Myth #1 - Women cannot be arrested in the absence of a female police officer.
Myth #2 - The police can refuse to register an FIR for you.
Myth #3 - An FIR can be filed only in the police station within whose geographical limits the crime took place.
Authored by Dwayne Fernandes
Myth – Women cannot be arrested in the absence of a female police officer.
Busted - We often hear people saying that ‘Women cannot be arrested in the absence of a female police officer’, however this statement is true, but just to a point. If a woman is charged for a cognizable offence, she is liable to be arrested. So what is done when there is no female police officer present?
On these grounds, a male officer has the right to arrest a woman in the absence of a female officer. The conditions, which have to be taken into account on such an arrest, are mentioned below. Firstly, the arrest has to be during the day, i.e. sunrise to sunset. In the absence of a female police officer, a woman who is related to the arrestee or an acquaintance can accompany her until bail has been posted or till she has to appear in front of an adequate court for the offence. In between 6 pm and 6 am, a woman has the right to refuse to be arrested even if an arrest warrant is issued against her unless she is arrested by a woman and is taken to an all woman police station. The police officer has to take prior permission from his seniors if he has to arrest a woman in between the hours of 6 pm and 6 am, or in the absence of such an opportunity, the officer has to give a detailed reason to his seniors and the magistrate for not taking such permission. A male police officer has no right to touch a woman for the purpose of frisking her at anytime.
Authored by Shreya Valiramani
Busted – It is nothing but a myth that the police can refuse to write an FIR and that the person concerned doesn’t have a remedy against it. For instance, you’ve just been robbed of your valuables by two masked men who ran away with your money and jewellery. You go to the police station where the literate constable (the person who writes the FIR) refuses to register an FIR for you. Can the police do so? Can they refuse to write a complaint? What would an average person who doesn’t know the law regarding it, do in such a circumstance?
If a police officer refuses to register it, the substance of the information can be sent by post to the Assistant Commissioner of police or deputy commissioner of police of the respective zone or commissioner of police. If satisfied that the information discloses the commission of a cognizable offence, one shall get the FIR registered and investigated.
If the FIR is still not filed, you may file an RTI or file a complaint to the state home ministry, or file a private complaint with the magistrate under Section 190 of the CRPC. The magistrate has the power to take cognizance of cases when it receives a police report of such facts or a complaint or on information from a private person other than a police officer.
Myth - An FIR can be filed only in the police station within whose geographical limits the crime took place.
Busted – Is this true? No. One can file an FIR in a police station even though it does not have the jurisdiction to take up the investigation of the case or in simpler words in a police station that is not within the geographical limits of the crime that took place but only for situations that require an immediate action. The reason behind it is the concept of ‘Zero FIR’ which means that an FIR can be filed in any police station irrespective of place of incident/jurisdiction and the same can be later transferred to the appropriate police station. While filing an FIR one gets it written in the police diary where the FIR is registered with a number, for cases that are outside the jurisdiction however, FIR is registered with zero number (hence ZERO FIR) and is later transferred to the police station where it should appropriately be investigated. For emergency situations such as a murder where an immediate action is required, the police cannot excuse themselves saying that the case does not will fall within their jurisdiction as it would hamper the objective of maintaining law and order. Thus, one could get their FIR registered but the investigation would begin only after it is transferred to the correct police station.
 Satvinder Kaur v. State(govt of NCT of Delhi), 1999 Supp(3) SCR 348.