In India, men and women are equal in the eyes of the law. But to protect the dignity and decency of a woman, some privileges have been provided to them. In case of arrest, like men, women are also provided with similar rights like the right to know the grounds for arrest, the right to free legal aid, the right to inform relatives/friends, the right to be informed of the right to bail, right to be examined by a medical practitioner, right to be informed by a police officer about their rights.

Legal rights of arrested women in India-

Even if a woman is accused of an offence, maintaining her modesty is crucial. Therefore, women arrested have been granted certain general and specific rights assigned to them.

Right to free legal aid-

Article 39A of the Constitution provides the right to free legal aid, this right is provided to people who are not in a position to bear the expenses of the proceedings. It is the State’s obligation to provide adequate assistance at its own expense to the arrested person, which also includes women.

Right to inform the grounds of arrest and bail-

Section 50(1) of CrPC grants rights to an arrested person to know the grounds of his/her arrest, and the police officer executing the arrest should communicate the same to him/her.

Right against handcuffing and manhandling- A woman arrested for an offence can be handcuffed only by a female police officer other than in situations of absolute necessity.

Rights during detention-

A police officer is not allowed to detain an arrested person for more than 24 hours. In the case a woman is arrested, the arrangements for her custody should be made properly. Considering the modesty of women, men and women cannot be kept in the same prison.

Right to inform relatives/friends-

Upon arresting a woman or man, the police officer performing the arrest must immediately inform any relative or friend of the arrested person, whomever he or she nominates for disclosure of the information. The officer should inform the arrest and the place where the arrested person is being held.

CrPC (Amendment Act) 2005-

CrPC (Amendment Act) 2005 added sub-section (4) in Section 46 of the Code to provide the procedure for arrest of women:

*A woman can be only arrested before sunset and after sunrise.

*The arrest shall be made only by a Woman Police Officer.

*For such an arrest, the Officer should obtain approval from the Judicial Magistrate First Class (not Executive Magistrate) within whose local jurisdiction.


The constant debates and conversations about the rights of women gave rise to various amendments in the CrPC. To safeguard arrested women, the Code amended certain sections related to strict guidelines, procedures, and rights of an arrested woman. This article covers the procedure and rights of women arrested. However, the first step after an arrest should be to engage the services of a criminal lawyer.

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