Shri. B.S. Danewalia (IPS Retd.)

Former IGP (Jt. Punjab)

Will Inaugurate Interaction will follow the seminar

The Indian Police had been organised on the model of the metropolitan Police of the London and the subsequent Country and Borough Acts and the Royal Irish Constabulary. All these were organised in the first of the 19th century. The Indian Police Commission, 1860 noted this debt of inspiration in their report and the Indian Police Act of 1861 were farmed accordingly.

2.     In the beginning, the Police under the 1861 Act was called the “organized” Police in the Punjab and its first Inspector General had been in the Oudh Government as Military Secretary. Though the police Act was passed by the British Colonial Govt. in India, the Police system was based on certain principal derived from the British Model of preventive police. I had gone through the metropolitan Police orders, Police regulations for them. Country Police Forces in Lancashire. West Riding of Yorkshire and Borough Police Forces in Liverpool and Edinburgh. I did not find much deviation or differences in the contents or contours of duties or obligations or practical operations. I am persuaded that the British had set up a democratic Police system in India incorporating the principals of the British Model. In essence they were that preventive Police is upon every principal of reason, of humanity and of sound policy, preferable in all respects to punishing justice. There was nothing colonial in the Indian Police Act and the Police Rules. What were the principles of the modern British Police Institution?

They do not appear in any act of Parliament and as such, have not been ever officially laid down. They evolved gradually during the 19th century and may be summed up as follow as the 9th principles:-

i)   Police are essentially citizens paid to discharge duties incumbent on all citizens.

ii)  Success is contingent on Public approval, respect and cooperation.

iii)  The preventive function-applicable both to Crime and disorder are paramount as an alternative to their repression by military force and severity of legal punishment.

iv)  Force is employed only when persuasion fails. It must be the minimum Necessary to achieve the end.

v)   Law enforcement must impartial and independent of policy.

vi)  Courtesy, friendliness and helpfulness must be shown to all regardless of class or station.

vii)  The Police have no judicial Local function the decision of guilt or innocence and punishment of offenders are no part of Police responsibility.

viii)  The trust test of Police efficiency is the absence of crime aid disorder, not the number of prosecutions.

ix)  Preservation of life and protection from injury are Police functions to be discharged regardless of personal danger.

3.   The Metropolitan Police Act of 1829 which inaugurated the system later to spread over the colonies and Dominions had little to say about the methods to be employed by the re-organised Force it brought into existence.

The General objects of the Act are stated in the preamble thus.

“Whereas offences against property have of late increased in and around the Metropolis:……….. And where as it is expedient to substitute a new and more efficient system of police in cities in lieu of such establishment of nightly watch and nightly police, within in the limits of hereafter mentioned, and to constitute an office of Police which under the immediate authority of his majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State, shall direct and control the whole such new system of Police within those limits. Be it therefore enacted etc. “They only definition of the task to be performed is contained in the section dealing with the two justices of the peace to act as Commissioner of Police and (b) in the prescribed for the Constables. To act as constables for preserving the peace and preventing robberies and other felonies and apprehending offenders against the peace”.

This aid emphasis on the prevention of Crime and other practices evolved as principles. During the 19th and 20th centuries the amount of emphasis placed on these aspects has been on the, increase. The gradual evolution of a Police practice based on the principle enunciated above is a development of great social importance. What made the system of law enforcement unique was that it achieved a combination of correct principle with sound organisation in keep with the democratic ideas. It would be idle to claim perfection for this but such defects as may appear would seem to be not so much in the plan itself as in its operation. The police force is the tool employed by the community for the enforcement on its behalf of the laws that it has made for its own Govt. Imperfections arise not from design but from the ever-changing nature of that task and the fallibility of all human enterprises.

