Friday, September 14, 2012

Punish cops who act like judges: HC

Comment :
  • Cops regularly act as judge and executioner. 
  • They have the inherent weight of the "kahki" adding to their power and scaring the common man. 
  • Most common men have NO interaction with the police and are NOT aware of their rights
  • With every case, especially matrimonial cases, they start with arbitrating,  arguing for one side, and even threatening one party or other ..... this hasn't stopped .... 
  • I am NOT sure IF cops were this bad EVEN BEFORE independence !!!
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Punish cops who act like judges: HC

Shibu Thomas, TNN | Sep 15, 2012, 03.49AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has lambasted the city police for acting as judges.

"It is not the business of the police to ask the opposite party to forcibly hand over the children to the complainant party," said the judges referring to a recent case where the Kalamboli police forced a man to hand over custody of his two children to his estranged wife, following her complaint.

The court asked the state to initiate strict action against policemen who indulge in such conduct. "(Send a copy of the order to the government for) issuing instructions to all concerned that in future if such a complaint is received against any police officer, it will be viewed seriously and appropriate departmental action will be taken against the erring police officer."

The second instance that irked Justices Khanwilkar and Joshi pertained to a dispute between two women. Dindoshi's Sheela Mehta complained to the local police that she had been cheated out of some ornaments by Hetal Shah. The police forced Hetal to hand them over. The court issued a showcause notice to police commissioner Satya Pal Singh to explain "under which provision a police official can force one party to hand over ornaments/valuables to another party on his own without a formal order of any court of competent jurisdiction". Last week, additional public prosecutor Poornima Kantharia informed the court that the commissioner took action against the officer and stopped two of his increments. "The state government will also issue a circular to all police stations on what they can do and cannot in complaints lodged before them." (Names of petitioners have been changed)

Times View: Cops playing judge subverts the legal system

The practice of cops playing judge and arbiter is gross abuse of power. Corruption, which has become all-pervasive at the ground level, feeds on such subversions of the system. But such practices have become so well-entrenched that it may take more than a government circular to set things right. The court's observations should come as a wake-up call for the new regime in charge of Mumbai Police.