The average khaki-clad policeman's usually sacrosanct 'jurisdiction' just expanded to the very borders of Delhi. Shamed by the jurisdictional tussle that had taken place on the fateful night of December 16 -- both before and after a 23-year-old physiotherapist was demonically raped aboard a moving bus in south Delhi -- station house officers (SHOs) across the capital have been warned from letting a repetition occur.
"From now on, jurisdiction is of no consequence -- at least not when a victim, especially a woman, approaches a police officer; any police officer," a highly-placed source said.
"He will not only take action on the verbal complaint being made, but also take the complainant to the nearest police station where a zero FIR will be lodged. This can be transferred to the police station concerned later. In any case, immediate action has to be taken by the officer, who has been the victim's first point of contact with the police."An order to this effect, accessed by the Hindustan Times, was issued by the police commissioner after it was declared at a meeting with SHOs on January 2.
The blurring of jurisdictional lines aims to aid female complainants specifically and would be a welcome relief for victims of crimes at metro stations -- usually forced into the vicious cycle of visiting one metro police station after another to report a crime. It would also make the Delhi Police the only law enforcement agency in the world to have put such a measure in place.
The Delhi Police are often prone to such a tussle in almost every second case that they investigate. A vegetable vendor, later identified as Ram Adhar Singh, had been robbed by the six drunken people on the same bus minutes before they lured the hapless couple on board on December 16. When he had approached a policeman patrolling the street near the spot he had been thrown-off after being robbed, he had been told to go to a police station a good two kilometres away.
Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar confirmed that he had passed the said order.