4.  The first two commissioner of Police were Col. Sir Charles Rowan and sir Richard Maine, a Lawyer. This came to be one Commissioner after the term of the first incumbents. The size of force increased from the original 3295 to the later over 30,000 men and officers. The Commissioner is still an ex-officer Justice of the peace but” shall not act as Justice of the peace at any court of general or quarter sessions…… except for the preservation of the peace, The prevention of crime, the detection and committal of offender and in carrying into execution the purposes of this Act” Take the Indian experience. The Act provided the head of the force to be Inspector General of Police and ex-officer Magistrate. The function of the Magistrate was dropped as unsuitable to India conditions. For the last 15 years, a new designation of Director General of Police has been instituted to bring the force, at par with the newly formed Border Security Force established in 1960,s without any sanction in law or the rules. The head of the West Punjab Police is still designated as Inspector General. If the object was to raise the pat, why not do it boldly than proliferate ranks. Just remember that the Police Commissioner’s office has been held by such high ranking men as Field Marshal Viscount Baying, Marshal of the Royal Air Force Viscount Trenchant and Sir Harold Scott, a permanent Secretary of British Gov. without any loss of face or rank or inferiority without any change in designation of the commissioner of Police of the metropolis. There is evidently some ad-holism in the Indian Police system which has crept up to the top as if in a mobster reaction. This ad-holism has come to characterise other aspects of Police working in India, for the worse.

5.  No briefly examine the progress in performance of functions. The primary object of an efficient Police force is the Prevention of the crime. To this great engender effort of the Police is to be directed”. In all Police regulation rules in India, the chapter on Prevention of Crime comes first than detection and prosecution. Where physical force is to be used, only minimum force is required to be used. The Police are not to usurp Power of the judiciary or of avenging individuals, or the State or authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.

This inevitably bring in the issue of Police encounters which the people call “fake” and the Police,” Genuine? Before 1947, there were some Police encounters in dacoits infested or disorderly areas. S.E Robinson, who later came to be SSP, Amritsar, had an encounter in Mianwali district in which one of his tests was blown off. D. Gains ford as Senior Superintendent of Police, Lahore had his head and face cut down in khaksar riot at Lahore in 1940 in which later Du Heanmme dispersed the Khaksar with violent means. The British officers generally did not encourage or joined in fake encounters. The India Police Officers started this fake encounter system. In Moga, some known dacoits were arrested and then tied to as free by a DSP and killed for the glory and award to a Deputy Inspector General. Deputy Inspector Genl. Ajit Singh was killed in a genuine encounter in Amritsar district. According to CBI reports and investigations put in courts, the Punjab Police is shown in very poor light in many cases. The Daily” Ajit” of April 30, 1998 caring the report that Baba Charan Singh was quartered by tying to horses pulling in opposite directions and his 6 relatives liquidated and their seven vehicles taken away in April 1993. CBI Deputy Supdt. Investigating the case has requested protection from the wrath of the accused police officers. His tractor has been received from one Shankar who says that it was sold to them for Rs-1.30 lacks by the then Supdt. Of Police, Tarn Taran who was much eulogized by his superiors.

A Deputy Superintendent of Police in Amritsar district has been convicted for killing a whole family in his native village in Amritsar district due to some dispute over land. The Tribune of May 2, 1998 carries a confession of SPO Kuldip Singh how Human Rights Journalist Jaswant Singh khalra was abducted and killed on the orders of SSP Tarn Taran, near Jhabal, in 1995 Khalra has brought to light over 25000 killed by the police and cremates without any identification between 1984 and 1994. CBI found the allegations truthful. The “super cop” is a new crop of Indian origin. How could such and other atrocities take place without coming to the notices or active connivance if not help or approval of the “super cop”? One is made a Governor and other is fuming around for non-elevations. Such conduct is violative of all principles of police working enumerated above. The “super cop” have owned up to no responsibility or accountability of the conduct of the police force except to savor the cream and cake.

6.   Take the case of agitations which arise due to many factors; communal social or political. The Britishers made a law to deal with each agitation in the offing. In the Punjab, section 107/151 Cr. P.C. has been used in order to lock-up thousands. To get around the law has become an attitude to Police functions. Bhagat Singh was a martyr in Indian Independence. He had murdered a British Assistaritant supdt.Of police Saunders at Lahore. He was tried and then hanged but his family members were not harassed at all, during his flight. But some time back, one of that family’s sons was kidnapped and killed by the police, in fake encounter in Hoshiarpur by a supdt. Of police. The case probably is in court.

