Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Now love police more – they are coming to a place near you

Here is a recent directive in Karnataka police which aims to bring better and more conviction in dowry death related cases.  I cannot comment on the whole bureaucratic structure of police, CID etc as given in this news, but on reading this news it is clear that it is quite bureaucratic.  That apart, I did not find anything unusual except the last part of news which made me write this blog post.

Local police to handle dowry cases

MANGALORE/BANGALORE: Now onwards the relatives of dowry death victims or the complainants need not go to Bangalore all the way for justice.

Victims or complainants from Mangalore, Bijapur, Hubli or any other city or village, who had to go to Bangalore for getting the accused convicted, can now heave a sigh of relief.

The state government has planned to transfer the investigation powers from Criminal Investigation Department - CID (earlier Corps of Detectives - CoD) to the local police to speed up the investigation and prosecution, so that conviction rate in dowry death cases goes up.

The government has cancelled the power of investigation of CID in dowry death cases and asked the local police (deputy superintendents of police) to investigate these cases, with effect from January 1.

Earlier, except police commissionerates like Bangalore, Mysore and Hubli, all other districts used to transfer the dowry death cases to CID for further investigation.

Now, the district police will investigate such cases on their own.

Dowry harassment cases and dowry death cases have their own sensitivity.

Earlier, the local police were investigating these cases. But due to the negligent attitude of the SI-level officers and inadequate power that DySPs had, the government had handed over the power of investigation to the CoD (now CID) almost a decade ago.

“Now the situation has changed.

There are about 224 DySPs in the state and if dowry death cases are investigated by them, it will help the victim’s family to get relief early,” said DV Guruprasad, Director General of Police (CID).

“In September, 2009 the CID had requested the government to transfer the dowry death investigation powers to the local police. Hence, the government has decided to get such cases investigated locally. If the government refers any emergency or sensitive case, the CID will investigate it,” he said.

“The government’s decision will help solve dowry death cases fast. It will help the victim’s family and complainants, particularly from remote villages. It will also help raise the conviction rate,” A Subrahmanyeshwara Rao, Superintendent of Police told Express.

“The dowry death cases were registered at local police stations in the initial stage and simultaneously it was transferred to CID also. While registering a case, information about the accused were collected in detail," said an IPS officer.

"The dowry death cases took a minimum of 15 days to be transferred to the CID in Bangalore from the remote villages. This caused lapses in the investigation as well as procuring evidences," the officer said.

At least 25 per cent of the investigation made by the local police was a mere waste during the process of transferring the cases, he said.

The victim’s relatives, witnesses and others were then made to go to Bangalore many times for interrogation and for giving statements. In some cases, the complainants themselves preferred to turn hostile, the officer said.

Witnesses turning hostile was also a common thing. Police conducting investigation locally will always help the complainants and also the investigators,” the officer added.

It is the last part of news which is really the tragicomedy.  if witnesses are made to travel long distances to Bangalore, wouldn’t they prefer to turn hostile and save themselves the hassle?   If government has been given the right to collect taxes as per constitution, then it is also government’s duty to provide safety to citizens too.  If that means that detectives and police has to go to witnesses’ place for investigation, so be it.  How else it is supposed to be?


  1. You have grossly misinterpreted the statements. The 'last part of the news' which you say in your words in 'tragicomedy' is utterly wrong.

    Infact the last part refers to the situation that was prevailing earlier when the CID at Bangalore used to conduct the investigation.
    Now the change in situation would facilitate the witnesses as they would have to attend the local police stations for their statements, which is a positive move.

  2. I actually agree and I am all for local investigation... the tragicomedy I refer to is that such a common sense issue that witnesses should not have to travel far is made out to be into an 'important' decision for the benefit of public. In effect, they are undoing a probably wrong decision made earlier, and the earlier decision was made because supposedly the local police were not too effective. But the remedy at the time to centralize things at Bangalore was now probably realized as worse than the disease.

    So it remains to be seen what will be the fate of current state of affairs. Any decision taken in the face of not so competent police will ultimately not work out! The investigation must be done at near place of witnesses, and by competent police officers. Unless both are true, the bureaucrats of police will keep tinkering with changes without any benefit to public on the ground.