What Special Rights Do Women Have When Dealing With the Police?
The safety of women has become a major concern across India. Recent incidents have shown that sometimes a woman cannot even be assured of her safety with the Police. The following are a few privileges ensured under the Police Procedures that women can take advantage of in order to feel safer:
- Every policeman is duty bound to ensure that women are treated with due respect. There is no exception to this rule.
- In cases, where a woman is the complainant, the police will make enquiries and investigations expeditiously and arrest the accused immediately.
- When an occasion to arrest a woman or to interrogate a woman witness arises, it is binding upon the police to keep a woman police personnel present.
- If a woman is accused, she shall be treated with dignity, irrespective of the nature of the crime committed.
- Normally, neither can women be arrested, nor called to a police station between sunset and sunrise. However, under exceptional circumstances, if it is necessary to arrest them or call them to a police station, it is binding upon the police to allow their relatives to stay with them.
- Accused women are to be kept in the cells specially reserved for them. If there is no separate room for them, they are to be kept in the visitor’s room.
- A rape victim may ask for her medical examination to be conducted by a female doctor.
- She can also choose to give her statement to lady police personnel. As far as practicable, a lady police officer shall be deputed for this job. If it is not possible, it shall be ensured that some local women must be present at the time of registration of an FIR and recording of statement.
- Mumbai Police is committed to provide decent treatment to all the citizens, especially women. Any aberrations must be brought to the notice of senior officers.
- For the prevention of atrocities against women, social security committees have been established in all the Police Commissioner and district headquarters in Maharashtra. Their composition in Mumbai City is as under:
- Commissioner of Police
- Deputy Commissioner of Police
- Social Service Branch
- Women Social Workers
- Other co-opted members
Once in a month this Committee takes a review of atrocities inflicted on women and takes measures to prevent problems for women in future.
Source: This information was obtained from the website of the Mumbai Police – https://mumbaipolice.maharashtra.gov.in/