What to do if Detained Under the Indian Law?
- Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Indian Government is not obligated to notify the Embassy of a detainee unless and until the detainee requests it explicitly.
- While in India, one is subject to the same laws, as is an Indian citizen. A foreign passport does not entitle its bearer to any special privileges and hence, one should not expect to receive preferential treatment.
- One should not expect that the judicial laws in the country of his/her country of origin are necessarily applicable in India as well and expect the same treatment.
- Anyone who breaks the law in India is subject to prosecution under the Indian legal system. If a person is convicted and sentenced to imprisonment by an Indian court, this sentence will be served in an Indian prison.
- The Embassy or Consulates cannot get you out of jail, accept your custody, bail you out, provide legal advice or pay legal fees on your behalf nor can they guarantee your appearance in court.
- The Indian Judicial System does not provide detainees free, court-appointed attorney at the early stages of an arrest. In the absence of a personally appointed lawyer, the court appoints a lawyer only when the case goes to court.
What your Embassy/Consulates Can Do
- Once notified of your visit, your Embassy or Consulates can arrange to visit you in jail to check on your health and the treatment accorded to you by the local authorities;
- Ensure that the local police authorities are aware of any medical conditions you have (for example, diabetes, seafood allergies, etc.), and request that you be seen by a doctor.
- Ensure that your rights under Indian law are not being abused
- Provide you with an English-language reading material subject to prison regulations;
- Provide you with a list of local English-speaking attorneys who can be hired personally by you. You will be required to arrange for resources to pay the attorney yourself and the Embassy cannot hire a lawyer or pay his fees on your behalf.
- Notify your family and friends of your arrest and relay requests for financial assistance, provided you explicitly authorize the consul to do so.