The Mumbai Police chief has framed certain guidelines to be observed by the police force while conducting raids in hotels to ensure that the right of individuals to privacy should not be invaded, the Bombay High Court was told.
The police raids have to be carried out only with the approval of Zonal Deputy Commissioners of Police, said an affidavit filed by Public Prosecutor J P Yagnik before a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka.
The bench was hearing a PIL challenging the controversial police raids on hotels in suburban Malwani last year that had led to accusations of moral policing.
The petition was filed by Khar resident Sumeer Sabharwal who termed the raids as “illegal, intrusive and unconstitutional” and sought action against police officials involved in the case.
The affidavit was filed in response to an HC order issued on March 10 this year, in which the authorities were directed to frame guidelines for conducting raids on hotels. The bench took the affidavit on record.
“The guidelines strictly provide that police have to ensure that no person is deprived of his right to life or personal liberty, except in procedure established by law (Article 21 of the Constitution as Right to Privacy is part of article 21),” said the affidavit.
The guidelines further provide that questioning of a woman has to be done by a female officer only or by a male officer in the presence of a female officer. Police have to first go through the identification documents submitted by the guests who have checked into the hotel which is raided.
According to the guidelines, if the police suspect the identification documents or if they want to check any suspicious person, then they should take one hotel staff member along with them to the room of the guest.