Monday, December 26, 2011

Cannot brand police force as biased during riots,‘Incorrect To Say Police Hounds Minorities’ - SC

The Supreme Court has rejected a five-decade-old perception built on the basis of several reports of Commissions of Inquiry that during communal violence the police were generally biased against minority community and arrested victims instead of assailants.
“No one can perhaps dispute that in certain cases such aberrations may have taken place. But, we do not think that such instances are enough to denounce or condemn the entire force, for we ought to know that for every life lost in a violent incident the force may have saved ten, who may have but for timely intervention been similarly lost to mindless violence,” said a bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari, T S Thakur and Dipak Misra.
The judgment came in a case in which the apex court bench of Justices S B Sinha and H S Bedi had split over the guilt of the accused. Justice Sinha had acquitted the accused in an alleged riot case, where three persons from minority community, including two children, were murdered after the house was set ablaze in December, 1992, in a village in Assam. Justice Bedi had cited several reports of Commissions of Inquiry to point out that in riot situations the police generally acted in a biased manner and refused to promptly register FIRs and said benefit of delay in registering FIRs could not be given to the accused. The courts take police’s failure to register FIR in time and its inability to explain such delay as fatal to the prosecution case.
With the split verdict, the case was referred to the three-judge bench headed by Justice Bhandari, which agreed with Justice Sinha’s judgment.
Writing the judgment for the three-judge bench, Justice Thakur said extracts from reports of Commission of Inquiry in Justice Bedi’s judgment gave an impression that the police on the whole was insensitive to the fears, concerns, safety and security of minority communities.
The bench said: “It will indeed be a sad day for the secular credentials of this country if the perception of the minority communities about the fairness and impartiality of the police force were to be what the reports are suggestive of. And yet it may not be wholly correct to say that the police deliberately make no attempt to prevent incidents of communal violence or that effort to protect the life and property of the minorities is invariably half hearted or that instead of assailants the victims are picked up by the police.”
It said, “while the police force may have much to be sorry about and while there is always room for improvement in terms of infusing spirit of commitment, sincerity and selfless service towards the citizens, it cannot be said that the entire force stands discredited.

No comments:

Post a Comment