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Every police officer ought to behave with women and children with due courtesy and decorum. Verbal or physical abuse or use of foul language is a punishable offence.
A police officer is always on duty. No police officer can refuse to perform his/her duty for reasons of not being on official duty or the time of the day when assistance is asked for.
The police can stop your car, but they cannot make you get down from your car unless a female officer is present. It is not necessary that only the female officer should talk to you, she just needs to be present at the venue.
No, women and children (below the age of 15 years) cannot be called to the police station for questioning or interrogation. If the police need to question or interrogate a woman or child, they can do so only at the residence of the woman/child. A female police officer ought to be present at all times when a woman/ girl is being interrogated, as far as possible. (Section 160, Criminal Procedure Code)
No, only a female officer can arrest a woman, as far as possible. However, in exceptional cases, where there is an immediate need to arrest, and there is no female police officer available, male police officers also can arrest. In such cases, they will have to record the reasons for doing so.
No, a woman cannot be arrested after sunset (generally, 6pm) and before sunrise (generally, 6am), even if a woman police officer is present (Section 46(4) of Criminal Procedure Code). If the police need to arrest a woman at night, they need an arrest warrant from the Magistrate.
Remember: Again, in “exceptional circumstances,” police need not follow the above rule. ‘Exceptional circumstances’ would generally mean if the woman has committed a very serious crime, or if she might abscond, or if precious time will be lost in a case requiring urgent investigation.
If the person to be arrested does not resist, or agrees to be arrested, the police can simply arrest the person without even touching him/her. If the person refuses to submit to the police’s custody, then the police can physically touch the person and confine him/her.
No male officer can touch a woman for arrest. Only a female officer can physically touch a woman to arrest her.
The police should not handcuff a person for arrest, until and unless there is a chance that the person may abscond/escape. For women, only a female police officer can handcuff for arrest.
The police can arrest you without an arrest warrant only if they suspect you have committed a cognizable offence. For a non-cognizable offence, the police cannot arrest you without an arrest warrant.
Remember: If the police have to arrest you, they have to follow all rules and guidelines for the arrest of women (explained in this section).
Yes, every person has the right to know the reason for his/her arrest. If the police have arrested you without an arrest warrant, they have to tell you the reason for your arrest. If they arrest you with a warrant, the reason for arrest will be in the warrant.
If you have been arrested for a bailable offence, the police must also inform you that you have the right to get bail at the police station itself.
Every person arrested has the right to ask and view the arrest warrant and the conditions of such arrest.
It is mandatory for the police, and especially with women arrested, to inform her relatives or friend or anyone else whom she specifies about the arrest, the reason for arrest and the whereabouts of where she has been detained.
Every person arrested has the right to remain silent in police custody. No one can be forced to say anything or give any statement against themselves. This is a fundamental right under the Constitution of India (Article 20(3)). You don’t need to answer any questions or speak if you don’t wish to or don’t feel comfortable. You have the right to a lawyer, and you can always wait for your lawyer before answering any questions.
Any person arrested and placed in the custody of the police must be produced before the nearest Magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest. If the Magistrate believes further custody is necessary for the investigation, he/she can allow further custody for the period as he/she thinks fit. However, if the Magistrate feels that custody is not necessary, the Magistrate will order the police to release you on bail.
A woman in the custody of the police must be treated with dignity and respect.
No, only female police constables/officers can search a woman. Also, such a search must be done in a decent manner. There are no exceptions to this rule, and under no circumstances can a male officer physically search a woman.
Yes, every person who is arrested has the right to consult a lawyer.
Yes, you can have a lawyer present with you during police interrogation. However, he/she cannot be present throughout the entire interrogation. Your lawyer can always be just outside the room where you are being interrogated, so that you can consult him/her for any help.
Yes, but only if a woman police officer is present at the time of checking. It is not necessary that the woman police officer should administer the drunken-driving test, she just needs to be present at the venue. The rules are the same for day and night.
Remember: The above is the rule, but there can always be an exception. If the police feel that checking is absolutely necessary, even though a woman officer is not there, they still can check.
No, the police cannot arrest a woman at night (i.e. post 6 pm and before 6 am), not just for drunken driving, but for any reason. In case the police catch a woman for drunken driving, worst case, they may detain her (i.e. restrict her movement, confine her to the police station) but they cannot arrest her (i.e. put her in lock-up) without a warrant and without the presence of a female officer.
Practical tip: Generally, for drunken driving, the police do not arrest or detain the person, unless they feel the person will abscond (run away) or not co-operate. They let the person go, and the driver has to appear before the court on a decided date.
Remember: The above is the rule, but there can always be an exception. If the police feel that arrest is absolutely necessary, even though a woman officer is not there, they may arrest- but there has to be a strong reason and not something routine.
Please note: This information has been made available to you for your benefit on an ‘as is’ basis, and is only for your information. It does not constitute legal advice and cannot substitute professional legal advice. Our disclaimer policy can be viewed here ( disclaimer policy)