“Empowering Women: Supreme Court’s Key Decision on Arrest Protocols”

Case Title: Bharati S. Khandhar v. Maruti Govind Jadhav (2012)

Decided On: 21st DECEMBER, 2012.


Welcome to the official blog of the Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates, where we are dedicated to providing litigation support services for matters related to Women’s Rights On Arrest. In today’s blog post, we aim to shed light on the prevailing issues surrounding  Criminal Matters (Cr. PC, IPC), the legal framework for their protection, and the steps we can take as a society to combat these acts. Join us as we explore this critical subject and empower you with the knowledge to protect your rights and safety.

In the case of Mrs. Bharati S. Khandhar v/s Maruti Govind Jadhav, PSI & Others (Criminal Writ Petition No. 453 of 2008), a notable legal dispute was brought before the High Court of Judicature at Bombay. The case, which was decided on December 21, 2012, involved a petitioner, Mrs. Bharati S. Khandhar, and several respondents, including Sub-Inspector Maruti Govind Jadhav. The Honorable Mr. Justice A.S. Oka and the Honorable Mr. Justice S.S. Shinde presided over this case.


The case revolved around an incident that occurred on June 13, 2007, in Mumbai, India. The petitioner, Mrs. Khandhar, was on her way to visit a family doctor with her sister when she was stopped by the respondent, Mr. Jadhav. Mr. Jadhav identified himself as a Sub-Inspector of Police from Matunga Police Station and abruptly instructed Mrs. Khandhar to accompany him to the police station. When questioned about the reason for her detention, Mr. Jadhav provided no satisfactory explanation, and Mrs. Khandhar requested the presence of a Lady Constable, which was eventually arranged.

Mrs. Khandhar and her sister were taken to Matunga Police Station in a police van, where Mr. Jadhav, without disclosing the grounds for her detention, directed Police Sub-Inspector Anant Bapu Gurav (a co-respondent) to arrest Mrs. Khandhar. The petitioner’s subsequent arrest occurred without a clear understanding of the reasons behind it. It was only after Mrs. Khandhar’s sister insisted on knowing the grounds for her arrest that Mr. Jadhav revealed it was based on a non-bailable warrant issued by the Allahabad Court. Mrs. Khandhar was released on bail the next day by the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, 11th Court, Kurla.

Mrs. Khandhar went on to cancel the non-bailable warrant issued in Allahabad and lodged complaints with the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai, and the Home Minister of Maharashtra, but received no response from the authorities. Feeling harassed and concerned about the safety of her family, she initiated this writ petition.

The Legal Issue

The central issue in this case was the gross violation of arrest procedures. Mrs. Khandhar claimed that the actions of the respondents, particularly Mr. Jadhav, constituted a violation of subsection (4) of Section 46 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Code’). She further sought compensation for this violation and urged the court to take action against the police officers involved. Additionally, Mrs. Khandhar requested an order to prevent any further harassment of herself and her family by the respondents.

Subsection (4) of Section 46 of the Code, which was added by Act 25 of 2005, prohibits the arrest of women after sunset and before sunrise except in exceptional circumstances. In such cases, a female police officer is required to obtain prior permission from the Judicial Magistrate of the first class within the jurisdiction where the arrest is to be made.

Legal Analysis

The High Court thoroughly examined the facts and legal provisions in this case and concluded that the actions of the police officers, particularly Mr. Jadhav and PSI Gurav, amounted to a flagrant violation of subsection (4) of Section 46 of the Code. This statutory provision was introduced to protect women from being arrested after sunset and before sunrise without a justifiable reason. To make such an arrest, exceptional circumstances must exist, and prior permission from the Judicial Magistrate is required.

In this particular case, Mr. Jadhav had no copy of the non-bailable warrant issued by the Allahabad Court when he took Mrs. Khandhar into custody at 5:30 p.m. Furthermore, Mrs. Khandhar’s arrest at 8:45 p.m. was carried out without the necessary prior permission from the Judicial Magistrate. Both actions were in direct violation of the Code.

The court also noted that the police officers had disregarded the guidelines established by the Supreme Court in the case of D.K. Basu vs. State of West Bengal (1997), which set standards for the arrest and detention of individuals. The court reiterated the importance of following the proper legal procedures, especially when arresting a woman after sunset.

The court rejected the argument that the high number of bailable and non-bailable warrants issued against Mrs. Khandhar justified the police officers’ actions. Regardless of the number of warrants, the police had a legal obligation to follow proper arrest procedures and could not act arbitrarily.


The High Court’s judgment emphasized the need for strict adherence to arrest procedures, particularly when it comes to the protection of women as mandated by the law. In this case, the court found that the actions of the police officers involved constituted a clear violation of the law, and it held that the actions of Mr. Jadhav and other police officers were illegal from the moment Mrs. Khandhar was taken into custody at 5:30 p.m. until her arrest at 8:45 p.m. The court ruled that the entire episode amounted to unlawful detention and a violation of Mrs. Khandhar’s rights.

The judgment underscores the importance of upholding legal procedures and protecting the rights and dignity of individuals, especially in cases involving the arrest of women. It serves as a reminder that the law should be upheld, and any violations should be addressed accordingly to maintain the rule of law and justice.

We are a law firm in the name and style of Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates at Gurugram and Rewari. We are providing litigation support services for matters related to the Criminal Matters (Cr. PC, IPC).

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