Complaints against policemen: India
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A flood of complaints against cops in 2012
12,342 Plaints Listed By NCRB, Police Cite Action
Dwaipayan Ghosh TNN 2013/06/16
New Delhi: It is yet another dubious distinction that Delhi Police could have done without. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report for 2012, Delhi (in UT/States) has reported the highest number of complaints made against per 100 policemen (17), highest in the country. It is followed by Madhya Pradesh (14.7) and Chandigarh (10.1). The national average was just 3.7 in 2011. This is the second year in succession that Delhi has found itself on the top of this list.
There are states that have reported a similarly large number of complaints like MP (12,412 complaints) and Uttar Pradesh (8440 cases). The problem lies in lack of speedy action. Though Delhi received 12,342 complaints, just 376 were sent for a departmental inquiry. Of the total, around 245 were found to be false. In no case was any departmental action taken, FIR lodged or chargesheet filed, at least in 2012, says the report.
Compare this with bigger states like Maharashtra that received half the number of complaints but registered FIRs in 380 cases, took departmental action in 99 and sent to trial 173. Even in Haryana and UP, where police excesses are often reported, the picture was better than Delhi. In UP, 8424 of the 8440 cases were sent for an inquiry and departmental action was taken in 5847. Similarly, Haryana sent 1400 complaints for inquiry out of a total of 1434 and 409 cases were registered. Even in a small state like Arunachal Pradesh, all 120 complaints were sent for a departmental inquiry.
However, the current report also lists, in another section, that 142 Delhi cops were sent for trial, cases against 174 were withdrawn or disposed of and trial against 43 personnel was completed out of which 13 were convicted and 30 acquitted during the year. These cases obviously are from previous years.
Delhi Police defended itself by claiming that a total of 112 cops had been sacked for corruption and negligence on duty, according to the data available in 2012. “An inquiry by the vigilance investigation unit into corruption-related cases led to disciplinary action against 1,968 cops,” said an officer. As many as 3,193 showcause notices were disposed of in 2012, and 787 such notices are pending. The unit also keeps tabs on police officials whose integrity is in doubt. Last year, 536 such cops were identified," they said. The vigilance unit suspended 479 police officials, conducted departmental inquires against 961 and sought explanations from 4,861.
The NCRB report of the previous year, 2011, had shown that Delhi had received more complaints against its police personnel than any other state in the country. At 12,805, the number of complaints lodged against the capital’s policemen by citizens had nearly doubled from 6,614 in 2010.
In fact, 18-22%of the complaints that put law-enforcers in the dock across the country in the past two years have been against members of Delhi Police. The strength of Delhi Police is about 80,000, which essentially means that every sixth cop in the capital attracted a complaint from residents.
Curiously, all the union territories–Delhi Police draws its senior staff from the UT cadre– have a dismal record in taking action. While Chandigarh police never took any action in the 546 cases reported to it, rejecting 397 of them as false, Andamans too failed to act on its 11 complaints.
The home ministry seems to have taken cognizance of the ever-rising complaints against Delhi cops. It accepted that there seems to be a huge rise in the number of complaints on the involvement of cops in illegal constructions and encroachments in the past four years. Minister of state for home afairs Mullapally Ramachandran said in Parliament last month that 3,101 such complaints were received from 2010 to February 28, 2013. The minister’s reply said during this period 44 personnel faced action. While five ACP-level officers were sent an advisory memo, 76 inspectors have faced action, including departmental inquiry and censure.