Inform people about rights during arrest: HC to govts
The Delhi High Court has directed the Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party government to run an awareness campaign informing the general public about their rights in the event of arrest or detention by the police in criminal cases.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar observed that there were Supreme Court judgements stating that no automatic arrest or detention can be made by the police, even in non-bailable and cognizable offences.
It noted that pursuant to the apex court's direction, the police has also issued standing orders in this regard, but the public appeared to be ignorant of their rights in the event of an arrest. The Supreme Court, in its ruling, had emphasised on the need of caution while exercising the drastic power of arrest, which has for years, been treated as a tool of harassment, oppression in the hands of the police authorities and greatly contributed to police corruption in India.
"Respondents (Centre and Delhi government) shall ensure that steps are taken forthwith to disseminate information about the standing order (issued in October 2008 by the Delhi police) setting up guidelines for arrest.
"The same should be published in the vernacular languages and circulated amongst the public. A copy there of be made available to every person upon their arrest," the bench said. The court's direction came on a plea by Subhash Vijayran who had alleged that the governments were violating the mandate of Article 22(2) of the Constitution taking advantage of the ignorance regarding the rights of the citizens.
An accused may be
kept in detention beyond 24 hours of his arrest only when authorised by the Magistrate, it added.Agencies