Amidst talks of rising police atrocities across the country and after the formation of National Investigation Agency, former Chief Justice of India AM Ahmadi talks about current investigation system, difference in policing before and after independence and the need of scientific investigation technique with Zeenews.com’s Sharique N Siddiquie.
Regarding the difference between current police system and the policing before independence, Justice Ahmadi said that even the British never trusted their police. This is why according Police Act, 1861, which is still in effect, a confessional statement made before police is not admissible in any court of law. Though, today government is contemplating a law to make confessions admissible in court.
Laying emphasis on the concept of command responsibility of police, Justice Ahmadi said in a lighter vein that, which country apart from India has a ‘lathi’ wielding police.
Regarding the claim of police that they have to work constantly under political pressure, Justice Ahmadi suggested that, "There should be an independent authority for the transfer of police on the lines of CEC so that there will be minimal political interference.”
Emphasizing on scientific investigation techniques, he said, “Investigation is an art but our police never takes it that way. They rather resort to third degree torture.”
On the growing trend of encounter specialists, he said, “Under Section 299 of Indian Penal Code, encounters are considered culpable homicide and under Section 300, IPC, it is considered murder. Only after a detailed probe into the matter whether it falls under one of the exceptions in law, should an encounter be considered legal. But this is not happening.”
Also present there was noted activist Dr. Doel Mukerjee, who is spearheading a movement on police reforms, spoke over a variety of issues regarding police reforms.
On the issue of reforms in current policing system, Dr Doel said, "Most of the states in India are still governed by the colonial Police Act, 1861. But today, general people have become aware about the kind of police they have so they are asking for police reforms.”
Citing an example, she said, "There are 1.8 million cases of physical torture by police reported every year in India. Police themselves accept that they resort to third degree torture because ‘they have no choice’".
Citing police atrocities over 21 young boys who were picked up after Hyderabad blast, she said, "When it became clear that they were innocent, government announced an aid of a paltry Rs 30,000 to buy an auto rickshaw as a part of their rehabilitation. The amount was not even sufficient for an auto rickshaw but was a partial payment.”
Asked about the problems faced by police she said, "Police also face a lot of problems like political interference. Their equipments are also not up to the mark and this problem was clearly evident during the recent Mumbai terror attacks. They are overworked and are not paid very well. But this should not be made an excuse to undermine their atrocities.”
The lecture was organised by Institute of Objective Studies, at India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi. Also gracing the event were former DGP and Vice Chancellor of Agra University, Professor Manzoor Ahmad, Dr M Manzoor Alam and Professor ZM Khan.