With the long arm of the justice league cracking the whip on the bright lights of the city, here are some of the rights you could exercise instead of suffering a panic attack.
The current raid debacle stems from the archaic rules that are set in the system; specifically, the Bombay Prohibition Act of 1949 and the Bombay Police Act of 1951. These laws enable judicial henchmen to raid any establishment and question the patrons on mere whim; they also prevent persons under the age of twenty five to consume spirits. Life is difficult as is for recreational establishments with more permissions to retrieve than drinks they serve; the legal enforcers have found new and innovative methods to tighten the screws on the management. The seventy eight people rule per five hundred square feet or alternatively, the one hundred and sixty six people per thousand square foot rule has give the task force more than enough reason to raid clubs and restaurants across the city but considering the paucity of space in an already overcrowded metro like Mumbai, does this law exist only to refuel the wallets of the greedy and powerful?
So let’s assume after a hard day’s work, people visit a club to let their hair down and all of a sudden a contingent of policemen starting filming their every move and demanding a handover of their personal details. The aforementioned activity is called a raid, usually followed by “RAID, RUN!). Instead of suffering multiple anginas, it is always more convenient to be aware of the rights bestowed upon us.
If you, unfortunately, are at an establishment that has been raided then please be aware of the following laws. Firstly, no officer of law has the right to stop you from leaving the premises, unless you are a primary suspect, with adequate and incriminating evidence, for holding stolen property. Restraining a patron is a criminal offence. Secondly, you have right to refuse any person from frisking you or detaining you at the venue, unless you are primary witness. You have the right to refuse to be a witness and to furnish your personal details. Most importantly, no one has the right to violate your privacy notwithstanding their place in the judicial or legal system.
In case of a situation wherein you or any other female patron has been accused of being a sex worker or any description to that effect, the police have to prove that the woman was working as an agent or soliciting favors at that venue; if they cannot, they do not hold the right to “rescue” her. No police officer can detain a woman irrespective of the allegations levied on her without substantial proof. In case, the police officers insist on rescuing women despite their legitimate lifestyles, women must feel free to call their lawyers and sue the system for all they are worth.
Now that you are armed with all the information you need, go forth and clink your glasses without a cloud of despair. Share the information, share the right to refuse.