Months after enacting a law to jail police officers who refuse to file FIRs for crime against women, the home ministry has asked all states to respond to complaints from men as well with alacrity and apprehend the accused before they slip away.
The home ministry cited Supreme Court judgments to ask the police to register the first information report (FIR) on receiving information about a crime being committed, without worrying if the crime was committed in their jurisdiction or not.
The home ministry advisory focussed on ensuring that the police did not delay registration of FIRs assuring the states that cases registered by the police, which may relate to another police station’s jurisdiction, would not be quashed on this ground.
“It may also be emphasized that police services should be sensitized to respond to complaints with alacrity whether is from a man or a woman,” the advisory by joint secretary S Suresh Kumar said.
Kumar asked the police to apprehend the accused immediately after a complaint is filed “as there is a tendency of the person committing the crime slipping away” in case of delay on extraneous grounds such as jurisdiction.
Officials clarified that this did not imply that the police should routinely arrest all accused in violation of guidelines stipulated by the Supreme Court in its DK Basu judgment of 2002.
In this judgment delivered in a custody death case, the court had laid down that the police should not routinely arrest the accused in all cases.
Instead, the SC laid down that the suspect should be arrested only if the police was reasonably satisfied about the accuracy of the allegation, it was necessary to restrain his movement to infuse confidence among terror struck victims or he was likely to abscond.