Senior police officials issued strict instructions forbidding action under Section 110 of Bombay Police Act and Section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Mumbai : The Mumbai police can no longer take action against couples under the dreaded section 110 of Bombay Police Act for public indecency. At a high-level meeting last week, senior police officials have issued strict instructions that Section 110 cannot be used to harass couples. In addition to this, an order was passed by Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Deven Bharti forbidding action under Section 151 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which allows an officer to arrest a citizen without a warrant or a Magistrate’s order.

The move follows several reports of harassment by cops using section 110 of Bombay Police Act,1951.

In August, the police had rounded up around 40 couples from hotels at Madh Island and Aksa and charged them for public indecency.  The incident led to an uproar from citizens, forcing then police commissioner Rakesh Maria to order police to stop harassing couples in public places.

However, recently, a video showing cops manhandling a couple at Andheri police station had gone viral on social networks and news platforms, bringing the issue under the scanner.

Joint CP Bharti said if any couple is seen fighting on small issues publicly, the police can no longer interfere. Even if there are anti-social elements involved, action should be taken according to law, and only after consulting a senior officer of the police station.

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