Custodial Harassment of LGBTQ+ Persons by Police

Last updated on May 3, 2022

If you are arrested, you will be in the custody of the police at the police station for 24 hours, till they take you to the nearest Magistrate (Court). They can keep you for 15 more days only if they get the permission of the Magistrate.(( Section 167, CrPC.)) You may face harassment/violence in many ways such as:

  • The police may harass you or intimidate you into admitting a crime that you may not have committed while you are in police custody.(( Section 163 CrPC; Section 330 and Section 503, Indian Penal Code.)) This is a crime under the law for which the police officers may face jail time and a fine.
  • Police officers may physically hurt you while you are in custody. You should complain about the incident to your lawyer who will be able to help you.
  • If the police sexually assault you or rape you, you should file an FIR against the police officers as this is a punishable crime under the law for which the officers will face jail time and a fine.(( Section 376 (2), 376 B and D, India Penal Code, 1860.)) You will have to file an FIR with the help of Section 376(2), 376 B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

During the time you are in the custody of the police, to prevent any form of harassment or if you face any harassment by the police, these are some of the steps you can take :

Ask for a lawyer

You have a right to request for a lawyer from the time you are arrested, and to prevent any violence while you are in custody, it would be helpful to have a lawyer present with you.

Complain to the SP of the police station

Write a written complaint to the Superintendent of Police (SP) of the police who may look into the matter. The SP may look into the matter.

Complain to the Magistrate 

Since the police officer has to mandatory take you to a Magistrate within 24 hours of your arrest, you can file a ‘private complaint’ with the help of your lawyer directly with the Magistrate. You can give details of the harassment and violence you faced while you were in police custody.

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