Like Hospital Service/Telecommunication Service Police Force is also Public utility Service provided by Government for Public Safety and Peace. You need not get alarmed just by the word “Police” & “Police Station”. I want everyone to know the basics of formation and working of police force and the responsibilities and obligations of a Police Officer and also the people should not hesitate or apprehend to approach the Police. One golden word I would like to share here is that “Nobody is above law” – “All are equal under Law” whether he is a Police or a Common man. Even Police Department works systematically according to set rules and regulations of the Government.
First people should know the Grades/Ranks of the Police Officer to whom they have to approach in a particular situation – for that the people should know some basics of rules/regulations/power assigned etc. of the concerned Police Officer.
In case the particular Officer refuses/rejects the requisition/Complaint made – people should know the next recourse to act immediately without getting panicked!
I wish – let Police Officer who interact day to day with public be more sensitive/humane to genuine problems/Complaints of the Public. Let HONESTY AND INTEGRITY prevail in every step of handling each and every case by the Police Officer.
My below write-up is based on Karnataka Police Act – India – For information of the subject concerning different states in India and other Countries abroad – kindly visit the Links I have attached. Here in my write-up I have given only few selected information and necessary sections which a person ought to know to exercise his rights and protect his interest. Though the write-up is little bit elaborate its worth reading because it gives a person an awareness of his rights and the ways and means of approaching or at the most it is definitely gives a person an enlightened approach to deal with certain situation in life.
There shall be one Police Force to the Entire State :
For the direction and supervision of the Police Force, the Government shall appoint an INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE (IGP) who shall subject to the control of the State Government exercise – such powers and perform such functions and duties and have such responsibilities and such authority as may be provided by or under this Act.
The Government may appoint such number of DEPUTY INSPECTOR GENERAL as it may deem fit and also by a general or special order direct that the Deputy Inspector General shall assist and aid the Inspector General in the performance, exercise and discharge of his powers,functions, duties, responsibilities and authority in such manner and to such extent as may be specified in the order.
COMMISSIONER: The Government may appoint a Police Officer not below the rank of a Deputy Inspector General of Police to be the COMMISSIONER of Police for the City of Bangalore or any other area specified in a notification issued by the Government in this behalf and published in the Official Gazette.
DEPUTIES AND ASSISTANTS TO THE COMMISSIONER:
The Government may appoint one or more Deputy Commissioners not below the rank of a Superintendent and one or more Assistant Commissioners of Police not below the rank of an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) or Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in the City of Bangalore or any area in which a Commissioner has been appointed.Unless and other provided by or under the Act – The Commissioner is empowered to exercise his power or perform any function or duty under this Act notwithstanding the fact that such area forms part of a District within the territorial jurisdiction of the District Magistrate/a Superintendent.
SUPERINTENDENT/ADDITIONAL/ASSISTANT/DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENTS : a district or for one or more districts a Superintendent and one or more Additional Superintendents and such Assistant and Deputy Superintendents of Police, as it may think expedient.
SUPERINTENDENTS OF POLICE FOR WIRELESS SYSTEM/MOTOR TRANSPORT SYSTEM/FOR ANY SPECIAL DUTY : The Government may appoint for the whole of the State or any part thereof one or more Superintendents of Police as it may think fit :
1. For the Police Wireless System
2. For the Police Motor Transport System
3. For the Railway Police or
4. For the performance of such specific duties as the Government may from time to time determine in this behalf And the Superintendent so appointed shall exercise such powers and perform such functions as the Government may from time to time assign to him; provided that such powers and functions shall be exercised or performed subject to the control of the INSPECTOR GENERAL (IGP).
SUBORDINATE POLICE : Government may from time to time make, the appointment of Police Officers of and below the rank of Inspectors shall be made by the prescribed authority.
INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
DEPUTY INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE
COMMISSIONER OF POLICE
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER or SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER or ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE
SUBORDINATE POLICE/POLICE OFFICERS
DISTRICT MAGISTRATE TO DISCHARGE FUNCTIONS UNDER ORDERS OF GOVERNMENT
GENERAL POWERS OF COMMISSIONER AND SUPERINTENDENT :
The Commissioner subject to the orders of the Inspector General of Police and the Superintendent, subject to the orders of the Inspector General and the Deputy Inspector General of Police, shall within their respective spheres of authority, direct and regulate all matters of arms, drill, exercise, observation of persons and events, mutual relations, distribution of duties, study of laws orders and modes of proceedings and all matters of executive detail or the fulfillment of their duties by the Police Force under him.
SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE TO BE THE HEAD OF THE POLICE IN THE DISTRICT,SUBJECT TO THE GENERAL CONTROL OF THE DISTRICT MAGISTRATE.
POWER OF DISTRICT MAGISTRATE TO REQUIRE REPORTS FROM SUPERINTENDENT:
The District Magistrate may require from the Superintendent reports, either particular or general, or any matter connected with the crimes,habitual offenders, the prevention of disorder, the regulation of assemblies and amusements, the distribution of the Police Force, the conduct and character of any Police Officer subordinate to the Superintendent, the utilization of auxiliary means all other matters in furtherance of his control of the Police Force and the maintenance of order.
POWER OF SUPERVISOR – BY DISTRICT MAGISTRATE
If the District Magistrate observes any marked incompetence or unfitness for the locality or for his particular duties, in any Police Officer subordinate to the Superintendent, he may require the Superintendent to substitute another officer for any officer who he has power to transfer and the Superintendent shall be bound to comply with the requisition.
Provided that if the Police Officer concerned is an Officer of the grade not below that of an Inspector, the District Magistrate may report his conduct to the Inspector General. The Inspector General may, thereafter, determine the action to be taken and pass such orders as he thinks fit, and shall communicate such action or order to the District Magistrate.
WHY – WHEN – HOW & WHO WILL APPOINT SPECIAL POLICE OFFICERS:
Whenever it shall appear on an application of any Police Officer not below the rank of Sub-Inspector, that any unlawful assembly or riot or disturbance of the peace has taken place or may be reasonably apprehended in any place and that the Police Force ordinarily employed in the place is not sufficient for its preservation and for the protection of the inhabitants and the security of property in the place, the Commissioner, the Superintendent or any First Class Magistrate, or any other Magistrate specially empowered in this behalf by Government, may by a written order signed by him self and sealed with his own seal appoint eighteen and fifty and resident in any neighborhood to be a Special Police Officer to assist the Police Force, during such time and within such limits as the Commissioner, the Superintendent or Magistrate shall deem necessary.The employment or deputation of such additional Police Officer may be made at the request of any person requiring such Police and the cost of such employment shall be recovered in such manner as is provided by or under this Act or under any other law for the time being in force.
FEW USEFUL TIPS TO GENERAL PUBLIC
POWER OF COMMISSIONER OR THE SUPERINTENDENT AND OF OTHER OFFICER TO GIVE DIRECTION TO THE PUBLIC:
In areas under their respective charges, the Commissioner and subject to his orders, every Police Officer not inferior in rank to a Sub-Inspector, and the Superintendent and subject to his orders any Police Officer not lower than such rank as may be specified by the Government in that behalf may from time to time as occasion may arise give such orders either orally or in writing as may be necessary to:
- Direct the conduct of, and behavior or action of persons constituting processions or assemblies in or along the streets;
- Prescribing the routes by which and the times at which any such proceed may or may not pass;
- Prevent obstructions on the occasion of all processions and assemblies and in the neighborhood of all places of worship during the time of worship and in all cases when any street or public place or place of public resort maybe thronged or liable to be obstructed;
- Keep order on and in all streets, quay, wharves and at and within public bathing washing and landing places, fairs, temples and all other places of public resort;
- Regulate and control the playing of music or singing, or the beating of drums,tom-toms, and other instruments and the blowing or sounding of horns of other noisy instruments in or near any street or public place;
- Regulate and control the use of loudspeaker in or near any public place or in any place or public entertainment;
The Commissioner and the District Magistrate, in areas under their respective charges or any part thereof, may make, alter or rescind orders not inconsistent with this Act :
- Power to make orders for regulation of Traffic and for preservation of order in public places, etc. –
- Authorization of erection of barriers on streets.