7.   The Indian express on 1.5.98 carries a report that a sub inspector having kidnapped some one’s wife killed her in his official residence. He has a Maruti car. That shows that police is affluent, the lot of policemen is not that bad as old British plays made out. It does not speak well of discipline or health of the police. These instances are not peculiar to the Punjab but in many other states; blinding suspects in Bihar, tattooing women pick-pockets on their faces in Amritsar or tattooing on things as reported in Newspapers few days back of a suspected thief in Ropar, disrobing women in trumped up cases in police stations all unsatisfactory tales of police conduct.

Again working habits of the police are doubtful. The cases are registered at the asking of the high court only where they are to be registered on any private complainant. But the police are ever ready to use threats where their duties do not lie, if sufficiently well persuaded.

8.   It is for the officers gathered on this seminar to ponder and clarify and correct. The police force is overly much in numbers in Punjab and elsewhere, is well paid, very much mobile and equipped but it must try to measure itself against the principles on which democratic police forces build their reputation.

The rise of terrorism is nothing new, other nations have them but do they do the same as the police forces do here. They can only do this in totalitarian states which do not claim to be democratic.

The “reasons of state “do not absolve the misconduct and departure from principals. Rather it shows that the police have lost its democratic status, character and accountability to courts in cases of misconduct. A police officer can’t be prosecuted except with the prior sanction of the central Govt. the police have now acquired a master servant relationship in India. It is now turned away loose on the people, subject to no laws it has come to be a ruler appointed Police fit for dictatorial states such has Hitler, Mussolini, or Stalin Russia of 20th century or Police in Sumer Persia or Greak Tyrants etc.

9.   The tragedy is that the Legislative body which exercises control of the Police through the Executive Govt. has become defunct and abdicated Governance according to laws. One does not have to quote the “Mother” in bolthole Brecht’s words.

“What kind of City is this;

What short of people are you;

Where there is injustice”

And the elected Govt. connives and encourages the Police in “falling off” from their democratic role.

A Director of the CBI recently appears to throw up his hands. In despair in investigating cases of corruption against politicians, Past and present and saying that CBI restrict itself to investigating cases against respectable public servant but unfortunately these politicians were now classified ”public servant”  Where do you turn it? Politicians have free region to loot the public Exchequer and the public. Instead, what the people as investigators should do is to do their duties like” Noble Six hundred”

10.   Nothing will give me satisfaction than to see the reputation of the Police force restored. This can be done without pampering to Politician who is too feeble minded in democratic value and cavalier about democracy. In fact, there is lack of democratic institutions in India and politicians are self-centered and unashamedly corrupt and each one is Nero or wishing tube one. It is up to the police officers to take undertaking for (i) honesty, (ii) up-rightness, (iii) devotion to duty and hard work (iv) Constant inspection and control of the subordinate rank and their conduct, (v) Instruction of personnel and (vi) Discipline of the errant ones without let or hindrances.

This may not win many friends or favors with politicians or even of superiors; that much has to be faced. Nothing prevents the District and range officers or Chiefs of Police in achieving these objects. Each officers shall remember that be owes a duty to the people to realise the principles what other the Police officers of the force have done. He must look to good examples and not to easy path of the comfort of their charges. The senior officers must realize that a slide-down in the working and conduct of the Police has placed since after the Britishers left India. They should know that the Police officers hold substantive and original office and not delegated authority of the Govt. Police officers of hold office under the law and to law they are answerable. The buck stops with the chiefs of Police and not with the Ministerial Govt. of the day. Police officers are responsible for the good conduct and efficiency of the force in carrying out their duties according to the principles laid down for democratic police working in western democracies like U.K. and U.S.A. to ensure this there is only one way of instructing each Police officer in his duties, checking in detail or how does them by as frequent, detailed inspections and seeing that Police-man power is efficiently utilised and not wasted. There are no alibis for Police failures.

I wish to all good luck, in achieving these objectives; they are achievable. Things have only shown lapses  by officers vbo  were interested in being up with the political patrons for personal gains then in doing their duties faithfully and in good conscience and total devotion irrespective of consequences which cannot be adverse but will be compensated by satisfaction of a job well done.

October 22, 2018 Post Under Uncategorized - Read More

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