Patna: A sweetmeat trader from Patna had to pay a heavy price for the cops’ poor understanding of English which forced him to spend a night in the police lock-up.

Neeraj Kumar from Jehanabad district, fighting a divorce case, was to be assessed for failing to pay maintenance to his wife. However, he was arrested on November 25 after the cops mistook the word ‘warrant’ written on top of a court order for an arrest warrant, according to a Times of India report.

The warrant was actually a ‘distress warrant’ – a directive to assess the businessman’s property details as he had failed to pay maintenance to his wife.

Admitting the lapse by the police, Jehanabad ASP (headquarters) Pankaj Kumar it was nowhere mentioned in the court order that the police was directed to arrest Neeraj.

He said that the court order directed that if Neeraj failed to pay Rs 2,500 maintenance per month to his wife Renu Devi, “steps be taken to assess and send to the court the details of his immovable properties”.

Times of India quoted Neeraj saying that he had filed a divorce petition in 2014 after his wife lodged two dowry cases against him.

He alleged that his father-in-law, an SAP jawan in Bihar Police, had demanded Rs 10 lakh to settle the case. The Patna High Court had quashed the FIR in one case.

However, in another case, a Patna court sentenced him to three-year imprisonment in July but he was granted bail immediately.