Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cop not registering complaint liable for punishment: RTI

AHMEDABAD: A cop showing reluctance to register a complaint is liable for punishment. A Right To Information (RTI) query filed by Tushar Patel, a resident of Gita Mandir, highlighted this fact.

Patel, who is a member of the Ahmedabad Education Society, was elected to the society in 2007. Later, Patel complained before the charity commissioner alleging irregularities in the election procedure.

Based on his complaint, some documents were provided by the charity commissioner. Armed with these documents, Patel filed an affidavit before the Navrangpura police station on May 5 alleging irregularities in the society's election procedure.

"Navrangpura police recorded my statement but did not lodge an FIR. Though I pursued the matter, the policemen refused to register my complaint saying that until investigations are complete nothing can be done," said Patel.
Patel then filed an RTI application at the DGP's office. In his application, he sought to know what provisions have been made to ensure that police officials take complaints filed by members of the public on record. He also sought to know if notifications or circulars had been issued in connection with police complaints.

On June 14, Patel got a reply from the information officer at DGP's office, deputy superintendent of police, M D Roy. Roy told Patel that on May 10, 2011, the then additional DGP Sudhir Sinha had issued a circular in this regard. Sinha is now posted as the commissioner of Ahmedabad city police.

Sinha had issued a circular in detail including 16 issues. The circular specifies that under CrPC I54, anybody can file a criminal complaint and the police officer is duty bound to accept the plaint. If the cop fails to take the complaint, then he is liable to be prosecuted under Bombay Police Act, 1951, section 145(2).
A similar complaint can be registered against senior police officers for not giving requisite orders to junior cops for registering complaints.

The circular also said in any such case, police officers do not need permission from senior officers. Sinha also said if anybody registers a false complaint then he too is liable to be punished under sections 182 and 211 of IPC.

Patel said, "Till date, the cops explained the delay in registering my complaint to the fact that my plea concerns a civil issue, not a criminal one. After I got the reply from DGP's office, I have submitted a second application to Navrangpura police."

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