to preserve social order led to the emergence of Police as an
instrument of social control.
in a democratic polity is an instrumentality of the rule of law.
on police for achieving quick results, while dealing with deviance
and disorder, are commonplace.
Citizen Charter seeks to create awareness about the:
rights and duties vis-à-vis police.
prescribed by the rule of law in combating crime and criminals.
and legal safeguards against arbitrary exercise of powers by police.
of expectations and demands, where follow up action presupposes
transgression of legal limits or calls for bypassing or
circumventing the rule of law.
friendly initiatives taken by Chandigarh Police.
and detection of crime,
of public order,
of intelligence affecting crime and public peace,
of traffic and
protective arrangements for certain individuals and installations
– in their individual capacity; and
– representing collective interest of the people.
the responsibility of prevention and detection of crime on police directly
affects individual rights, the other tasks performed by police primarily
concern society as a whole. While
societal rights are generally secure and rarely transgressed,
individual's rights require special attention.
These can be defined as:
of complainants or victims of crimes; and
and legal rights/protections available to people including persons
accused of commission of offences.
brief overview of the individual's rights is given hereinafter:
of Victims / Complainants of Crimes:
any cognizable offence (where a police officer can arrest the offender
without warrant) is committed,
aggrieved person or any other person can file an FIR orally or in
writing with the Officer-in-charge of a police station.
case of refusal to register a cognizable offence, the complainant can
send his complaint by post to the Superintendent of Police who can
start the process of investigation.
copy of the FIR is given free of cost to the informant.
registration of FIR, investigation is taken up.
findings are sent to the Court under section 173 Cr.PC and complainant
is duly informed.
adequate evidence comes on record, the case is sent for trial.
evidence is inadequate, the case is sent as untraced.
it is found that no offence was committed, the case is sent for
a case is sent as untraced or cancelled, the informant can represent
his case before the Court, who hears the person before accepting the
167(1) Cr.PC prescribes that every investigation shall be completed
without unnecessary delay though no time limit is fixed for completion
complainant or a victim, in case of a grievance that investigation has
not been proper or speedy, can represent to the superior officers who
can issue appropriate directions including further investigation.
a person is unable to go to a police station to lodge his complaint,
he can send it by post.
can also inform about commission of a cognizable offence or its
likelihood to the Police Control Room at telephone number 100, a round
the clock toll free number. Systems exist to immediately depute local police officers and
PCR vehicles to the spot to take appropriate action.
a complaint discloses commission of a non-cognizable offence, police
cannot suo-moto proceed with investigation and only a competent Court can
authorize an investigation.
CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL RIGHTS AVAILABLE TO PEOPLE INCLUDING ACCUSED PERSONS
Presumption of innocence of the accused, burden of proof on the prosecution , observance of principles of natural justice and requirement of mens rea are among the basic features of our criminal justice system. Important Constitutional and legal safeguards available against arbitrary law enforcement are given in the following paragraphs:
Article 20 of the Constitution of India prohibits:
- Conviction or greater sentence for an offence under ex post facto criminal laws.
- Prosecution and punishment for the same offence more than once.
- Compelling a person accused of any offence to be a witness against himself.
Article 21 protects against arbitrary:
- Detention and
- Deprivation of life and personal liberty.
Article 22 guarantee to a person arrested for any offence:
- Right to be informed as soon as may be of the grounds of arrest,
- Right of freedom to consult and to be represented by a lawyer of his own choice,
- Right to be produced before a Magistrate within 24 hours of arrest and detention beyond the said period only on the order of the Magistrate.
Free legal aid is provided to those who cannot afford the same:
It is provided not only when trial commences but also during police custody or during production before the magistrate for the first time or for remand from time to time. Eligible persons for free legal aid in UT of Chandigarh are:
- a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe;
- a victim of trafficking in human beings or begar as referred to in Article 23 of the Constitution;
- a woman or a child;
- a mentally ill or otherwise disabled person;
- a person under circumstances of undeserved want such as being a victim of a mass disaster, ethnic violence, caste atrocity, flood, drought, earthquake or industrial disaster; or
- an industrial workman; or
- in custody including custody in a protective home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, or in a juvenile home within the meaning of clause (j) of Section 2 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1986, or in a psychiatric hospital/or psychiatric nursing home within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2 of the Mental Health Act, 1987; or
- in addition to the persons mentioned in clauses (a) to (g) of section 12 of the Act, a citizen of India whose annual income from all sources does not exceed fifty thousand rupees.
Section 50 CrPC provides for Communication of:
- Grounds of arrest to the accused person.
- Right to be released on bail if a person is arrested not for a non-bailable offence and that he may arrange for sureties on his behalf.
