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Women not to be arrested after sunset, Govt tells SPs


OST Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 26

The Odisha government has directed all the district Superintendents of Police (SPs) not to arrest women accused in dowry cases after sunset.

The directive to this effect, issued by the state Home department, has come in the wake of the recent ruling of the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) in which it had reminded the state government and the state police of the existing guidelines of the ministry of Home Affairs and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The Commission, while hearing a petition recently had pulled up a woman Sub Inspector for undue haste in arresting a woman accused in a dowry case after sunset.

Basanti Satpathy of Patia in Bhubaneswar in a petition to the OHRC had stated that she was arrested by the police in the evening hours on May 11 last year in violation of the NHRC guidelines.

Hearing the petition last month, the Commission had awarded Rs 50,000 as compensation to her along with the stricture to the police to refrain from misusing the provision in dowry cases.

According to the guidelines, the police should not arrest any woman accused in dowry related cases after sunset and should wait till the morning. The police must produce the arrested woman in the court within 24 hours of the arrest. Besides, the police should not handcuff and inflict torture on the accused.

The guidelines also state that the police, instead of acting in haste, should first try for a settlement of the dispute between the wife and husband through consultations and negotiations over a period of six weeks.