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What are the powers of the police to interrogate a person?

What are the powers of the police to interrogate a person?

The police officer can require the attendance of the person, who appears to be acquainted with the facts and circumstances in relation to the commission of an offence, to appear before him.

The person has to answer the questions that may be put to him, but is not bound to answer such questions that have a tendency to expose him to a criminal charge or penalty. However, the police officer can not compel a woman or a child of less than 15 years to attend the police station (section 160).

The police can record the statement of the person under section 161, but the person can not be asked to sign such a statement. Even if he is forced to sign, it carries no weight in evidence. A self incriminating confession made to the police officer is inadmissible in a court of law. During interrogation, the police is bound to permit the person being interrogated to be interrogated in the presence of his advocate.

The questioning/interrogation of a suspect/witness must be made only between sunrise and sunset. (Susheela Mishra vs Delhi Administration AIR 1983 SC 1153). Beating the accused or any other person to extract information during interrogation is not permissible. (State of A.P. vs Venugopal AIR 1964 SC 33).

The Police officer can not insist a woman to appear at the police station. ( Nandani Satpathy vs P.L.Dani AIR 1978 SC 1025). If there is any mode of pressure – subtle or crude, mental or physical, direct or indirect – but sufficiently substantial, applied by the police for obtaining information from an accused strongly suggestive of guilt, it becomes compelled testimony violative of Article 20(3) of Constitution of India. (Nandani Satpathy vs P.L.Dani AIR 1978 SC 1025)

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