- Power to make rules prohibiting disposal of the dead except at places set apart.
- Power to prohibit certain acts such as carrying arms, swords etc,exhibition of persons corpses or figures or effigies, public utterance of cries, singing playing of music, carrying any corrosive substance for prevention of disorder – The authority empowered under this section[(Sec.35(1)] may also by order in writing prohibit any assembly or procession whenever and, for so long as it considers such prohibition to be necessary,for the preservation of the public order.Provided such prohibition shall remain in force for more than fifteen days without the sanction of the Government.
- Power to prohibit etc.,continuance of music, sound or noise. – If the Commissioner, the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent or Deputy Superintendent or any other Magistrate of the First Class having jurisdiction in any area – is satisfied from the report of an officer in charge of a Police Station, or other information received by him that it is necessary to do so in order to prevent annoyance, disturbance or injury or risk to the public or to any persons who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity,may by a written order issue such directions as he may consider necessary to any person for preventing, prohibiting, controlling or regulating the incidence or continuance in or upon any premises – continuance of music, sound or noise.The authority – may either on its own motion or on the application of any person aggrieved by an order made under sub-section either recind, modify or alter any such order. Provided that before any such application is disposed of, the said authority shall afford the applicant an opportunity of appearing before it either in person or by legal practitioner and showing cause against the order and shall, it it rejects any such application either wholly or in part record its reasons for such rejection.
- Licensing use of loudspeakers etc. : On the Application – the Superintendent or in such local area by such other Officer as the State Government may b notification in the Official Gazette specify in this behalf – be competent to grant a license for the use of Loudspeakers or other apparatus for amplifying any musical or other sound.
- Issue of Orders for prevention of Riot etc.- In order to prevent or suppress any riot or grave disturbance of peace, the Commissioner or in his absence and subject to his control the Deputy Commissioner of Police and the Superintendent within the areas under their respective charges, may temporarily close,or take possession of any building or place, and may exclude all or any persons therefrom or may allow access thereto to such persons only and on such terms as he shall deem expedient.In the event of any dispute in any case as to the amount (if any) to be paid and as to the person to whom it is to be paid such dispute shall be decided by the Judicial Officer exercising powers and performing the functions of a Magistrate of the First Class.
- Issue of orders for maintenance of order at ceremonials etc.
- Police to provide against disorder etc., at places of amusement and public meetings.
- Discontinuance of use of premises by disorderly persons – On Complaint being made – that any house in a city, town or village is used as a common lodging house, place of resort for disorderly persons of any description, to the annoyance of the inhabitants of the vicinity, the said Commissioner or Magistrate may summon on owner or tenant of the house to answer the Complaint and on being satisfied that the house is so used may order the owner or tenant of the house so used, within a reasonable period, which shall be set forth in the order, to discontinue such use of it.
- Special measures to prevent outbreak of epidemic disease at fair etc. Whenever it shall appear to the Commissioner or District Magistrate that any place in the areas under their respective charges, at which, on account of pilgrimage, fair, or other such occurrence, large bodies of persons have assembled or are likely to assemble is visited or will probably be visited with an outbreak of any epidemic disease, he may take such special measures and may, by public notice, and after consultation with the Health Officer of the area concerned or other prescribed officer of the Department of Public Health, prescribe such regulations to be observed by the residents of the said place and by persons present thereat or repairing thereto or returning therefrom, as he shall deem necessary to prevent the outbreak of such disease or the spread thereof.
