The law is flooring policemen in Uttar Pradesh, section by section. Many of them do not know what different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) stand for.
Anil Kumar, the district magistrate of Aligarh, would know because he quizzed police officers on IPC sections.
The district’s station house officers, inspectors and circle officers cut a sorry figure on sections 107 (abetting crime) and 446 (house trespass at night) and had no clue about a few others as well.
Kumar has written to the senior superintendent of police, Satyendra Veer Singh, about his men not knowing the law, whose sections they clamp on people accused of wrongdoing.
Kumar termed his action an “internal and minor issue”, but it has forced the state’s top police officers to think of remedial measures. Babu Lal Yadav, director general (police training), has decided to seek “feedback” from the Aligarh police. Yadav said he would arrange “refresher courses” for UP police by the end of the year.
A quick check by HT across Allahabad, Meerut, Agra, Bareilly, Kanpur and Varanasi revealed police officers in these districts were, more or less, as ignorant as their counterparts in Aligarh. Asked about some IPC sections, a few said they would get back and some enterprising ones read out from the book.
In defence, senior police officers – both serving and retired – said it was “not possible” for anyone to remember, all the 511 IPC sections.
Former state DGP MC Dewedy said, “Barring commonly used sections, the officers would have to refer to the book.”
But what about sections 107 and 446 IPC? Yashpal Singh, another former DGP, said these were frequently used. “I am shocked to hear the police were ignorant of these sections,” he said.