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Too many complaints, too little action

NEARLY ONE-THIRD of the total complaints made against police in the entire country were directed at Madhya Pradesh police. But when it came to action, the MP police authorities rejected 85 per cent complaints as unsubstantiated and only a negligible number were deemed fit for inquiry.

india Updated: Nov 22, 2006 17:12 IST

NEARLY ONE-THIRD of the total complaints made against police in the entire country were directed at Madhya Pradesh police. But when it came to action, the MP police authorities rejected 85 per cent complaints as unsubstantiated and only a negligible number were deemed fit for inquiry.

The national capital, Delhi, was second with 12.3 complaints per 100 policemen and Andhra Pradesh ranked third with a ratio of 9.5 complaints, as per the latest National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) report released recently for 2005.

In all, 61,560 complaints were received against policemen in the entire country and Madhya Pradesh police accounted for a staggering 19,748 complaints.

However, as far as taking action on complaints was concerned, the State has fared badly. Of these 19,000-odd complaints, the police declared 16,834 as unsubstantiated (or false) and among the rest, 588 cases were registered and only 52 were reported for departmental action and charge sheet filed in a mere 18 cases. When contacted, DGP A R Pawar assured that he will surely look into the matter. 

So many complaints were made from public to the senior authorities against the policemen that the State ranked at the top with a whopping 26.6 complaints per 100 policemen.

Meanwhile, in comparison, Andhra Pradesh received 7,453 complaints, of which it declared just 663 as unsubstantiated and registered 6,271 cases. The AP police took departmental action in 609 cases and filed charge sheet in as many as 6,220 plaints.

Perhaps it was such a dismal response to complaints that led the Supreme Court to recently ask all states to form the police complaint authority. The court gave the order on the petition of a former DGP regarding police reforms.

“The figures suggest that we take cognisance of each complaint unlike other states where public finds it difficult to even approach the senior authorities,” said a senior police official

on conditions of anonymity. “The department itself takes action against errant cops”, he added. However, the figures suggest that most of the complaints from outside the department are not taken seriously or rather common man hardly stands a chance when it comes to grievance with police. Cases were registered in just 2.9 per cent of all complaints received in the State compared to a corresponding 84 per cent in Andhra Pradesh.

Though the police do take action on its own and scores of policemen are suspended or dismissed on the basis of interdepartmental inquiries, it seems complaints from outside the department are not taken too seriously. These are generally complaints about demand for bribe, corruption charges, extortion et al.