HT debate: It’s time rogue cops are hounded out
Corruption in the city’s police force has assumed unprecedented proportions with law-enforcement officials seeking personal gains, such as money or career advancement, through abuse of power by taking bribes in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation. Most of the lower-rung cops are underpaid and want to make a fast buck on the side.chandigarh Updated: Apr 01, 2015 16:21 IST
Corruption in the city’s police force has assumed unprecedented proportions with law-enforcement officials seeking personal gains, such as money or career advancement, through abuse of power by taking bribes in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation. Most of the lower-rung cops are underpaid and want to make a fast buck on the side.
Police force must improve functioning, salvage image
The image of the police force has been taking a beating for a long time and is getting more distorted with time. Nowadays corruption appears to have become the hallmark of the police with allegations and counterallegations, half-truths and absolute lies defining the force. Most residents feel the Chandigarh police does everything except what they’re supposed to do – policing – and imposing fines has now become their full-time job. The public always appears to be at the receiving end and the police department has never considered improving its tarnished image. The police should leave no stone unturned in making all-out efforts to improve its functioning and salvage its image. Though much has been lost already a lot more can be retrieved if sincere efforts are put in.
DK Garg, via email
Laws governing public law enforcement must be changed
The Chandigarh police department isn’t exactly known for honesty and corruption is endemic among the force. This can be seen at traffic signals where the cops deployed often let go offenders after taking a bribe. Junior police officers are busy serving their own selfish interests while the senior ones are deputed in a particular area of the city for a limited period. The police force is currently governed by provisions of the existing Police Act of 1861, which has seen only a few changes. Thus a complete overhaul of all laws on policing is absolutely necessary.The present procedure on recruiting police officers too needs to be changed as does the interrogation methods used by cops. At the same time policemen must perform their duties in a professional manner and with integrity, common sense and sound judgment. Their way of functioning should be totally transparent. There should also be a workable system to redress public grievances against the police and the administration must ensure accountability within the police force.
Manjinder Pal Singh, SAS Nagar
Rot in police force has deepened, radical overhaul required
There is no denying that daring daylight robberies, daredevil bank heists and several other crimes cannot be committed without the connivance of our shaky law and order machinery, which has earned it the epithet of ‘criminals in khaki’ as in many criminal cases the police have been found to be on the wrong side of the fence. Though several so-called inquiries against rogue cops are conducted, almost all of them found to be involved in irregularities are acquitted later. The rot in the system has deepened and, it appears, is here to stay for good, given the burgeoning number of corruption cases against the so-called custodians of the law. The entire policing system has to be revamped and efforts should be made to portray cops as more “people friendly” by giving their image a big makeover. And, tougher laws are needed to weed out corruption among the police.
Ramesh K Dhiman, Chandigarh
Recruitment of police officers should be based on merit
Police recruitment should be based on merit and not other considerations. When politicians control the police, which is often the case, then everyone in the force, from top to bottom, is compromised. Who will check whom? Of course, there are always some good police officers in the UT police department but these days the SHOs seem to rule the roost at police stations. The answer lies in thoroughly cleansing the system, from recruitment to the functioning of the police force. At the same time, it’s not right to blame the police every time.
Col RD Singh (retd), Ambala Cantt
Police functioning not transparent
Though the police force ought to be more vigilant its law enforcement duties the reality is often otherwise. Though it is supposed to be a “friend” to the public, it often acts like a foe. What is even worse, the police department shields its “black sheep” and its internal functioning is usually not transparent.
MPS Chadha, SAS Nagar
Police corruption imposes enormous costs on country
Widespread corruption in the police force imposes a huge cost on developing countries making the transition to a democracy. Policemen have seemed to have forgotten the law enforcement oath they took when they entered the profession and now they have forgotten all oaths of serving the humanity and it’s about time they were reminded again about their duty to serve citizens. On the other hand, the common people also need to understand the importance of observing all laws.
Shikha Pahwa, Panchkula
Errant cops should not be shielded
The police whose job it is to maintain law and order and prevent crime at all costs and enforce laws must learn to practise restraint in dealing with citizens so that their property and well-being remain secure. The internal mechanism of the UT police department will never work efficiently and effectively if it continues to shield or ignore the “black sheep” within.
SS Bhatti, Chandigarh
Police should make identities of dishonest cops public
The Chandigarh police’s reputation has been severely dented. Not just corruption, cases of policemen indulging in crime have become all too common. How can the public trust a police force whose members are breaking the laws instead of upholding them? And. instead of being penalized they are protected. The UT police should swing into action to bring rogue cops to light and make their identities public so that the common man is not deceived by their uniform and put them behind bars.
