In accordance with the existing laws of the land, various Government and departmental orders, and guidelines such as those issued by the NHRC, certain procedures have been evolved with respect of citizens’ dealing with the police. For the purpose of easy understandability and wide reach, this Citizens’ Charter is intended to provide a simplified outline of such procedures. It describes, in simple terms, what the citizens’ rights are, what they can expect from the police and what is expected of them in turn. The Citizen’s Charter is not supposed to be a compendium of the existing laws or a commentary thereon. For that, the citizens must refer to the laws and interpretations thereof as contained in various judgments. (The use of masculine gender in the following is Standard English—unless specifically mentioned, the concepts apply equally well to females as well.)
- You will be given a printed receipt when you submit a petition in person at any police station. It will not be possible to acknowledge petitions sent by post.
- You are entitled to make periodical enquires at the police station regarding the action taken on your petition after a reasonable time. Although, all efforts are made to attend to every petition as early as possible, expecting instant justice is neither practicable nor desirable.
- If a FIR is registered on the basis of your petition you will be given a copy of the FIR.
- If the FIR is not registered, you will be informed as to why it has not been found proper to register it.
- In strict legal terms, petition enquiry is not the job of the police particularly when it relates to matter that do not have a reasonable bearing upon the occurrence or the likelihood of the occurrence of a cognizable offence or a law and order/public order problem. If police has been attending to such matters, it should be regarded as a consequence of a historical compulsion. As such, it falls within the realm of social service. It means that disposal of petitions at the level of police stations must be regarded as a socially acceptable and, above all, expedient solution to such problems of the citizens for which they think that, due to various reasons, the police would be able to provide them a reasonable degree of succor without the hassle of their going through the stipulated channels and departments. Such a disposal should not be regarded as a substitute for a judicial remedy. If one does not have faith in the system, he is at liberty to get his grievances redressed through the prescribed channels and departments. Therefore, those petitioners and counter petitioners who affix their signatures in the petitions register are not expected to question either the integrity or the motives of the police in having arrived at a certain solution.
- When a citizen is arrested, he should expect that the police personnel carrying out the arrest and handling the interrogation of the arrestee will bear accurate, visible and clear identification and name tags with their designations.
- When citizens are arrested the procedure provides for the preparation of a memo of arrest at the time of arrest and that such memo will be attested by at least one witness who may either be a member of the family of the arrestee or a respectable person of the locality from where the arrest is made. It will also be countersigned by the arrestee and will contain the time and date of arrest.
- A person who has been arrested or detained and is being held in custody in a police station or interrogation or other lock-up, shall be entitled to have one friend or relative or other person known to him or having interest in his welfare being informed, as soon as practicable, that he has been arrested and is being detained at the particular place, unless the attesting witness of the memo or arrest is himself such a friend or a relative of the arrestee.
- If the next friend or relative of the arrestee lives outside the district or town, then the time, place of the arrest and venue of the custody of the arrestee is expected to be notified by the police to the concerned through the Legal Aid Organization in the district and the police station of the area concerned telegraphically within a period of 8 to 12 hours after the arrest.
- The arrestee, if he so requests, is entitled to be examined at the time of his arrest. Any major and minor injuries, if any present on his body will be recorded at that time. This “Inspection Memo” will be signed both by the arrestee and police officer effecting the arrest and its copy provided to the arrestee.
- The arrestees are entitled to be subjected to medical examination by a qualified doctor every 48 hours during their detention in custody.
- The arrestees may be permitted to meet their lawyers during the interrogation, though not throughout the interrogation.
- Whenever a woman is to be arrested, a woman police officer should, as far as possible, be a member of the arresting party. The arrest of women between sunset and sunrise is to be avoided.
- When the arrest is for a bailable offence, the arrested person is entitled to be released on bail and he may arrange for sureties on his behalf.
- If a person resists arrest, the police officer can use as much force as is necessary to effect the arrest. The force used must be proportionate to the actual requirement. No arrested person shall be subjected to more restraint than is necessary to prevent his escape.
- Arrested persons are liable to be searched. Search of a female is to be done by another female.
- Arrested persons may be subjected to Polygraph/Lie Detector Test only on the basis of their consent.
(Submitted to the Government for approval vide PHQ D.O. No. S1-78726/2003 dated October 18, 2003.)