EXECUTIVE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE POLICE
65. Duties of a Police Officer.- It shall be the duty of every Police Officer:-
(a) promptly to serve every summons and obey and execute every warrant or other order lawfully issued to him by competent authority, and to endeavor by all lawful means to give effect to the lawful commands of his superior;
Chapter VI (Ss. 65 to 77) : Powers of Police Officer – The powers of a police officer under the Act require him to take preventive steps either by directing the persons about to commit an offence to remove themselves from the premises or by taking necessary action himself to remove them as to prevent the commission of the offence complained of.
Scope – Even for ‘suspects’ history sheet has to be opened. To label a person as professional criminal. It must be borne out from the records that he has chosen crimes as his profession. The words ‘addicted to crime’ may include professional criminals. There is no statutory provision in the Police Act, directly dealing with surveillance. The person who is accused of an offence or who is facing a trial though suspected of the commission of an offence in common parlance is not a €suspect’.
(b)to the best of his ability to obtain intelligence concerning the commission of cognizable offences or designs to commit such offences;
(c) to lay such information and to take such other steps, consistent with law and with the orders of his superior, as shall be best calculated to bring offenders to justice;
(d) to prevent the commission of offences; 1 [(da) to prevent the breach of public peace;]
(c) to prevent to the best of his ability the commission of public nuisances;
(f) to apprehend without unreasonable delay all persons whom he is legally authorised to apprehend and for whose apprehension there is sufficient reason;
(g) to aid another Police Officer when called on by him or in case of need in the discharge of his duty, in such ways as would be lawful and reasonable on the part of the officer aided;
(h) to discharge such duties as are imposed upon him by any law for the time being in force.
Section 65 (d): Order of injunction granted by civil Court – Section 65 (d) of the Act provides that it shall be the duty of every police officer to prevent the commission of offences. The scope ofthis Section cannot at all be replaced higher or be construed as wider than that of Sections 149 Cr. P.c. what is stated in connection with Section 149 Cr. P.C. equally applies to this section also. Police should act in aid of order of the injunction granted by Civil Court.
I[(i) to communicate without delay to the appropriate officer of a local authority any information which he receives, of the design to Commit or of the commission of any offence under the relevant law constituting such local authority or under any rule, bye-law regulation made under such law;
(j) to assist any officer or servant of local authority or any person to whom the powers of such officer or servant has been lawfully delegated, reasonably demanding his aid for the lawful exercise of any power vesting in such officer or servant of the local authority or such person, under the relevant law constituting such local authority or under any rule, bye-law or regulation made under such law.]
66. Power to enter places of public resort.- Every Police Officer may, subject to the rules and orders made by the Government or by a person lawfully authorized enter for any of the purposes referred to in Section 65 without a warrant and inspect any place of public resort which he has reason to believe is used as a shop for the sale of liquor or intoxicating drugs or a place of resort of loose and disorderly characters.
67. Power to search suspected persons in a street.- When in a street or a place of public resort a person has possession or apparent possession of any article which a Police Officer in good faith suspects to be stolen property, such Police Officer may search or examine the same and may require an account thereof, and, should the account given by the possessor be manifestly false or suspicious, may seize such article and report the facts to a [Judicial Magistrate] who shall thereon proceed according to Sections 523 and 525 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, or any other law in force.
68. Duties of Police Officers towards the Public.- It shall be the duty of every Police
(a) to afford every assistance within his power to disabled or helpless persons in the streets, and to take charge of intoxicated persons and of lunatics at large who appear dangerous or incapable of taking care of themselves;
(b) to take prompt measures to procure necessary help for any person under arrest or in custody, who is wounded or sick and whilst guarding or conducting any such person, to have due regard to his condition;
(c) to arrange for the proper sustenance and shelter of every person who is under arrest or in custody;
(d) in conducting searches, to refrain from needless rudeness and the causing unnecessary annoyance;
(e) in dealing with women and children to act with strict regard to decency and with reasonable gentleness;
(f) to use his best endeavors to prevent any loss or damage by fIre; (g) to use his best endeavor to avert any accident or danger to the public.
