Delhi HC pulls up Police for not acting on complaints by poor people

Delhi HC pulls up Police for not acting on complaints by poor people

Ashutosh Gambhir

The Delhi High Court recently came down heavily on the Delhi Police for not taking appropriate action on a complaint lodged by a man whose wife had gone missing.

The petitioner, one Anil Kumar, who works as a private guard, had lodged a missing person’s report at the Safdarjung Enclave Police Station, Kumar even gave the complete particulars of the person with whom he thought his wife had gone, including his name and mobile number.

Despite the said complaint being lodged, no steps were taken by the Delhi Police to locate the missing wife. It was only after the Court directed the cops to take action and file a status report that the missing wife was located.

After the wife was produced in court, the judges interacted with her in chambers. She stated that she had started living with another man out of her own free will and had also converted to Islam. She also revealed to the Court that she had performed Nikaah and was pregnant.

The wife further stated that she wanted to continue living with the man with whom she had eloped. The petitioner stated that he would take steps to seek a decree of divorce.

On hearing this, the Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and PS Teji observed that under the circumstances, no further orders were required to be passed so far as the writ petition is concerned.

However, the Bench made scathing remarks regarding the approach of the Delhi Police while dealing with complaints made by people of low economic standing. The Bench observed,

“It is very regretful to state that a common man on the street has no voice, and very often complaints made by the poor people such as the petitioner, who serves as a private guard earning paltry amount of Rs.8,000/- or 9,000/- per month, go unheeded.

Had the police acted swiftly on the petitioner’s complaint in the present case, may be the situation would have been different. Pertinently, the petitioner and Radha have a son, who is now 5 years of age, and he has been left without the love, care and attention – which he is entitled, of his mother. It is squarely the lapse on the part of the police, which is responsible for the present state of affairs in the present case.”  

The Bench observed that the report filed by the police stating that the matter, had been sent to senior officers for taking action, only amounts to lip service. The Bench also stated that the SHO of the Safdarjung Enclave Station was trying to protect the erring police officers.

The Court directed the Commissioner of Police to initiate disciplinary action against the erring police officials, including the SHO of the Safdarjung Enclave Police Station.

It was further directed that,

“The Police Commissioner should take steps to sensitize the police force in Delhi to be more receptive and responsive to complaints received from public at large, and not to trash them unactioned merely because the complainant is not a man of means, or has no social standing or connections.”   

The matter will be next heard on December 18.

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