How can ordinary citizens have confidence in the system if someone who walks into a police station to make a complaint is chained to a railing and then charged with the offence of obstructing an officer from discharging his duties, the Kerala High Court questioned the police today.
"How will ordinary citizens have confidence in the system? How can people walk into a police station in such a situation?" Justice Devan Ramachandran asked.
The queries were posed to the Kerala Police when the court was hearing a man's plea seeking protection from harassment by two police officers one of whom had allegedly chained him inside a police station after he sought a receipt of a complaint he had made.
Besides chaining him to a railing at the station, the officer also lodged an FIR against him under the Kerala Police Act for "obstructing a police officer from discharging his duties".
Terming the lodging of the case against the complainant as "an abuse of the process of law", the court asked how the police can say that an individual walked into a police station and stopped an officer from doing his duty.
"Are we living in a nation where there is no rule of law or Constitution?" the court asked and sought an action taken report from the police.
The court also observed that initially the officer in question was only transferred and only after judicial intervention in the matter was he suspended.
"How is transfer a punishment?" the court further asked.
The court also asked whether there was any CCTV footage of the incident as police stations are expected to have cameras in the public spaces where they deal with people.
It listed the matter for further hearing on November 26.