Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Friday said he has lot of reservations about the behaviour of police officers in the country, Live Law reported.
Ramana made the remark while hearing a petition filed by suspended Indian Police Services officer Gurjinder Pal Singh seeking protection from arrest in the criminal cases filed against him in Chhattisgarh. The officer has been accused of sedition and extortion.
The chief justice spoke of “atrocities” committed by police officers and bureaucrats but did not specify any particular incident. “We are very disturbed by what the bureaucracy, particularly police officers, are doing,” he said, according to The Hindu.
Ramana added: “I was in favour of forming standing committees led by chief justices of High Courts to look into complaints of atrocities committed by bureaucrats, especially police officers, in this country.”
The chief justice’s comment came amid allegations that a property dealer in Uttar Pradesh died due to an assault by police officers during a raid at a hotel in Gorakhpur on Tuesday.
In August, Ramana had expressed concern about incidents of human rights violations in police stations. “The threat to human rights and bodily integrity are the highest in police stations,” he had said.
The government had told the Parliament on August 3 that across the country 348 people had died in police custody in the last three years.
The Chhattisgarh police officer’s case
In July, Chhattisgarh’s Anti Corruption Bureau and Economic Offences Wing had raided premises linked to Singh. Officials claimed that they found assets worth around Rs 10 crore during the raids. Singh allegedly acquired these assets through benami or proxy transactions.
They also claimed to have discovered documents showing Singh’s alleged involvement in a conspiracy against the government and public representatives.
The officer was also booked on charges of sedition the same month. Singh had accused the ruling Congress government in Chhattisgarh of targeting him because he was believed to have close ties with the previous Bharatiya Janata Party dispensation.
The suspended police officer had urged the Chhattisgarh High Court to quash the first information report against him, but the court rejected his plea. After this, Singh approached the Supreme Court.
While hearing the case on September 27, the Supreme Court had said that police officers who make money illegally should not be protected but jailed.