Retired senior police officer Iqbal Singh held the "rotten police system" responsible for the incidents like the Shivali suicide.
"The behaviour of police has become anti-social. Instead of following laws laid down in the constitution, the police have started following its own laws as happened with Shivali," he said.
He said even higher police officers, up to the rank of director general of police (DGP), were facing charges in the court. "There is no political will to reform the system," he said.
Iqbal, known for his work during the militancy period, was speaking in a seminar organised at the Punjab Press Club on Wednesday on the role of media and police on women's issues.
The seminar was held in the context of the Shivali's suicide case. Shivali, a college-going girl, committed suicide after being humiliated by the police and photojournalists in front of public on August 30.
Iqbal said Shivali had not committed any crime by moving with her friend and the police had no business to humiliate her.
He said the laws clearly stated that even if a person was arrested on any charge, the police should take care that he or she was not humiliated.
He said the irony was that before Independence from 1808 to 1926, the British constituted ten commissions to reforms police. "But since Independence only one commission was set up in 1977, and its recommendations were never implemented."
Iqbal said people should be aware of laws and their rights. "Had Shivali known that she had not committed any crime, she might not have taken this extreme step."
Speaking at the seminar, senior journalist Satnam Manak said the media was not above the law nor above the society. He said the Shivali incident must make the media introspect its role.
Terming the suicide as an unfortunate incident, Punjab Press Club president Major Singh said it had shaken the whole society.
Several journalists and students of mass communication and journalism department of Doaba also participated in the seminar.