The Bombay High Court has issued notices to the Maharashtra government and the Mumbai Police on a petition filed by a woman demanding Rs 10 lakh in compensation claiming she was illegally detained in connection with a theft case.
In a hearing conducted earlier this week, a bench of Justices BP Dharamadhikari and Revati Mohite-Dere issued notices to the Mumbai police, the Investigating Officer (IO) in the case attached to the DN Nagar police station in suburban Andheri, and to the state government.
The bench directed the police and the state to file their respective affidavits, responding to the petition.
The 55-year-old petitioner, a resident of the suburb, had approached the high court alleging that she was arrested last September on false charges and was kept in illegal police custody overnight, in contravention of law and her fundamental rights.
The woman, through her lawyer Karim Pathan, stated that DN Nagar Police Station in Andheri had sent her a notice on September 5 last year, asking her to remain present at the police station the next morning for questioning in connection with a theft case.
The petitioner claimed that she was arrested and taken to the police station on the evening of September 5 itself.
Her counsel alleged that she was arrested around 3.40 PM on September 5 and kept in the police lock up overnight in violation of the CrPc and her legal rights.
The police told her that she was a suspect in a 2017 case of theft, said Pathan.
The woman was produced before the magistrate's court on September 7, 2018, the petition said.
The magistrate, however, realised that the police had arrested her on mere suspicion and granted her bail, it said.
Armed with the magistrate court's order, the woman approached the HC for compensation.
As per the order, the arrest of the woman was "arbitrary". The magistrate observed that the police had "failed to follow due procedure of law while arresting and detaining her".
"The police had said earlier that the accused in the case was untraceable... and suddenly, after a year, without any further probe, it had arrested the petitioner on mere suspicion," the order stated.
According to the police, a man from the suburb had registered a case of theft against a woman in October 2017 stating that she robbed him off his two gold chains, after he offered her lift in an autorickshaw.
Police further said the petitioner was the very woman who had robbed the man.
Seeking compensation, the woman claimed that not only had her rights been violated, but her arrest had also caused her much shame in the society.
The bench questioned the police's conduct and asked the IO to give an explanation in the reply affidavit.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)