All police officers will now have to take cognizance of a complaint within 24-hours of it being filed. Home Minister R.R. Patil on Monday announced a new scheme to make the police force more responsive to people.
“People complain that their complaints do not get addressed and we want to make sure that 24 hours is the upper limit for doing so,” said Patil after the meeting with senior home officials and police officers at Mantralaya where it was decided to bring in this rule.
“In case of complicated cases like murders, one understands that investigations take time. But in small cases, it is better issues get resolved or they end up snowballing into a bigger issue. If this is not followed and we receive a complaint about the same we will take stringent action,” Patil said.
Patil did not give the date for the implementation to begin. That will happen after a notification is issued by the department.
Along with fixing a deadline for solving issues, officers will have to stay in their offices every Tuesday from 2 pm, to hear citizens’ complaints. Citizens facing problems including petty issues, domestic issues or even bigger issues relating to land disputes can go to the nearest police station on a Tuesday.
The decision taken by the state home department will be applicable to all district police officers, inspectors and deputy superintendents of police across the state. Patil said the government realised there was a need for direct interaction between the police and the public for better justice.
If the issue can be locally handled, the complainant should go to the local police station, and to higher officials if the nature of the complaint is complicated, Patil explained.
Officers, he said are expected to stay in their offices during this time and only emergencies will be accepted as a reason for their absence.
In case senior officers such as the Inspector General of police, Superintendent of police or even Deputy Commissioners and Commissioners of Police are visiting smaller areas, people should be appraised about their visit and a part of their time should be scheduled for meeting citizens, he added.
“The lower rung officers will feel encouraged looking at their seniors taking interest in interacting with people,” Patil said.