Let's Build a Responsible Cyber Society




Supreme Court issues notices to DGPs

It is a common grievance of the citizens that police officers in charge of Police stations play around with their powers when a citizen approaches them for filing a complaint. If the complainant is not influential or if the Police feel that the case may be difficult to solve, they tend to avoid registration of the complaint. At best they will be sympathetic to the complainant and provide him some psychological re assurance. At the worst they may drive out the complainant stating that the complaint is not maintainable. In between there would be neutral officers who will receive the complaint and eventually dispose it off through the dustbin.

Naavi.org has been for a long time fighting for the right of a complainant (in the cyber crime area) to lodge a complaint. Cases have been reported in Bangalore earlier where the police officers have thrown a copy of ITA 2000 at the complainant and challenged him to show the section under which the complaint is chargeable and intimidate them to the extent that complainants stop approaching the police station again.

It is heartening to note that the Supreme Court has now sent notices to all States to ensure that in cases that the erring officers be prosecuted and sent to jail for neglecting duty. After the new DGP has taken over in Karnataka, an effort is being made for online complaint registration through the website http://www.ksp.gov.in. But the activation of the system is awaited.

We request that Karnataka Police should open this facility at the earliest and ensure that

a) every complaint filed through the website (Both for cyber crimes and others) should be immediately acknowledged with a complaint number.

b) The complaints should be forwarded to the relevant jurisdiction police under intimation to the complainant over e-mail. A copy may be sent to NCRB also.

c) Further the station in charge should contact the complainant for further details and complete the process of filing an FIR immediately under information to the web coordinator.

d) The web system then should follow up the disposal of the complaint periodically and generate MIS to the top Police officials and the State Home ministry.

e) If the SHO finds that the complaint is not substantiated, he should file his report to the web coordinator under copy to the complainant.

f) If the complainant is not satisfied with the rejection of the complaint, he can submit his objection to the web coordinator who should then escalate the complaint to the District SP

g) If the District SP rejects the appeal the reasons should be recorded and forwarded to the complainant and the DGP

h) If the complainant is still not satisfied, he can appeal to the DGP for a personal hearing.

i) If the DGP also rejects the appeal, the complainant may approach the judiciary.

This entire process of complaint handling should be recorded and archived and submitted to the Court as the follow up action taken by the Police in respect of the complaint. Court may at that time call for the investigator's diary to find out if the Police had applied their mind and conducted any preliminary enquiry before coming to the conclusion that the complaint was unjustified.

If the Court considers that the complaint was rejected unfairly, it may order suitable action against the Police officers.

Hopefully this will be a model system which Supreme Court may consider as compliance of its observations.


July 19, 2008