Police should have social commitment, says Kerala HC, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

KOCHI: Ill-treatment of the public by police personnel will not change unless they recognize that the citizens are their masters and that they should have a social commitment in their actions, the Kerala high court said on Thursday.

In an interim order, justice Devan Ramachandran said police personnel involved in atrocities against the citizens should be made to realize that their actions won’t be tolerated in a civilized society. The court said it is the supervising authorities within the police department that have to bring about the change meaningfully and effectively.

The court was considering an action-taken report filed by the state police chief regarding the implementation of the court’s judgment directing for steps to improve the police’s behavior, especially avoiding the use of terms such as ‘eda’ and ‘edi’ to address citizens. The court said, prima facie, it appears that several instances of bad behavior by police officers have come to light even after the judgment.

Noticing this, the court said in the order (WP-C No. 11880/21), “This is exactly what the Court has been saying in the past orders and judgments. Unless the Officers are inculcated with the culture of recognizing that the citizens are their masters and that they have a social commitment in their actions, a real change may not be possible. Mere in terrorem (in fear) orders or circulars would not really serve purpose, until such time as the officers are made to understand that misbehavior and violence in their actions – particularly, which is not warranted as per their duties – will not be tolerated and unacceptable, in a civilized culture. The culture of police will have to now undergo a change and the orders and judgments of this Court are only a step in that beginning. It is certainly for the Supervising Authorities in the Police Department to ensure that such a change is brought out meaningfully and effectively.”

The order then said it would not be possible for the court to close the proceedings at this stage as further evaluation of the impact of the judgment of the court will have to be made in the days to come. The court will hear the case again on December 12th.

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