The SC advised that the “police must uphold the rule of law” and should not behave as an extension of the party in power.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V. Ramana on Thursday mentioned the plight of police officers caught between the rivalry of the political parties who come to power one alternatively. The CJI led Bench highlighted how the police officers become targets of political vendetta.
CJI Ramana orally stated that, when a political party is in power, the police officers side with the ruling party. Then when a new party gets into power, the new government initiates action against those officers who sided with the previous party in power.
This needs to be stopped, he further stated. The state of affairs in the country is sad and this trend needs to be checked in its tracks, the bench further stated.
Why the CJI said this?
These oral remarks came during the hearing of a plea by Gurjinder Pal Singh, suspended Additional Director General of Police for protection in a sedition case against him registered on the basis of a complaint filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, which alleged that certain documents seized from him during a raid indicated that he was involved in a conspiracy against the government and amassing of disproportionate assets.
After hearing the case, the CJI headed bench directed the Chhattisgarh Police not to arrest the senior suspended IPS officer Gurjinder Pal Singh in the two cases.
The Supreme Court, however, ordered IPS officer Singh to cooperate with the investigative agencies in the ongoing investigation.
The bench directed the government of Chhattisgarh to file its responses regarding the two separate petitions within 4 weeks during which police officer Singh will not be arrested.
Uphold the Rule of Law
The Supreme Court advised that the “police must uphold the rule of law” and should not behave as an extension of the party in power, if they do not wish to be targeted by the rival political parties.
Police must strive to uphold the rule of law, and if they do so, nothing will happen. If they favour one political party they will be targeted by its rival.
But the police siding with one political party and committing hara-kiri is a disturbing trend, commented the CJI. He further stated that the police department must be held responsible for this.
Human Rights in Police Station
Earlier this month, CJI Ramana had also stated that police stations pose the “highest threats” to human rights and dignity, both of which are ‘sacrosanct’.
He mentioned that the threat to bodily integrity and human rights is the gravest in police stations. And going by recent reports, even the privileged class is not spared third-degree treatment.
Police atrocities including custodial torture still prevail despite constitutional guarantees, CJI further stated.