Bengaluru: 70 activists submitted a memorandum, listing the alleged irregularities in the arrest of activist Disha Ravi, to the city Police Commissionerate on Monday. The memorandum alleged that the arrest was carried out arbitrarily and violating the procedures established by constitutional and criminal law. It added that Disha, who was moved out of the state, was denied the protections provided by the constitution. The activists sought the release of various documents regarding the arrest, including transit remand copies of FIR, public witness to arrest, and police diary.
The signed memorandum mentioned a Delhi High Court order in Sandeep Kumar vs State (NCT) of Delhi (2020), to state that bringing an arrested person from another state before producing her before a magistrate in her jurisdiction is not in tune with the law. But a Delhi Police officer reportedly said on condition of anonymity that Disha was arrested without a warrant because the case comes under cognizable offences. She was produced in court within 24 hours with all procedures under CrPC being followed, he added.
The development occurred amidst wide uproar and protests against the activist's arrest and mismatch in Bengaluru police and Delhi police testimonies. While Delhi police said in a press conference that Disha was arrested in the presence of her mother, the SHO and a lady police officer, Bengaluru police said that only a judicial officer was informed. The arrest was reported to city police only after it happened, Bengaluru Police added.
The NGO Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) also accused the Delhi Police of violation of Article 22. In a statement, they said that the arrestee must have been produced in front of a competent magistrate in the city for transit remand. Also, the arrestee wasn't given an opportunity to consult legal counsel, the statement read, further saying that the Delhi Police staged a complete mockery of the law.
Some legal experts, however, have opined that there was no violation. Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, referring to a 2014 judgement of Delhi High Court in Sat Prakash vs State govt of NCT, said that the fundamental requirement of producing the accused before a judge was completed. Criminal lawyer MS Khan also noted that there was no violation since the accused was produced before the court in 24 hours.