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    ‘Purdahnashin’ woman taken to police station without veil, Delhi HC issues notice to police chief

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    New Delhi, Dec 2 , The Delhi High Court has issued notice to the Police Commissioner of Delhi on a plea filed by a ‘purdahnashin’ (veiled) Muslim woman seeking an in-depth inquiry and legal action against police officials who allegedly took her to the Chandni Mahal police station from her residence without her veil.

    Issuing the notice, a bench of Justice Saurabh Banerjee passed an order for preserving relevant CCTV footage in the matter.

    “The respondent is directed to preserve the CCTV footage of all the cameras installed inside and around the Chandni Mahal police station for the time period from 1 a.m. to 5 p.m., November 6, 2023,” ordered the bench.

    It also directed to preserve CCTV footage of all the cameras near the petitioner’s residence leading towards the direction of the police station.

    In her plea, filed through advocate M. Sufian Siddiqui, the petitioner contended that on November 6, when she was alone at her residence, several police officers “forcefully barged in” and “forcibly took her from her residence without her veil”.

    She claimed that she was paraded to the police station and was “illegally detained for almost 13 hours”.

    The petitioner said that subjecting her to inhuman and degrading treatment, including physical assault, violates her dignity, and fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution as well as human rights guaranteed under Article 3, 5 & 7 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

    “Pertinently, all this transpired during the night, in flagrant violation of Section 46(4) of the Cr.P.C., which explicitly prohibits the arrest of a woman before sunrise and after sunset, unless under exceptional circumstances,” the plea said.

    The plea also sought directions to sensitise the Delhi Police about the sacrosanct religious and social customs and practices followed by all the women who observe ‘purdah’, either as a religious belief, or as a part of their personal choice belonging to any religion.

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