Supreme Court raps Bihar, Punjab on police excesses

Supreme Court slammed Bihar and Punjab governments for police excesses saying beating up people was "animal behaviour" and sent notices for implementation of its direction on police reforms.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Bihar and Punjab governments for recent incidents of police excesses saying the beating up of innocent and unarmed people was "animal behaviour" and issued notices to the Centre and all states on the issue of implementation of its direction on police reforms.
Taking strong view of the beating up of a girl in Punjab and school teachers in Patna by police personnel, the court issued notice to chief secretaries, home secretaries and DGPs of all states and police commissions of UTs on implementation of the court`s directions in the Prakash Singh case on police reforms.

A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi also directed the DGPs of Bihar and Punjab to file personal affidavits giving explanations for the incidents. The SP of Patna and SSP of Tarn Taran districts were also directed to file the affidavit.

"How can police act in such manner? How can a woman be treated in this way? There must be some norm for police to handle such situations," the bench said, adding, "Time has come to undertake some exercise to stop such incidents and some concrete action must be taken by the state.

"... Innocent and unarmed people were beaten up in these incidents. This is animal behaviour..."

The court passed the order after it took suo motu cognisance of media reports about the two incidents.

On March 4, the girl was thrashed by police constables when she had approached them along with her father for lodging a complaint against harassment by a truck driver and his accomplices in Tarn Taran district.

In the other incident, Bihar Police personnel on March 5 resorted to baton charge and fired tear gas shells during a protest by contractual teachers outside the Assembly in Patna demanding regularisation of their jobs and pay parity with regular teachers.