Delhi HC refuses to entertain plea seeking uniform SOP for arrests

New Delhi [India], June 29 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday refused to entertain a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking uniform standard operating procedure (SOP) for arrests claiming there are no guidelines for the same in the Gazette of India.

A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan disposed of the plea filed by Abhijit Mishra but granted him liberty to approach an appropriate forum if there is a violation of legal provisions concerning arrest in any individual case.

Mishra, in his plea, said that to date there are no uniform guidelines or standard operating procedures in regard to the arrest of the citizen as published in the Gazette of India by the Government of India.

He said that thus, in the absence of such guidelines or procedures, an environment that leads to inadvertent abuse of power by law enforcement agencies is created.

"That the questions of public importance are being raised in the present PIL that illuminates the absence of the procedure of arrest in the light of Article 21, Article 22 and Code of Criminal Code 1973. The Government of India, Government of NCT of Delhi and Delhi Police have not made any Standard Procedure / Guidelines of Arrest of the Citizens till date which inadvertently impacting the fundamental rights of the Citizens of India," the plea said.

It sought directions to the government to make standard operating procedures or guidelines for the arrest of the citizens along with the responsibility and accountability matrix of the police officers.

The plea also sought directions to the Registrar General of the High Court of Delhi to make a comprehensive compensation policy and procedure for the illegal detention and arrest by the police under the aegis of Article 21 of the Constitution of India read with Article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The persons affected by such acts of the respondents are numerous and are not in a position to approach the Honorable Court, hence the petitioner is filing on behalf of such affected persons, Mishra said in the plea said.

He sought directions to Police Commissioners to make guidelines of arrest available at each police station along with a matrix of responsibility and accountability of arrests.

Mishra also sought directions to make the details of the legal aid advocates and contact details of office bearers of the bar association available at each police station and to make rights of the citizen known to them before the arrest. (ANI)