Arshdeep Kaur, Chandigarh
Submission of false statements in courts has become routine
There is no fear of the law as wrongdoers know they will be let off the hook due to the long delays in the criminal justice system. Submission of false documents and statements in the courts by both the police and those charged with various crimes has become a routine matter, leading to delays in grant of justice. Section 340 of the CrPC is a plausible remedy but the procedure to implement it ensures it is hardly ever used and even higher courts are not in its favour. Contempt of court is another potent weapon against offenders, which too needs to be used more often with exemplary swift punishment.
Lt Col Anil Kabotra (retd), Panchkula
Complete overhaul of the system is required
Virtually all government departments dealing with the public are mired in corruption and the UT police force is no exception. To deal with corrupt cops is the job of the police department’s vigilance wing that is responsible to keep tabs on irregularities. To effectively root out corruption honest and impartial officials must be posted in the wing and strict action must be taken against cops found to have indulged in taking bribes and other irregularities. In fact, to eradicate corruption, a complete overhaul of the system is required.
Paras R Kalotra, SAS Nagar
Low salaries a major cause of police corruption
Corruption is omnipresent in India and the Chandigarh police is no exception. Though the media has exposed several scams have things changed in this country? No. How can we blame a poorly paid police constable or SHO for trying to make a fast buck on the side when their bosses are doing the same thing, but on a much larger scale?
SK Khosla, Chandigarh
It’s high time much-hyped police reforms are implemented
Why single out the UT police when corruption among law enforcement agencies is widespread all over the country. In fact the Chandigarh police force may be better off in its functioning when compared to those in other states. On their part the police personnel work under a lot of pressure and constraints but in turn enjoy relative impunity when indulging in corrupt practices. Unless the much touted and long awaited police reforms are implemented, we can’t expect any major change in police functioning.
Tejinder Singh Kalra, SAS Nagar
Police force doesn’t command much respect among public
The police force does not enjoy much respect among the public in this country because of various factors. First of all, many cops misuse their powers. Secondly, they extract money and favours from people and, thirdly, they often threaten to book people in false cases. This is the real face of our police. We see on TV channels how cops use their batons inhumanly on protesters, irrespective of their gender. Residents of Chandigarh are slightly lucky that the city’s police force is not so openly brutal as in many other states. However, cops here are not free from taking bribes as they are not well paid. Crime in the city has risen rapidly and it’s the duty of the administration to improve the lot of policemen and provide them better facilities to keep them away from indulging in such illegal practices.
DP Gautam, via email
Lavish lifestyle of police top brass smacks of corruption
A common man may ask a simple question –why are the police there at all? And the answer may be – to protect citizens from criminals. But if policemen themselves get involved in unlawful activities who will save the public? Deploying Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials to keep a watch over policemen is shameful. The lavish lifestyle of the police top brass and even middle ranking officials is living proof of the corruption within the UT police.
Upendra Bhatnagar, Zirakpur
Checks & balances in police force needed to weed out corruption
It’s unfortunate that the UT police force has become synonymous with corruption. The police are civil society’s guardians whose task is to ensure safety, security, justice and efficient policing. But when they start compromising on their duties for the sake of pelf, who can protect the common people? It is disheartening that the Chandigarh police’s vigilance department recently took tough action against only two dishonest cops but cleared a large number of others. This shows the vigilance wing is shielding corrupt police officials. There should be some checks and balances in the police department to weed out corruption.
Amar Jeet Kumar, SAS Nagar
Tough laws to punish errant police officers should be enacted
The police department in almost every state has drawn severe criticism for its apathy towards the public, whose security and protection is their prime duty. There is no effective mechanism to nab and punish police officials with doubtful integrity. Past incidents have clearly shown even the CBI has failed to improve matters and clean up the police’s image. It’s high time tough laws are enacted to mete out exemplary punishment to errant police officers to deter others from indulging in malpractices.
Ashok Kumar, via email
Police top brass must dohonest introspection
The police are supposed to provide security to the public but its image has been severely tarnished by the deep rooted corruption prevailing in the force. The time has now come for the police top brass to undertake a serious and honest introspection to locate the areas where corruption is endemic. In order to restore the trust and confidence of citizens they should ensure an inbuilt mechanism is in place to identify, catch and punish corrupt cops before it is too late.
Col SK Aggarwal (retd), Panchkula
Efforts should be made to change public perception about police
Although the UT police force is better than police forces in other states in many ways, yet much needs to be done not only to sensitise them but to effect a substantial change of perception in the minds of the public. The police need to establish itself as a friend of the people, whose duty us to protect them and their rights and provide assistance in adverse situations. New ideas coupled with an innovative and professional approach can go a long way to enable the police to bring about a perceptible change in public attitudes.
DS Banati, SAS Nagar