The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), a think-tank beneath the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), has requested police departments throughout the nation to not make arrests as an everyday act or for the sake of routine points.
The bureau has advised that an individual ought to be first served a discover of look and when he/she fails to adjust to it, then police ought to go forward with the arrest.
The think-tank has issued elaborate “guidelines or draft Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for safeguarding persons to be arrested or detained by police authorities against custodial violence” to all police departments within the nation.
The guidelines, which had been issued final week, have strictly suggested police authorities to comply with the process whereas making arrests, or whereas coping with individuals of their custody.
It has mentioned that the guidelines are geared toward restoring “a sense of security among the public and regaining the diminishing faith and confidence of the public in police”.
Police officers have been suggested towards torturing an individual in custody or compelling an individual to offer testimony or proof that will incriminate her or him or testify towards any particular person.
“Do not subject any person in custody to torture, beating or cruel treatment. Ensure not to detain anyone for a prolonged period in the name of interrogation as this may amount to wrongful confinement and illegal detention,” the guidelines, reviewed by HT, have mentioned.
The advisories assume significance within the wake of torture of a father and his son — P Jayaraj (51) and J Bennicks (31) — in police custoday in Tamil Nadu (TN) in June. The incident had occurred beneath the jurisdiction of Sathankulam police station in TN’s Thoothukudi district.
Jayaraj had died on June 22 and Bennicks the next day.
The guidelines have directed police personnel to make sure that when they’re going to make any arrest, they have to put on seen identify tags and their names also needs to be recorded in a police diary.
An arrest memo of the arrestee should be ready, mentioning date, time and place of arrest.
The memo should be signed by not less than one reputed native witness and countersigned by the arrestee.
The guidelines have suggested the authorities that, based on the provisions within the regulation, they can’t summon any male under 15 years of age or above 65 years of age or a lady to a police station for the aim of questioning. “They shall be questioned at their place of residence,” they’ve added.
For girls, the guidelines have said that police can not arrest any lady after the sundown and earlier than the dawn unless beneath distinctive circumstances.
The directives have asserted that abuse of powers of arrest has a chilling impact on society.
The bureau has mentioned it additionally erodes the credibility of the law-and-order mechanism and creates a chasm between the police and the society.
The think-tank has identified that when an individual is arrested, “the onus of safety, security and health of a person lies entirely on the police” and it ought to take utmost care to make sure that human rights of individuals in police custody are usually not violated.
“The arrestee should be interrogated in an appropriate manner with the aid of scientific methods of interrogation and investigation and without the use of violence,” it has mentioned.
“The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973, contains provisions granting power to police to arrest or detain an individual in the process of investigation of crime and/or maintenance of order. The provisions enumerate the conditions in which arrest/detention can be made, along with the procedure for arrest or detention. These powers, when used indiscriminately, lead not only to abuse of the procedure, but also result in the violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens as enshrined in the Constitution of India. Indiscriminate arrest by the police and custodial violence, while the individual is in police custody, are serious issues that need to be dealt with utmost sensitivity at the highest levels of the police leadership with a view to put a complete stop to such repugnant practices,” the guidelines have mentioned.
“No police agency, without the constructive support of the society, can ever successfully achieve its objectives of crime control, maintenance of order,” it has added.