Parl panel sceptical of police data

Committee picks holes in Delhi Police stats on FIRs

When it comes to trusting police, even our parliamentarians have second thoughts. A parliamentary committee has now refused to go by the figures provided by Delhi Police on complaints against their personnel for non-registration of FIRs and even questioned their arguments.

The MPs cutting across party lines were not convinced by the reply given by Delhi Police on the issue of complaints and wanted an impartial method to look into such cases.

The remarks of the Standing Committee on Home Affairs, chaired by Congress MP P Bhattacharya, came in a report tabled in Parliament earlier this month while reviewing the action taken by Delhi police on their recommendation for a social audit and looking into complaints of non-registration of FIRs.

The committee had in February this year expressed its displeasure over police claim that only two out of 50 complaints of non-registration of FIRs were genuine.

While responding to the February report, the Union Home Ministry, which supervises the Delhi Police, stood by the claim and said that all the complainants had approached the vigilance unit with their complaints.

However, the panel in its report said it was “dismayed to note” that out of 50 complaints, only two were found to be genuine in a probe conducted by an ACP-rank officer.

“The committee is not convinced with the information provided,” the panel said. In a terse indictment, the MPs said, it was “unacceptable” for them to accept police claim, as it would mean that complainant made the complaint of non-registration of FIRs even after police registering FIRs.

The committee then asked police to include non-official members drawn from other government agencies and rights organisations in the vigilance unit to look into such complaints. “It is then only, impartiality and proper check and balance can be ensured and conflict of interest can be avoided,” it said.

In its February report, the panel said it believes that the number of instances when police officials refuse or discourage registering FIRs may be bigger than what has been claimed officially. “The victims out of fear do not complain against police officials,” it said.

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