Punjab Police Rules: A case of Caste and Prejudice
- VIPIN PUBBY*
Punjab Police Rules: A case of Caste and Prejudice



IT HAS TAKEN more than 70 years since the country achieved freedom to cast away a cloak designed by the British rulers in 1934 to identify people by caste and create a divide in society. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ordered the governments of the two states i.e. Punjab, Haryana as well as the Union Territory of Chandigarh to ask the police forces to do away with the practice of naming castes of complainants or the accused, apart from those filed under the SC/ST Act.

The Punjab Police Rules were drawn up in 1934 and stipulated that the caste of the complainant as well as the accused must be mentioned in the First Information Reports (FIRs). The practice has been followed by the police despite the changes in outlook and circumstance.

The provision was challenged in a PIL by advocate HC Arora before the High Court which directed the police authorities in the two states to file an affidavit giving an undertaking that FIRs would not mention the caste of either the complainant or the accused. The petitioner asserted that the requirement to disclose the "caste” was in conflict with the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Constitution. He stated that the 1934 rules were framed before the Constitution came into force and should be scrapped.

He argued that other alternative forms of identification, like the Aadhaar card, house number or ward number of the accused, witness or victim should be used.
 
The petitioner objected to the document, "Prison Statistics-2000”, published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for classifying prisoners according to their caste and religion. The latest report showed that 68.9 percent of convicts in the country were Hindus while 17.7 percent were Muslims.
------
The petitioner asserted that the requirement to disclose the "caste” was in conflict with the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Constitution.
------
The rest belonged to other religions. It specified that 30 percent convicts were OBCs while 35 percent belonged to the General Category and 21.9 percent were from the Scheduled Tribes.

Arora further brought to the notice of the concerned bench that the Himachal Pradesh High Court, in its order dated September 16, 2016, had directed the state government to delete caste from various forms prescribed under the Police Rules.

After hearing the petitioner earlier in April 2017, the then division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court headed by Justice SS Saron had issued notices to the Punjab and Haryana governments as well as Chandigarh, which follows Punjab rules. However, affidavits were not filed for more than a year prompting Justice PB Bajanthri of the High Court, before whom the case was recently listed, to direct the home secretaries of Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab to file affidavits.
 
Asserting that the disclosure of caste was likely to hamper investigation and prejudice the officials handling the case, Justice Bajanthri asked them to specify in the affidavit whether there was any provision, except in the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, to disclose the caste of the complainant or the accused. He said: "If there is no provision, why necessary official memorandum or circular be (not) issued to the Police Department asking the jurisdiction police not to highlight the caste of the complainant or the accused while lodging the complaint/FIR etc.”

Earlier this month, both the states and the Chandigarh administration informed the High Court that they were averse to the Punjab Police Rules framed in 1934, whereby an accused, complainant, et al is required to record their caste.
 
 

 

*(The author, a freelance journalist, is a former Resident Editor of Indian Express, Chandigarh, and reported on the political developments in Jammu and Kashmir, North-Eastern India, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in his long, illustrious career. This article was also published by IndiaLegallive.com and is being reproduced here with the due permission of the author. - Ed)

 

 

Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.

_______________________________________________________________

Most shared Punjab Today articles: 

WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron

DEATH EMBRACING LOGIC: Drugs in Punjab

PANJAB'S EMERGENCY: FORMAL AND INFORMAL

THE KASHMIR GOVERNOR, THE TRIBUNE TRUST & ETHICS - How Journalism Fails Readers?

"Congress Sikhan Di Dushman Jamaat Hai?” —Akalis need to dump broken record, shift gears

"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship

SARKAR IN MANALI: From Shahkot to Mohali Court, Sara Alam Bigrra Jaye

If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?

SIKHS & FEMINISTS – We hailed Harjit Sajjan; they didn’t hail Gina Haspel

AFTER BEING RAPED, I WAS WOUNDED; MY HONOUR WAS NOT

The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!

WE MISSED A REVOLUTION, BUT CAN IT STILL BE A GAME CHANGER?

A POLITICIAN SPEAKS – YOU SHOULD HEAR

ENCOUNTER, JULOOS & SELFIES

SOWING ANGER - NO QUICK FIX - Democracy is an Empty Ritual in Punjab

OUT-OF-BOX SOLUTION TO STOP FARMERS' SUICIDES

WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed

'THORRI BAHUTI EHNA NU SHARAM AUNI CHAHEEDI HAI'

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON SUICIDE-HIT BATS FOR AARHTIYAS

RANGROOT OFFERS A PEEK INTO PUNJAB'S TRAGEDY

WHAT MAKE NEWS IN INDIA, AND WHAT DOES NOT?

HITLER, MODI & GANDHI: ON THE SAME PAGE?

PUNJAB IS STILL VERY FAR FROM INDIA

APOLOGY – AKALIS BIG LOSER, CONG TOO 

AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER

SUPER EFFICIENCY ONBOARD CM’S CHOPPER

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties: The Coordinated Silence of Amarinder Singh & Badals

PM MODI VINDICATES PUNJAB TODAY REPORTAGE

NEW DELHI V/S OTTAWA — WILL QUEBEC DEFEAT INDIA?        

A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA - Trudeau came to Punjab, pushed Amarinder closer to BJP, then called him a liar

JASPAL ATWAL CONTROVERSY: Mr. Ujjal, will you throw some light on this too?   

TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE

J&K – RAM MADHAV LEAVES SPACE FOR MEHBOOBA’S POLITICS

SHEKHAR GUPTA'S HALF-BAKED TRUTHS 

OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES - Karze Ne Layee Ikk Hor Kisan Di Jaan...

PNB Scam: Who is Nirav Choksi and what he is doing In the name of God?

Congress upset due to Priyanka’s cleavage on calendar 

RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.

MR CLEAN to PAKKE DHEETH: How Punjab’s Congress hurt Brand Rahul Gandhi? 

MANJIT SINGH CALCUTTA– THE DISSENTER

PUNJAB FARMERS AND IPL CRICKETERS - Finally, they can stand like equals

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION. My teacher is not alive, but you please call it off!

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary  Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?

THE FINAL HONESTY CERTIFICATE: ISSUED BY THE TRIBUNE

NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah

MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL – On Amod Kanth’s badge of shame

RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS – Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity

_______________________________________________________________


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT






Comment

your name*

email address*

comments*
You may use these HTML tags:<p> <u> <i> <b> <strong> <del> <code> <hr> <em> <ul> <li> <ol> <span> <div>

verification code*
 








Most Visited
You may also Like

Topic Cloud

Archive






Copyright © 2016-2017







NEWS LETTER