Sections 49, 54, 56 and 76 CrPC put in effect Constitutional provisions to prevent arbitrary exercise of power to arrest:
- An arrested person cannot be subjected to more restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape. (Section 49 CrPC).
- Use of handcuffs is permitted only in exceptionally rare cases to prevent escape or violence keeping in view the propensity of the arrested person.
- Medical examination of an accused by a medical practitioner. (Section 54 CrPC).
- Expeditious production of a person arrested without a warrant, subject to provisions regarding bail, before a Magistrate or the officer in charge of a police station. (Section 56 CrPC).
- No detention of a person arrested without warrant beyond 24 in the absence of a special order of a Magistrate under section 167 CrPC (Sec. 57 CrPC).
- Production before a Magistrate within 24 hours of person arrested in execution of warrant. (Sec. 76 CrPC).
Section 47, 51, 100 and 165 Cr.PC while empowering search also lay down safeguards:
- Safe custody of articles seized from the person of an arrested person and giving of a receipt in this regard. (Sec. 51CrPC).
- Association of witnesses, search in their presence and signing of the search list by them; occupant or his representative to be allowed to be present during the search and providing of a list of seized articles to the person searched. (Sec.100 and 165 CrPC).
Section 436, 437, 438 alongwith Sections 50(2) and 167 CrPC provide for the procedure for release on bail:
- Bail, on production of proper surety/bond, is a matter of right in case of bailable offences. (Sec. 436 CrPC).
- In non bailable cases, the arrested person or his counsel can move the appropriate Court for bail, which may be granted or denied keeping in view the legal provisions and the facts and circumstances of the case.
SPECIAL RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN
- A woman can be searched, only by another woman with strict regard to decency. (Section 51 and 100 CrPC).
- Any female occupant, who as per custom does not appear in public and not being the person to be arrested, has to be afforded reasonable opportunity to withdraw before entering a place for arresting a person who may be hiding there. (Sec. 47 CrPC).
- No male under the age of 15 years or a woman can be summoned by police as witnesses to depose about the facts and circumstances in a case under investigation at any place other than the place in which such male person or woman resides. (Sec. 160 CrPC).
- Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age. (Sec. 82 IPC).
- Nothing is an offence which is done by a child above seven years of age and under twelve, who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge the nature and consequences of his conduct on that occasion. (Sec.83 IPC).
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 inter-alia prohibits;
- Lodging of children in jails and police lock-ups and lays down procedures including norms for investigation and trial in cases of juvenile crimes.
- Publication of names and other details of juveniles who are involved in any proceeding under the Act.
- Trial of juveniles with adults.
- Juvenile Boards and Courts in matters concerning bail and normally a juvenile shall not be denied bail. It also sets out procedure for rehabilitation and social reintegration of children.
GUIDELINES LAID DOWN BY THE HON'BLE SUPREME COURT IN D.K. BASU CASE
The Hon'ble Supreme Court, in D.K.Basu Vs State of West Bengal, has laid down specific guidelines required to be followed while making arrests.
The principles laid down by the Hon'ble Supreme Court are given hereunder:
- The police personnel carrying out the arrest and handling the interrogation of the arrestee should bear accurate, visible and clear identification and name tags with their designations. The particulars of all such police personnel who handle interrogation of the arrestee must be recorded in a register
- That the police officer carrying out the arrest shall prepare a memo of arrest at the time of arrest and such memo shall be attested by at least one witness, who may be either a member of the family of the arrestee or a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. It shall also be counter signed by the arrestee and shall contain the time and date of arrest.
- A person who has been arrested or detained and is being held in custody in a police station or interrogation centre or other lock up, shall be entitled to have one friend or relative or other person known to him or having interest in his welfare being informed, as soon as practicable, that he has been arrested and is being detained at the particular place, unless the attesting witness of the memo of arrest is himself such a friend or a relative of the arrestee.
- The time, place of arrest and venue of custody of an arrestee must be notified by the police where the next friend or relative of the arrestee lives outside the district or town through the Legal Aid Organisation in the District and the police station of the area concerned telegraphically within a period of 8 to 12 hours after the arrest.
- The person arrested must be made aware of his right to have someone informed of his arrest or detention as soon as he is put under arrest or is detained.
- An entry must be made in the diary at the place of detention regarding the arrest of the person which shall also disclose the name of the next friend of the person who has been informed of the arrest and the names land particulars of the police officials in whose custody the arrestee is.
- The arrestee should, where he so requests, be also examined at the time of his arrest and major and minor injuries, if any present on his/her body, must be recorded at that time. The 'Inspection Memo' must be signed both by the arrestee and the police officer effecting the arrest and its copy provided to the arrestee.
