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Association of Retired Senior IPS Officers (ARSIPSO)

This is with reference to my letter No. ARSIPSO/GS-BSD-4/2023 dated. 10/08/2023 on the 4th B.S. Das Memorial Lecture, which had to be rescheduled for unavoidable reasons.

The 4th B.S.Das Memorial Lecture to be delivered by Shri Anil Kumar Sinha, IAS (Retd.), on the subject Disaster Management: Creating Safer Communities, has now been rescheduled for October 14, 2023 as per the following:

Conference Room No. 2, India International Centre, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi, October 14, 2023 (Saturday)

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  Common Man - the Only Victim - Joginder Singh*  

Quite often , when a common man approaches the police, the police put up him off, from registering cases and taking up the investigation. Reluctance of the Police to register FIR’s and cases is well known, though not well documented, because nobody would keep a record, of his failures and negligence, to comply with the laws. My first encounter with the non registration of serious cases and cognisable crimes, happened on 23rd June, 1965, when I took over, as the District Police Chief Of Bidar District in Karnataka State. In the first paper, put up to me, was the complaint, against the Police Sub inspector of Basav Kalyan Police Station, for not registering a serious case of dacoity and grievous hurt and how the complainant was made to run from pillar to post. Burking or suppression of crime is regarded as a serious offence, so I decided to visit the village next day to verify the genuineness of the complaint, which it turned out, to be as such. I ordered a formal inquiry and suspended and later on dismissed the Officer in charge of the Police Station.

I had hoped that it would send the right signal to the district at least that they better follow law, otherwise, they would be in serious trouble. I cannot say, that it solved the problem. But at least the complaints, of non registration of cases stopped. But when I mentioned this, to my other colleagues and even some seniors, they castigated me, saying, as to why I wanted to prove myself as failure, by insisting on avoidable registration of cases.

The truth is, that the Police performance of any SHO or District Police Chief is judged on the basis of crimes registered. As the registration or non registration of crimes and cases, is easier to manipulate or totally avoid, so the police officers do the same, to show, that the crime is under control and all is well with the policing. Legally no investigation can start, unless a First Information Report is registered is registered. Section 154, which is as under, gives no power or discretion to the officer in charge of a police station, not to register cases. Section 154 of the Criminal Procedure Code says; “Every information relating to the commission of a cognizable offence, if given orally, to an officer-in-charge of a police station, shall be reduced to writing by him or under his direction, and be read over to the informant; and every such information, whether given in writing or reduced to writing as aforesaid, shall be signed by the person giving it, and the substance thereof shall be entered in a book to be kept by such officer in such form as the State Government may prescribe in this behalf.

(2) A copy of the information as recorded under be given forthwith, free of cost, to the informant.

sub-section (1) shall

(3) Any person, aggrieved by a refusal on the part of an officer -in-charge of a police station to record the information referred to in subsection (1) may send the substance of such information, in writing and by post, to the Superintendent of Police concerned who, if satisfied that such information discloses, the commission of a cognizable offence, shall either investigate the case himself or direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him, in the manner provided by this Code, and such officer shall have all the powers of an officer-in-charge of the police station in relation to that offence”.

The problem of non registration of the cases, and non action even by the district police chief, in turning a blind eye has been highlighted, by the now famous case of 39 missing children in village, Nithari NOIDA.
The non registration of cases is not a simple act of innocence, in good faith, but has deep rooted reasons of being a money making device. Politicians at the helm of affairs, are also a party, as they feel, that the increase in crime figures would be exploited by their opponents, to throw them out of power. Infact one Minister of UP has said about Nithari children killings, that ‘ Such small incidents keep on happening”, thus indirectly encouraging the police to keep on playing the game of burking.

A study conducted by the Indian Institute of Public Opinion, at the instance of Indian Home Ministry on the "The Image of the Police in India", has showed the following conclusions, about political interference.

…” It appears more pronounced in rural areas than in urban areas and some typical situations are as under;

1. Arrest or non-arrest, of a person against whom a case is taken up for investigating.

2. Deliberate handcuffing of a person in police custody merely to humiliate him.

3. Release or non-release, on bail after arrest.

4. Suppression of material evidence, that becomes available, during searches by the police.

5. Inclusion or non-inclusion, in the chargesheet, placed in the court, on conclusion of investigation.

6. Posting or non-posting, of police force in an area of apprehended trouble to create an effect to the advantage of one party or the other.

7. Foisting of false criminal cases, against political functionaries for achieving political ends.

8. Discretionary enforcement of laws, while dealing with public order situations, with emphasis on severity and ruthlessness in regard to persons opposed to the ruling party”.

Professor David H. Bailey says: "In India today, a dual system of criminal justice has grown up, the one of the law and the other of politics. With respect at least to the police, decisions made by the police officials, about the application of law, are frequently subject to partisan review or direction by the elected representatives. The autonomy of the police officials, in specific and routine application of law, has been severally curtailed. This is not only true of law and order situations. People accused of crimes have got into the habit of appealing to political figures for remission from the law. Police officials, throughout India, have grown accustomed to calculating the likely political effect of any enforcement action they contemplate… Altogether, then the rule of law in modern India, the frame upon which justice hinges, has been undermined by the rules of politics”. The politicians are not, only unwilling, but are totally opposed, to improving the police, including the Supreme Court orders of September, 2006, for reforming the police, which includes a fixed tenure for key officials, separation of crime from the investigation wing and having open and transparent norms in transfer and posting, It is an open secret, that transfer and posting has become a lucrative industry, which they are loath to loose.

Supervision in the name of democracy, by the politicians has eroded the foundations upon which the impartiality depends in a criminal justice system. The police are being used by the political masters, irrespective of the parties in power, for their gains and ends. Only, when a party is out of power, it talks about police reforms and suffers from amnesia, when it comes to power. Infact, the Police reform, notwithstanding the Supreme Court Directive, is not even, on the election agenda or manifesto of any political party. The result of all this is, that it is the common man who is the victim, as he does not get redressal of his grievances. Too rich do not bother, as they can bribe their way out of any case or crime. Too poor cannot bribe. So this game of see saw goes on. Must many more Nitharis happen, before the governments wakes up?

* Former Director, CBI, India,
123-124, Nav Sansad Vihar, CGHS, Sector 22,
Plot Number 4, Dwarka, New Delhi 110075
Telephone: 28052742, 28052842
Number and Address, in Punjab Jalalabad (west) District; Ferozpore,
Pin code: 152024
Telephone: 01638 250072, Mobile 98107 55087, , Punjab Mobile: 94175 88882
Email: jogindersinghfdips@hotmail.com , jogindersinghfdips@rediffmail.com


The views and facts stated above are entirely the responsibility of the author and do not reflect the views of this Association in any manner.

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