KOLKATA, 19 JUNE: The Commissioner of Police (Kolkata) has directed all police stations to avoid delays in registering complaints under Section 156 (3) of the Code Of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) .
Under Section 156 (3) of the CrPC, the police should register a case when directed by a court and initiate investigation.
This follows a direction given by the Calcutta High Court and comes at a time when the chief minister, Miss Mamata Banerjee, has claimed that the police’s “friendly attitude” has seen more people register cases after the change of guard in the state.
But Justice Sanjib Banerjee of Calcutta High Court had observed on 5 June in connection with a case, which police had delayed in registering, that “the commissioner (Kolkata) should also be loud and clear in the message to the force that there would be zero-tolerance of dereliction of duty on the part of the investigating agency, particularly when an order is passed by a court under Section 156 (3) of CrPC".
He had also observed that “it was a matter of serious concern”, since the High Court has to pass an order following the failure of the police station to register the case even eight months after the Bankshall Court’s direction to the police.
Thus, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Surajit Kar Purakayastha, had to issue a gazette notification on 13 June asking the rank and file posted in police stations to instantly register cases and initiate investigation.
According to a section of police, it has brought to light the reality of how people can get harassed when they visit police stations to lodge a complaint. “If the police take eight months to register a case despite a court order, what should a common man expect when he/she goes to lodge a complaint?” said an officer.
There have been numerous instances of police harassment when people have tried to lodge a complaint.
It may be mentioned here that police officers had “misbehaved” with the Park Street rape victim when she had turned up at Park Street police station to lodge her complaint. A housewife was also harassed a year ago when she had gone to Kalighat police station to lodge a domestic violence complaint.
On being contacted, a senior police officer, who did not want to be named, said that necessary steps have been taken and it is expected that officers-in-charge of all police stations will follow the commissioner’s order on registering complaints at the first instance.