69. Police to regulate traffic, etc., in streets:- It shall be the duty of a Police Officer-
(a) to regulate and control the traffic in the streets, to prevent obstructions therein and, to the best of his ability, to prevent the infraction of any rule or order made under this Act, or any other law in force for observance by the public in or near the streets;
(b) to keep order in the streets and at and within public bathing, washing and landing places, fairs, bazaars, temples and all other places of public resort and in the neighborhood of places of public worship during the time of public worship;
(c) to regulate resort to public bathing, washing and landing places, to prevent overcrowding thereat and in public ferry, boats and, to the best of his ability, to prevent the infraction of any rule or order lawfully made for observance by the public at any such place or on any such boat.
70. Persons bound to conform to reasonable directions of Police – All persons shall be bound to conform to the reasonable directions of a Police Officer given in fulfillment of any of his duties under this Act.
71.Powers of Police Officer to restrain, remove, etc.- A Police Officer may restrain or remove any person resisting or refusing or omitting to conform to any direction referred to in Section 70 and may either take such person before a [Judicial Magistrate] or in trivial cases, may release him when the occasion is past.
72. Enforcement of orders issued under Sections 35, 36 or 38.- Whenever notification has been duly issued under Section 35 or an order has been made under Sections 36 or 38 it shall be lawful for any [Executive Magistrate J in a district Police Officer to require any person acting or about to act contrary thereto to desist or to abstain from so doing and in case of refusal or disobedience, to arrest the person offending. Such [Executive Magistrate] or Police Officer may also seize at object or thing used or about to be used in contravention of such notification , order as aforesaid and the thing seized shall be disposed of according to the order of any District Magistrate having jurisdiction at the place.
73. Duty of Police to see orders issued under Sections 42, 54, 55,56 or 6381 carried out.- it shall be the duty of the Police to see that every regulation and direction made by an authority under Sections 42, 54, 55, 56 or 63 is duly obeyed, to warn persons who from ignorance fail to obey the same and to arrest any person who wilfully disobeys the same.
74. When Police Officer may arrest without warrant.- A Police Officer may arrest without warrant any person committing in his presence in any street or public place any non-cognizable offense punishable under this Act or under any rule made there under and for which no express provisions has been made elsewhere, or under any other law for the time being in force, if such person :
(i) after being warned by a Police Officer persists in committing such offence, or
(ii) refuses to accompany the Police Officer to a police station on being required so to do.
75. Police to take charge of unclaimed property.- 3[( 1) The Police shall take temporary charge-
(a) of all unclaimed property found by or made over to them; and
(b) of all property found lying in any public street, if the owner or person in charge of such property in being directed to remove the same, refuses or omits to do so.
4[(2) The taking of temporary charge of any property under sub-section (1) shall be forthwith reported to a Judicial Magistrate and the procedure laid down in Sections 457, 458 and 459 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, shall be applicable in respect of the disposal of such property as if it were property seized by a Police Officer under the said Code.
76. Police Officer may take charge of stray cattle.- A Police Officer may take charge of any animal which may be found straying in a street and may take or send the same to the nearest cattle pound and the owner and other person concerned shall thereon become subject to the provisions of the Cattle Trespass Act in force.
77. A superior Police Officer may himself perform duties imposed on his inferior, etc.-
A Police Officer of rank superior to that of a constable may perform any duty assigned by law or by a lawful order to any officer subordinate to him; and in case of any duty imposed on such subordinate, a superior where it shall appear to him necessary may aid supplement, supersede or prevent any action of such subordinate by his own action or that of any person lawfully acting under his command or authority, whenever the same shall appear necessary or expedient for giving more complete or convenient effect to the law or for avoiding an infringement thereof.