- The arrestee should be subjected to medical examination by the trained doctor every 48 hours during his detention in custody by a doctor on the panel of approved doctors appointed by Director, Health Services of the concerned State or Union Territory, Director, Health Services should prepare such a panel for all Tehsils and Districts as well.
- Copies of all the documents including the memo of arrest, referred to above, should be sent to the Magistrate for his record.
- The arrestee may be permitted to meet his lawyer during interrogation, though not throughout the interrogation.
- A police control room should be provided at all district and State headquarters where information regarding the arrest and the place of custody of the arrestee shall be communicated by the officer causing the arrest, within 12 hours of effecting the arrest and at the police control room it should be displayed on a conspicuous notice board.
DUTIES OF AND EXPECTATIONS FROM PEOPLE
- Every person is bound to assist a Magistrate or a police officer reasonably demanding his aid in taking or preventing escape of any person who could be lawfully arrested; in preventing or controlling breach of peace; and to prevent damage to public property. (Sec. 37 CrPC).
- Any person aware of the commission of certain serious offences or intention thereof, is duty bound to give information to the nearest Magistrate or police officer of such commission or intention (Sec. 39 CrPC). These IPC crimes include offences: against the State; against public tranquillity; relating to illegal gratification; affecting life; and of robbery and dacoity.
- Please take initiative to check the crime. A private citizen can arrest or cause a person to be arrested if any non-bailable and cognizable offence is committed in his presence or a proclaimed offender comes across them. (Sec. 43 CrPC).
- Allow free ingress to a place if a police officer having authority to arrest/search or any person acting under a warrant of arrest/search, has reasons to believe that the person to be arrested has entered into or is within such a place. (Sections 47 & 100 CrPC).
- Assist a police officer if your assistance is sought by him to join a search. Refusal to do so when asked in writing, without reasonable cause, is an offence under section 187 IPC. (Sec. 100 CrPC).
- Give correct evidence whenever associated in any investigation or trial. Do not give false information to the police to avoid wastage of police resources and to avoid penal action for making false or malicious or prank calls.
- Co-operate with the police in action against anti social elements and in maintaining law and order.
- Protect public property and do not indulge in acts, which damage or deface public property or places.
- All road users must be guided by the objective of enhancing road safety and must pay heed to the legitimate directions and suggestions of traffic police personnel and observe traffic norms and regulations.
- Help injured persons in road accidents by taking them to nearby hospitals and by informing the police. If desired, one would not be asked to be a witness in the case or otherwise put to any inconvenience.
- The driver of the motor vehicle responsible for a road accident is duty bound to take all reasonable steps to secure medical attention for the injured person by conveying him to the nearest medical practioner or hospital unless it is not practicable to do so on account of mob fury or any other reason beyond his control. Failure in this regard punishable. (Section 134 Motor Vehicle Act, 1988).
- It is a duty of every registered medical practioner or the doctor on duty in a hospital to immediately attend to the injured person and render medical aid without waiting for procedural formalities unless the injured person or his guardian (in case of a minor) desires otherwise (Section 134 Motor Vehicle Act 1988). Failure in this regard is punishable. (Section 134 Motor Vehicles Act, 1988).
- Community Policing initiatives must be given whole-hearted support. Security environment, particularly to curb crimes like thefts and burglaries, can be greatly enhanced if the local community takes initiative to improve physical security arrangement of the neighbourhood and individual houses/establishments and deploys adequate number of watchmen.
- Be truthful and forthright while going to police for redressal of complaints. Avoid the unholy practice of exaggerating or maneuvering facts to attract operation of criminal laws or to enhance their severity. This is particularly unfortunate when such complaints are pushed through devious recommendations or monetary inducements. Such short sighted actions strike at the root of the rule of law and are among the factors responsible for many of the ills, like malicious investigations and burking, affecting policing. Chandigarh Police would like to reassure that a sincere account of a complainant's version, though may not be covered by criminal laws, would be given due consideration. All efforts would be made to resolve the same under the alternate complaint resolution mechanism as many such disputes lead to future crimes or breach of peace.
- Cherish our Constitutional values. All citizens in our democratic polity have equal stake in the rule of law.
- Do not ask or expect police to resort to unlawful or questionable means while dealing with crime or criminals or public disorder. Any such action abetted or acquiesced, in self-interest for quick results, is unsustainable. Your option should be against bypassing the rule of law
- Our constitutional and legal processes have the capacity to evolve strategies to deal with the emerging threats. And you must be vigilant to prevent hijacking of the agenda in this regard by any vested interests, who generally are vociferous and often claim to reflect public opinion.