application, the police request the court for remand for a certain period of time. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the court may grant remand as demanded by the police or deny it.

  • Power of the court to give remand:

A First-Class and Section 30 Magistrate can give an order of remand. The Sessions Court, High Court, Second-Class Magistrates and Third-Class Magistrates are not authorized to give an order of remand. A Second-Class Magistrate can give the order of remand if authorized by the provincial government.

  • Right of accused held in remand:

An incorrect perception regarding physical remand is that the accused will be tortured by the police in order to obtain information relating to an offence. The accused has certain rights in police custody, including the right to:

  • get legal assistance;
  • communicate with relatives;
  • receive medical assistance if sick; and
  • remain silent.

2. Judicial Remand

Under Section 344 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898, an accused can get remanded by the judiciary and be sent back to jail. This order is granted by criminal courts where some cases may be pending. This order can be given by a Magistrate, Court of Sessions and High Court. There is no fixed duration for judicial remand. It is not subject to any time limit and continues as long as the case pending before the court. Judicial remand is effective only when the accused is in custody. According to Section 344 of the CrPC, a criminal court can:

  • postpone proceedings;
  • adjourn proceedings; and
  • remand an accused to detention if the accused is in custody.

The court can postpone proceedings on the basis of:

  • absence of a witness; and
  • any reasonable cause.

If an accused has faced police interrogation, physical remand can be secured against him. If remand has expired, the accused in custody is transferred to the court. The court cannot keep him on court premises. The accused would be kept in district jail under judicial remand if there is no trial. Trial must be based on a police report or complaint. This can be a reasonable cause for postponement of proceedings and giving the order for judicial remand. There is a technical difference between postponement and adjournment. Postponement means that a trial cannot be commenced against the accused. Adjournment refers to putting it off.

Judicial remand is effective only when the accused is in custody. If the accused has already been discharged or released on bail, then an order for judicial remand would not be possible under Section 344 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898.

3. Transit Remand

In the context of Section 86 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1989, transit means “on a journey” and in the course of transportation from one place to another. For example, if an offence is committed in Islamabad but the offender is arrested in Karachi, the offender can be shifted to Islamabad, within twenty four hours, where a case is pending against him. He will be produced before the Superintendent of Police (SP) or Magistrate of the area where the arrest will be made. The SP or Magistrate can give the order for transit remand. Transit remand would enable the police to shift the person in custody from the place of arrest to the place where he is to be investigated. The duration of transit remand can be between 1 and 7 days, but not more.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of or any other organization with which he might be associated.

Muhammad Bilal Nazir Marath

Author: Muhammad Bilal Nazir Marath

The writer holds an LLB (Honours) degree in Sharia and Law from the International Islamic University Islamabad and currently practises in Lahore.