Over a piece of information about a drug deal ,received by an anti narcotics cell police personnel team on March 13 last year, a raid was conducted at the said residence and a man and a woman was arrested for the possession of 400 tablets later revealed to be 100gms of ecstasy. A crime case was registered against the two and while the man was sent in judicial remand, the woman was arrested.
The Bombay high court in Goa , held this arrest of the woman to be illegal as the arrest was done before sunrise according to the section 46(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Section 46 of the Criminal Procedure Code which governs the arrest of women specifically mentions that , save in exceptional circumstances, no woman can be arrested after sunset and before sunrise and even in exceptional circumstances, only a female police officer shall make the arrest by making a report and obtaining the prior permission of the Judicial Magistrate of the locality.
However in this case, Counsel K. Poulekar, representing the arrested woman stated that the raid took place at 5.40 in the morning and the police didn’t follow the legal protocols before they arrested the woman.
In reply the court noted that “ Although the applicant mentioned the time of arrest as 5.40 a.m., the case diary goes to show that the police along with the applicant left the place of search by 6.30 a.m. We will take that time as the time of arrest “.
The time of sunrise on March 13, 2020 was 6.42 a.m. Considering these timings, the court held the arrest illegal abiding by the section 46 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Justice Dama Sheshadri Naidu said “ Here the arrest took place by 6.30am , that is before sunrise. Section 46 of the CrPc evidently has not been complied with. That apart , though a female constable was present, the applicant’s arrest was solely conducted by the PSI, a male officer”.
In recent times, there have been increasing cases where modesty of women has been abused during police arrests. Several instances of women being harassed by policemen got reported leading the Supreme Court to come up with the rule of restricting women to be arrested before sunrise and after sunset.
But over the course of time there were plenty of instances where this rule was misused . Especially women dealing with illegal activities like drugs have gone onto use this as an advantage. Thus even if they get caught in a case they can’t be arrested in view of this rule.