Warrants may be general warrants or conditional warrants. A general warrant means a warrant to apprehend all persons committing a particular offence or offences. The issue of a general warrant is illegal.
A conditional warrant is a warrant which directs that in the event of a certain named person not leaving India forthwith, for officers to whom the warrant is directed are to arrest that person. Such conditional warrants are invalid.
A valid warrant must fulfill the following requisites:
(1) It must be in writing;
(2) It must be signed by the presiding officer;
(3) It must bear the seal of the Court;
(4) It shall bear the name and designation of the person who is to execute it;
(5) It must give full particulars of name and address along with the age of the accused so as to identify him clearly;
(6) It must specify the offences charged;
(7) It should indicate the date of issue of warrant.
A warrant once issued shall remain in force until it is cancelled or executed even though it bears a returnable date. A warrant can only be cancelled by the Court issuing it (where a warrant is cancelled, it is at an end and cannot be re-issued). A Magistrate has discretion on sufficient cause shown to cancel a warrant and issue summons instead.
A Judicial Magistrate, under this section, can convert warrant of arrest into a bailable warrant. Where the accused expresses desire to surrender himself and also seeks permission to appear before the Court, the execution of non-bailable warrant issued against him can be stayed in the interest of justice.
A Magistrate is competent to issue a warrant of arrest for production of a person before his own Court and not before a police officer.