Legal Rights

  1. No women can be arrested between 6:00 PM & 6:00 AM. (CrPC section 46).

  2. A police officer CANNOT refuse to lodge an FIR. If he/she refuses so, they could be jailed for up to 6 months to 1 year. (IPC section 166A).

  3. A police officer is ALWAYS on duty whether (or not) he/she is wearing a uniform. (Police Act, 1861)

  4. A police officer CANNOT say that he/she is NOT on duty while you visit him/her to file a complaint. (Police Act, 1861)

  5. Only women constable or women police official can arrest a woman. Male constables have NO right to arrest a woman. (CrPC, 1973)

  6. In case of a serious crime in which a woman is accused, a male police officer CAN arrest a woman ONLY after the receipt of written order from the Magistrate. (CrPC, 1973).

  7. A person can seek Anticipatory bail in case of expectation of being named or accused of having committed a Non-bailable offence. (CrPC, Section 438)

  8. To get anticipatory bail, a person must approach the Sessions Court (or) the High Court and disclose a proper reason citing section 438. If the court sees merit in the petition, it grants an anticipatory bail.

  9. A Hindu married couple CANNOT register a divorce petition with-in a year of marriage (Section 14 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955). However, if the high court feels that the petitioner is experiencing immense problems, then, the judge can permit the petitioner to file for divorce.

  10. Article 20 (2) of the constitution mandates that a person cannot be prosecuted or punished twice for the same offence.

  11. A police CANNOT conduct any search in a person’s house WITHOUT a search warrant (CrPC, Section 93).

  12. A Search Warrant should clearly and specifically mention the document (or) the thing which is being searched for, date, time and place of search along with any other relevant details.

  13. A police CANNOT simply take away your phone or personal computer for scrutiny WITHOUT a proper & specific search warrant allowing them to scrutinize personal belongings.

  14. NO magistrate other than a District Magistrate (or) a Chief Judicial Magistrate can issue a search warrant.

  15. Search and seizure of documents or things should be made in compliance with the provisions of Section 100 of CrPC.

  16. Police must search the house in the presence of the Owner of the home/office. The owner CANNOT be asked to leave while the search is taking place.

  17. If police take/seize any object from the property after their search, they must make a list of articles seized. The owner, at least 2 independent witnesses and the Police officer must verify the list and then sign.

  18. A copy of the list of articles that the police are taking must be given to the owner of the house/office.

  19. Illegal detention of a person is a serious offence. A police should formally arrest a person before taking him/her into custody.

  20. If the police summon someone for questioning, they must conduct the interview promptly and efficiently.

  21. The police cannot make someone wait endlessly at the police station and in such circumstances; the person is free to leave whenever they want.

  22. If you are aware that a police officer is illegally detaining a person, you can complain about the offending officer to his senior or to a magistrate.

  23. the arrested or detained individual's lawyer to go immediately to the High Court or the Supreme Court and file a ‘Habeas Corpus' petition seeking the person’s immediate release.

  24. A woman who has been taken into custody has to be kept in a separate lock up in the police station and any examination or body search must be conducted by a woman officer or doctor.

  25. According to the general law, children under the age of 7 years cannot be accused of a crime, hence cannot be taken into police custody.

  26. The procedure for questioning, apprehension, custody, release and bail of children up to the age of 18 is all governed by the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection of Children Act of 2002.

  27. JJCPCA, 2002 states that each police station must have a juvenile police unit with specially trained officers.

  28. A child must not be kept in lockup at all, but instead must be immediately handed back to the parents on bail and assurances. If the parents are not available, or it is felt that the child is at risk of falling into bad company then the child must be sent to the local observation home till he/she is brought before the juvenile court.

  29. It is illegal for the police to slap, beat, threaten, intimidate or torture any person who is being held in custody. Policemen can be removed from service and can also go to jail for doing this.

  30. The police are responsible for the wellbeing and safety of an arrested person. If anyone suspects torture of a person who is in police custody, they can report it to the National or State Human Rights Commission, to a magistrate or to the Legal Services Authority. The matter can also be taken directly to the High Court or Supreme Court.

  31. It is also against the law for the police to force an individual into making a confession. The police have the right to interrogate an individual but they cannot strong-arm one to say anything that he/she has no knowledge of or to confess to some crime that he/she has not committed. 

  32. Under any circumstance and in any case, a confession that is made to a police officer is not admissible in court. A confession is only valid if it made to or before a magistrate.

  33. No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself/herself. (Article 20(3) of Indian Constitution).

  34. Steps to be followed while taking an individual into the custody.

  • An Arrest Memo must be made by the police either at the time of arrest or the instant the suspect is brought into the police station.

  • A family member or friend of the arrested person must be informed, by the police, of the arrest and the location that the police are holding the person at.

  • An Inspection Memo detailing the physical condition of the arrested person on his/her arrival into custody must be prepared by the police.

  • Legal representation for the arrested individual must be provided.

  • The police must present the arrested individual before a magistrate within 24 hours of the arrest.

  • The police cannot take anyone into custody and hold them at a secret location. As soon as the police make an arrest they have to do prepare an Arrest Memo and send that to the local magistrate.

35. Once an FIR has been filed the police are legally bound to start investigating the case. Once the investigation has been concluded the police will record all their findings in a ‘Challan’ or charge sheet. If it is deemed that there is enough proof on the charge sheet the case goes to court.

36. For any reason If the police decide to close the case, they are bound to inform the person who filed the FIR of their decision.


37. When an FIR is registered and written down by the police it is done in triplicate. One copy remains with the police and is filed in their FIR register, the second copy goes to the magistrate and the third should be handed over to the person who filed the FIR.


38. One must insist on getting a copy of the FIR immediately as it is the proof of the FIR having been registered. The copy is to be provided free of cost by the police.


39. An FIR can only be filed for a cognizable crime.


40. In the event someone is trying to file an FIR for a crime that falls in the non-cognizable category it is the duty of the police to listen to them, enter the matter in their daily register or dairy, give the person a signed copy of the entry made (as proof of the matter being recorded) and direct them to the closest or appropriate magistrate. 


41. The signed copy of the entry made by the police is free of cost and is a right to receive.