N. NATARAJAN, Senior Advocate and eminent criminal lawyer, had this to say when Frontline asked him for his reaction to the arrest of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi:
"Investigation under the Code of Criminal Procedure is a duty cast on the investigating officer (a police officer or a group of police officers) to investigate the offences concerned. His duty is to collect all oral evidences, documentary evidences and material objects concerned about the crime. These are his main functions. It is the duty of the investigating officer, after [he is] satisfied that the evidence so collected has established the offence, to arrest the accused and produce him along with the evidence collected before a court so that the court may proceed with the case against the accused. The arrest is done on the discretion of the investigating officer, depending on the exigencies and circumstances of the case. But certain exigencies may be revealed to the investigating officer. Those contingencies may be like the following: that the accused may run away to evade justice or the accused is likely to tamper with the evidence or intimidate the witnesses or likely to impede the investigation, and so on.
"When usually the accused is sought to be arrested from some other State, depending on the urgency and exigency, a warrant may be obtained from the Magistrate who is having jurisdiction of the case, to avoid delay in the investigation.
"Crime detection is always the duty of the police, and the investigating officer has to apply the law in a uniform manner to any person who is concerned in his investigation. The police cannot afford to make any discrimination on the ground that he is an important person or that he is a Minister or a big official or a religious head. If he (the investigating officer) does so, he will be failing in his duty of conducting a proper investigation."