The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday said that the Police Officers take a lot of abuse from people but their work deserves appreciation and acknowledgment so that they are inspired to do more service effectively.
The Bench of Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul) also added too often, the hard and dangerous work that the police officers do, goes unnoticed or at least unrecognized and that most people don’t really think about what police do every day in their community until they need assistance from them.
"The uniform gives the public confidence though they being human too, may react emotionally. If you treat them with respect, they will reciprocate. Officers take a lot of abuse from people who don’t know them and simply don’t like the police. Showing a little respect will go a long way. But having power given by the statute there may be misuse, which the people rightly react to, at times. It’s easy to forget all the hard work and sacrifices police officers make on a daily basis. Everyone loves acknowledgement and appreciation, the Police are no different. Their work deserves appreciation and acknowledgement so that they are inspired to do more service effectively," the Court further remarked.
The court made these observations while refusing to quash criminal proceedings against 4 persons who have been accused of using fire-crackers on the roof of Banamalipur Police Quarter, abusing and obstructing the police officers to do their public duty and also assaulting them.
The Court noted that the noise and fire was sought to be stopped by the police personnel not only for the residents but also as there was danger of loss of life and properly in case of an accident by fire which the petitioners may not foresee.
Refusing to quash the proceedings against the petitioners the Court also observed that there is a substance in the allegations and material exists to prima facie make out the complicity of the applicants in a cognizable offence, which is triable by a court of sessions and as such, the Court refused to quash the proceedings.
The case in brief
As per the prosecution's case, during the Kali Puja in October 2017, the fours petitioners (3 of which are college-going students and one is an 11th-class student) were using fire-crackers on the roof of a police quarter and when they were stopped from doing so, they assaulted five police personnel and prevent them from discharging their official duties.
It has been further alleged that the petitioners/accused, booked under Sections 186/353/323/285/286/34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, were found with two boxes of chocolate bombs containing 24 pieces in one box and 10 packets of kalipatka each containing 14 pieces.
On the other hand, the petitioners' case is that they were not using chocolate bombs and were only celebrating kali puja and suddenly the police personnel came there and assaulted them which resulted in injuries for which they had to take treatment at the hospital. It was further submitted that it was a case of false implication.
Taking into account the attending circumstances in the case, the Court came to the conclusion that the ingredients of the offences alleged are prima facie present making out the commission of cognizable offences against the petitioners, and thus, it added that the proceedings, in this case, should not be quashed in the interest of justice.
"Quashing a proceeding of such a nature where there is prima material, will be an abuse of the process of law/court and will also give a very wrong message to the society as here in this case it is the protectors (in law) seeking justice," the Court remarked.
"At present, the only material before this Court is the charge sheet included in the case diary and at this stage, it is premature to come to a clear finding. The materials in the case diary and the charge sheet there make out a cognizable offence against the accused/petitioner and there is sufficient materials for proceeding against the accused/petitioner towards trial and the inherent power of the court should not be exercised to stifle a legitimate prosecution (in the words of the Supreme Court)," the Court added as it refused to quash the proceedings in the case.
Significantly, the Court also added that there are a lot of reasons to thank the local police department, and here are just a few of them:-
(a) Uncertain and dangerous work and duty. Every day police officers leave the station in order to protect us from any dangerous elements in our community. They put themselves in dangerous situations that could end with them being hurt or even killed—all in the name of public safety. That’s not a job that many people would be willing to do, and it’s sad that many of us ignore the good that police do on a daily basis, while continuously finding fault in them, their service and their departments, when we ourselves are far from perfect. A person has good and bad qualities put together, it is when the balance tilts on the side of bad that action needs to be taken so till then the good must be acknowledged and respected in all including the persons in uniform.
(b) They continuously face the bad, so that we can be safe sometimes even from ourselves (when we act against our own interest, example - rash driving, attempt to commit suicide). Police officers deal with troubled people in our society all the time. That’s not easy physically or mentally, but done in course of their duty and to earn their bread and butter, which we all yearn to do. We feel safe seeing the police around, though exceptions (very rare) are there in all streams. Their work is exhausting physically, mentally and emotionally and they are not compensated in proportion to the work done not even in the facilities extended.
Counsel for the Petitioners: Md. Sabir Ahmed, Md. Abdur Rakib, Mr. Biswajit Sarkar, Mr. Dhiman Banerjee.
Counsel for the State: Ms. Rita Dutta.
Case title - Sri Writuraj Sen & Ors. Vs The State of West Bengal & Anr. [CRR 534 of 2019]