How to handle Police harassment in India?

  • Never indulge in a fight with a police officer, despite being the fact that you know that the police officer is wrong, Just be Calm, Polite and Humble all the time.
  • Whenever there is a situation where a victim is needed to go to a Police Station to Complain Against a Police Officer, always take a lawyer with you.
  • If there is a need to file a complaint against a Police Officer, over his misconduct, the victim should file it in the commissioner’s office in the city.
  • Whenever, A police officer does not file FIR , the victim may send the substance of the information, in writing and by post to the Superintendent of Police concerned, who after getting satisfied that such information discloses the commission of a cognizable offences like Murder, Theft, Robbery, shall either investigate the case himself or he can direct an investigation to be made by any police officer subordinate to him.
  • If the complaint filed to the Superintendent of Police still does not result in your favour, the victim can make a visit to the nearest Magistrate and can get his complaint registered. After which, the magistrate will order to the police to register the FIR.
  • If a person being the victim of the misconduct because of the omission of a duty of a police personnel, which can be any violation of duty or wilful breach or neglect of any rule or regulation, shall be liable to be punished under section 29 of Indian Police Act,1861 with,
    • A penalty up to 3 months’ pay; or
    • Imprisonment up to 3 months; or
    • Both penalty and imprisonment.
  • If a Police Personnel summons you to be present at the police station, always go but with a lawyer.
  • A Victim can even make complaints to the Jurisdictional DCP, whenever, a police personnel was impolite to you.
  • Never make an argument over a law to a police personnel unless you are a lawyer.

Police Complaint Authority (PCA)

The Police Complaint Authority was created in 2006, After the SC directed all States to begin a reformation in their Police, After the Judgement in the Prakash Case, The SC of India given the directives for structural reform of the police, by establishing Police Complaints Authorities at the state and District level, with immediate effect. The Decision was to be Primarily due to increment in huge number of Complaints against the police and the lack of Accountability, as well as the intention behind setting up police complaints authorities was to make sure that a local mechanism expert in handling a wide scope of complaints against the police, including the most serious, was readily available to the public at large.

Complaints which can be filed with the Police Complaints Authority

The Authority shall investigate into accusations of “Serious Misconduct” against the police personnel, as detailed on a complaint received from any of the following:

  • A victim or any person on his/her behalf;
  • The National or the State Human Rights Commission;
  • The police; or
  • Any other source

By the word “Serious Misconduct”, it states the coverage of the offences;

  • Death in police custody;
  • Grievous hurt, as defined in section 320 0f the IPC,1860;
  • Rape or attempt to commit rape;
  • Arrest or detention without due process of law;
  • Extortion;
  • land/house grabbing; or
  • Any incident involving serious abuse of the authority.

The Authority may also investigate before referring to the complaint as filed, only after getting satisfied with the truth of the complaint.

How to File a Complaint with the Police Complaint Authority

  • A Complaint can be filed in PCA, on your own and in an authority existed in your nearby area/district.
  • The complaint can be filed by any other person who has witnessed any misconduct committed by the police.

To file a Complaint

First of all, you should make a contact to PCA and ask for a prescribed Format in which a person can submit the complaint. A person can send a complaint via Post, Fax or submit it in person.

Note: The complaint is needed to be filed or lodged as quickly as possible after the incident.

The Complaint should be in writing and must include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact Details

You need to describe the incident like;

  • What Happened;
  • When it Happened;
  • Against whom you are complaining about, describing the name, address of the police station where the police official exists;
  • What was said or done;
  • Whether someone else was present at that time, who witnessed the incident when it was taking place and if any contact details you have of them.
  • Describe the Loss or Damage incurred by you.

You can also attach any relevant documents which can make your complaint stronger, Documents Like:

  • Photographs showing of the Incident, or
  • Photographs of the Injuries or Damage incurred;
  • Medical Report or any Certificate issued by doctor subjecting the nature of the injuries if any inflicted upon;
  • Evidence of Station Diary.

Prior to the Submission of the complaint, always keep a copy of the complaint and the documents, and in case you have submitted it in person always take a receipt with a date stamped on it as a record, and if you submit your complaint by registered post, always keep a receipt of the same safe. As all these receipts and the copies will work as a proof to acknowledge that you have sent the application being sent by the authority.

Conclusion

In the end, it states that no one is above the law, and all the citizens are equal under the eyes of the law.

And whenever people face such kind of Atrocities they should always keep in mind that there is a need to have a self-awareness of the laws as the remedies provided to them or whenever facing such kind of situations always consult a Lawyer,

Apart from all of this, there is also a provision under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, to file a writ petition in the High Court,

The Court here issued the guidelines, as needed to be recorded to create a level of transparency in their work while addressing the same whenever, there is state of conflict founded and by abiding through Chapter XII of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Police Act which explicitly states that every activity related to investigation and as well as the other activities should have a written record in the police diary or general station diary.

By abiding through the Guidelines here the Police Officials not only create a level of transparency as well as it will create a faith on the Police Authorities as well as it will deplete the amount of time which is given by the court, to entertain such kind of cases which are just being created because of misconducts on the behalf of a Police Personnel, as well it will give opportunity to the court to address more cases which require much more important time of the court.

References

Cases

  • Union of India v. Prakash P. Hinduja- AIR 2003 SC 2612
  • H.N.Rishbud v. the State of Delhi- AIR 1955 SC 196
  • Adri Dharan Das v. the State of W.B- 2005(2)ALD(Cri)67
  • Niranjan Singh v. the State of U.P- AIR 1957 SC 142
  • State of Bihar v. J.A.C.Saldanha- AIR 1980 SCR 326
  • S.N.Sharma v. Bipen Kumar Tiwari- AIR 1970 SC 786
  • Lalita Kumari v. Government of Uttar Pradesh- WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO. 68 of 2008
  • Prakash Singh and Others v. Union of India- Writ Petition 310 of 1996

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