Whether it is mandatory that only woman police shall arrest the woman under Section 46 crpc

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate

High Court Lucknow

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According to Section 46(4-A) of the CrPC: “Save in exceptional circumstances, no woman shall be arrested after sunset and before sunrise, and where such exceptional circumstances exist, the woman police officer shall, by making a written report, obtain the prior permission of the Judicial Magistrate of the first class within whose local jurisdiction the offense is committed or the arrest is to be made.”

As per Section 46 (4-A) of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), it is not mandatory for only female police officers to arrest women. The law provides that, except in exceptional circumstances, no woman shall be arrested after sunset and before sunrise.

In cases where such arrests are necessary, the law dictates that the police officer making the arrest shall, by making a written report, obtain the prior permission of the Judicial Magistrate of the first class within whose local jurisdiction the offense is committed or the arrest is to be made.

This provision does not strictly mandate that only a woman police officer can arrest a woman. However, it emphasizes the need for sensitivity while arresting a woman and requires a woman police officer to be present in exceptional situations where an arrest is carried out between sunset and sunrise.

The Supreme Court, in its judgments, has emphasized the rights and dignities of arrested individuals, including women. While it is preferable and in many cases mandated by state police procedures that women be arrested by female officers, it is not an absolute requirement under Section 46 of the CrPC. Nevertheless, in the practical scenario, it’s considered good practice to have a woman officer present during the arrest to ensure the safety and dignity of the woman being arrested.