No, unless a person has been formally arrested by the police, he/she cannot be held in custody . Holding someone in custody against their will is a serious offence on the part of the police and will amount to what is called ‘Illegal detention’.
If the police summon someone for questioning, they must conduct the interview promptly and efficiently. The police cannot make someone wait endlessly at the police station and in such circumstances; the person is free to leave whenever they want.
If you are aware that a police officer is illegally detaining a person, you can complain about the offending officer to his senior or to a magistrate.
You can also get the arrested or detained individual's lawyer to go immediately to the High Court or the Supreme Court and file a ‘Habeas Corpus' petition seeking the persons immediate release.
Share this story on