No, Rahul Gandhi has not been ‘arrested’, he has been ‘detained’ after his ‘protest’ over the CBI fracas

The difference between 'detention' and 'arrest' is essential because the rights of an individual change drastically. 

Despite the Supreme Court of India upheld the decision of the government of India to send CBI director Alok Verma on leave till allegations against him are probed, Congress president went ahead with the planned protest demanding the restoration of Verma.

In the early morning of 24th October, the government had sent both Verma and CBI special director Rakesh Asthana on leave, as both were levelling serious allegations each other. After this, the Congress party and some leftwing activists decided to take a side in this fight inside CBI and protesting the removal of Verma from his post. Congress had planned a nation-wide protest against the government decision on 26th October, and as part of that, Rahul Gandhi took to the streets leading the march in Delhi.

The Congress party workers marched from Dayal Singh College on Lodhi Road to the CBI headquarters, where several senior leaders of the party participated. Other than Rahul Gandhi, Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot, Ahmed Patel, Motilal Vora, Veerappa Moily and Anand Sharma joined the march which stopped near the CBI headquarters. Leaders from the Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, CPI(M) and other parties also joined the march.

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Police had put up barricades ahead of the CBI offices to prevent the protesters from reaching the building, where Rahul Gandhi got on to a truck. Terming the removal of Verma as “illegal”, Ashok Gehlot demanded that the CBI director should be reinstated. “The prime minister should tender an apology to the nation for destroying the image of the premier investigating agency,” he added.

Later, Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders were detained by police and taken away from the protest site. However, in a bid to claim the victimhood victory, Congress leaders, banking on the fact that people might not be able to tell the difference, claimed that Rahul Gandhi has been ‘arrested’.

The difference between ‘detention’ and ‘arrest’ is essential because the rights of an individual change drastically.

In case of a person being detained, he is not formally accused of committing a crime but is simply restricted and kept in police custody on a reasonable suspicion. During the time in custody, he is questioned or investigated by the police authorities. After the police questioning, the person detained would be released.

The situation would be entirely different if a person was arrested. A person can only be arrested if he is charged for a crime and once he is arrested and has to be produced before a magistrate within the next 24 hours.

In certain situations, an initial detention may lead to an arrest.

Congress leader Randeep Singh Sirjewala tweeted that Rahul Gandhi and others have been ‘arrested’. The protesting leaders were taken to the Lodhi Colony police station in Delhi.

Rahul Gandhi’s reasons for this ‘protest’ were dubious to begin with. When the court itself has decided that the investigation is to be completed within 2 weeks, for Rahul Gandhi to disrupt civilian life and create a ruckus made no sense. Now, with Congress politicians and media playing the “arrest” card and confusing their readers about the difference between detention and arrest, it is clear that Congress’ intention is to simply grab headlines by whatever means possible.


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