Man arrested for drinking tea in a “suspicious manner”
“This is bewildering. We were unaware that the law required anyone to give an explanation for having tea, whether in the morning, noon or night. One might take tea in a variety of ways, not all of them always elegant or delicate, some of them perhaps even noisy. But we know of no way to drink tea ‘suspiciously’. The ingestion of a cup that cheers demands no explanation. And while cutting chai is permissible, now even fashionable, cutting corners with the law is not.
“The provisions of section 151 Code of Criminal Procedure invoked by the police are ‘preventive, not punitive’. The section allows police to arrest a person without a warrant or a court order, as the only means to prevent a serious crime from taking place. Such arrests can only be made when a police officer is satisfied that the impending cognizable crime cannot otherwise be prevented. Otherwise, there is a violation of a person’s fundamental right to life and liberty.”