Do You Know Your Rights If A Policewala Messes With You Unnecessarily?

Every other day we hear an instance where youngsters of the nation are unnecessarily harassed by police constables, detained in police custody and beaten, without even knowing the actual fault of theirs.

The recent raids in Mumbai motels and lodges are a clear specimen of that. 40 young couples were detained, questioned, fined and humiliated for having done nothing.

In another instance, 2 women from Delhi who were vacationing in Goa were gang raped by men pretending to be cops. What’s more scary is the fact that this could have been avoided if they had refused to go with the men when asked to. They did that, just because they got scared of their police stature. And that’s how things actually run in India. You are just sitting by the beach, sipping calmly on nariyal pani and a cop comes to you and asks you to come to police station with him. You simply cannot say no, and you won’t do it either. We are too scared of policewalas instead of feeling secure in their presence.

Simply because most of us are not aware of our legal rights when it comes to dealing with legal authorities.

Here’s a quick rundown for you so that you are well equipped to deal with such a messy situation, without getting scared and losing your cool, if policewala messes with you.

  1. A police wala just cannot beat you up for the heck of it! No matter they are named as Police Beat Officers, but that doesn’t mean they can lose their laathis on you for no reason. They have to have a charge on you or a written FIR to take a beating action. If you face such situation, resist the beating by being polite but firm and straight forward.
  1. Even a miniscule police constable tries to push his authority on people these days. Let him do that. Stay calm and do not react. If you start shouting and reacting too strongly, they menace even further. Calmly tell them that you belong to a respected family and you mean no harm to the society by and large.
  1. Remember, that a police wala is neither a good friend, nor a good enemy! You must avoid getting dragged to a station at all costs. If you get registered at a police station with your name and identity, it will remain for lifelong. Moreover, our police stations are not really pleasant places to be at for anybody not belonging to a criminal background. As sad it may sound, but it’s true to the core. Hence, avoid being taken there. You really do not have to go only because a cop is asking you. Ask for a warrant, a copy of the FIR or written summons to hold you up.
  1. A girl cannot be arrested by anyone, anytime or anywhere. A male cop cannot come to a woman’s door or stop her by a roadside and ask her to come to a station. As per the rule, a woman constable or official must be present while detaining a female. Moreover, a female can never be taken to a station under any charge after 6 p.m. It is mandatory to do the needful before 6 p.m. if it is a woman in question.
  1. If at all you are taken to a station you need to know your rights on Inspection Memo and Memo of Arrest.

Inspection Memo is the documentation which describes how exactly you looked like before being detained, what were you wearing. If you have any bruises on your body after the encounter at the station,  you can file a written complaint against the officials at the assigned court.

A Memo of Arrest is the documented record which talks about each every detail of arrest. The name, the charges, the place of arrest, the time of arrest, reasons, and the mode of arrest with the signatures form a witness. This makes sure that they cannot screw up your case later.

  1. If your crime is one where you need to pay a fine, ask the cops to make a challan or a written memo of the exact amount and pay the legit amount, which as per the IPC slabs is very nominal. Appear confident and never handover a huge amount of cash or your debit cards with the pin to Inspectors or SHOs.
  1. Last but not the least, in any such situation, first thing to do is to call your parents or legal guardians, and make them aware of the situation all by yourself, rather than police walas or other officials giving them a twisted version. Remember, your parents are your best friends. They might take you off hand later, but they will definitely try their best to save you from the situation.

So friends, make sure you are aware of the legal rights you possess, before you react and blow a situation out of proportion. This will help you to remain out of trouble with the police officials.

We may or may not find friends in our Police Force today!

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