There has to be some law of the land that must prevail!
There is no second opinion about abysmal working condition of police force in India. Much of police force in the whole subcontinent is not only overburdened but extremely stressed. In India police reforms are overdue for long. Police reforms are urgently required to address working condition of the forces as well as their behaviour while on duty; as being a well-ordered force the police have to show and prove beyond doubt their exemplary discipline and dedication towards their work with the highest degree of honesty and impartiality.
Now, how has the situation improved on account of police public relationship? Post 1947 when ‘Raj’ ceased to operate in this part of world, even in absence of justifiable police reforms not much has changed and more needs to be done so that we come somewhere close to civilized societies and claim of being subjected to benevolent policing. Experts of police and policing will laugh off my ‘benevolence’ remark, but even after six decades of much hyped empowerment if we are not having access to kind, respectable, honest and impartial policing then the whole conception of democracy is absurd. What is fate of people who approach police for filing FIRs? Not satisfactory by any means. Most of the times, story of ‘rules are for fools’ holds good while approaching law enforcing authorities. In case of rich and powerful every act is cognizable and for lesser mortals delaying is the best ploy to scare them away from recourse to law.With all regards to our police force let me come directly to my point. FIR (First Information Report) is a stepping stone in initiation of criminal proceedings against criminals and other rogue elements within the society. FIR is considered the most important document in legal jurisprudence as it sets the process of criminal justice in motion. Its contents reveal the real story of crime before the presiding officer after proper investigation and in true sense is a guiding force for investigating agencies. Regarding filing of FIR the Supreme Court of India has ruled that police are mandatorily required to register FIR when approached by complainants willing to report a cognizable offence with a provision of disciplinary action against delinquent police personnel who fail to comply.
Two identical incidents of criminal acts dealt with two different investigative yard sticks and on two different wavelengths of objectivity will reveal the gray patches of otherwise rosy picture of our police force. On 16th of June at around 7.20 PM while I was travelling from TRC crossing towards Rajbagh in my private vehicle there was a huge traffic jam on Abdullah Bridge. Just after crossing Abdullah Bridge driver of a private car ahead of me came to a screeching halt, but anyhow my prompt response to the situation averted the possible collision. As usual the road rage hormone high on the psyche of our hot headed neo-rich progeny played its trick and the occupants of the car not only create a scene but further clogging the otherwise jammed traffic they had their day with me. Immediately after the incident I approached the nearest police station with a written complaint of criminal assault against the erring driver and the occupants of the vehicle. The officer in-charge who was busy in settling a more important case of same nature, where his colleague was assaulted by one of the road rage frenzy young man directed me to wait for the SHO (Station House Officer) to decide about the perceptibility of the offence and fate of my FIR. But on the other front related to alleged misbehavior with his colleague he was unwilling to budge even an inch. The alleged offender was rounded up with electrifying promptness even in the absence of SHO, while I was compelled into compulsory wait of more than two hours. This all went under the occasional torch lights as there was no alternative source of light at a prominent public place like police station in an emergency situation of power failure. After almost two hours long wait the Station House Officer on his arrival once questioning me a little gave his verdict regarding filing of the FIR but with some hesitancy.
And now almost a week after my blunder of reposing my valuable trust in our custodians of law and several rounds of reminding, nothing seems to have moved and apparently my FIR met the same fate as hundreds of FIRs of lesser mortals are made to face. Till I hear something encouraging, I will keep on chanting—rules are for fools!