Report No. 64
5.58. Two devices considered.-
In this connection we thought of two alternative devices: The first device would be to insert, in the Indian Penal Code, a provision that a police officer who fails to produce a woman or girl removed under section 15 or 16, should be deemed to be guilty of wrongful confinement under section 340 of the Indian Penal Code.
The second alternative would be to introduce a rebuttable presumption that such police officer shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, to have wrongfully confined the woman or girl within the meaning of the aforesaid section. Having carefully considered the matter, we have come to the conclusion that it would be better to frame the provision in accordance with the second alternative, so that the police officer may, if the circumstances of the case so justify, give evidence proving his good faith and thus rebut the presumption. No doubt, cases of failure to produce the girl owing to unavoidable circumstances, e.g. escape of the girl-would be rare. However, it is not intended that such failure on the part of the police officer should be punishable.
We may, of course, point out that a penal provision punishing delay by the police officer in these circumstances would be in tune with the general principles recognised by judicial decisions under the Penal Code, as already noted1. These principles, which have been evolved to protect the personal liberty of those whom public servants or the local authority take in their charge or custody, in general, apply with greater force where females are concerned.
1. Para. 5.57, supra.