Around Asia: Indian man arrested for “suspicious tea drinking”


Police in India said they prevented a man from committing a crime after detaining him for drinking tea “in a suspicious manner.”

Vijay Patil was sipping his tea in the western city of Kolhapur in February when sub-inspector Jadhav questioned him.

The inspector was not satisfied with Patil’s answer that he was ‘cutting chai’ and arrested him, saying they “found his conduct suspicious”.

‘Cutting chai’ is an Indian term for a half-cup of sweet and spicy milky tea.

Police said there was no “satisfactory explanation” for the 49-year-old’s tea-drinking behavior.

The Bombay High Court reprimanded the police and trashed the case.

“We were unaware that the law required anyone to give an explanation for having tea, whether in the morning, noon or night,” said Judges G.S. Patel and S.C. Dharmadhikari in the order.

“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’.”

“Cutting chai is permissible, cutting the corners with the law is not.”

By: Maesie Bertumen

Image: lorises/Flickr



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