Choose officers to probe a case: Bihar DGP

Patna, Sept. 5: Dissatisfied with the performance of a police officer investigating your case? You can change him now, you just have to say it.

The state police headquarters has given directions to all police officers of the districts, asking them to immediately act upon a complaint against an investigating officer or supervising officer by the complainant.

The official concerned has to be replaced without any time being wasted.

DGP Abhayanand

DGP Abhayanand at the janata darbar in Patna on Monday. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey

Now, if a complainant wants the investigating officer of his or her case to be changed, it will be done immediately. No questions asked nor would the decision have to go through the usual maze of bureaucratic formalities.

Director-general of police Abhayanand, in a talk with The Telegraph on the sidelines of the chief minister’s janata darbar, said the move would help in infusing some amount of confidence among the people towards the police.

It was Abhayanand’s first attendance at the janata darbar after taking charge as DGP on August 31.

“There are many people who, in many ways, are dissatisfied with the performance of the investigating officer for their respective cases and want their removal and replacement. Earlier, the removal of the investigating officer depended upon the discretion of the senior officers. The police are planning to change this system now. If a complainant wishes the investigating officer to be removed, the senior police officer has to act upon the request immediately and carry out the change. No questions should be asked and it should be done immediately,” Abhayanand said.

The state police chief acknowledged the force was suffering from a crisis in confidence and that the people were wary about approaching the men in uniform.

“It is a fact that people have lots of complaints against the police. This move will at least give them the confidence that the police are listening to them and are working towards solving their problems,” he said.

Under the plan, a senior police officer in the district, who could be the station house officer (SHO) of a police station or the superintendent of police himself, should not question the complainant and should immediately replace the investigating officer. “This will give the people hope and assurance,” Abhayanand said.

The state police chief himself took the lead at the darbar.

He asked Patna senior superintendent of police Alok Kumar to act in accordance with the policy in connection with a case under the Alamganj police station of Patna City after a woman came and said she was not at all satisfied with the performance of the officer investigating her case.

“It is not that the replaced investigating officer will be held accountable for the alleged failure and action will be initiated unless the allegations are very serious and needs an investigation. But a replacement will have its effects,” Abhayanand said.

Also, the DGP said, a senior police officer supervising or holding investigations into any case of importance should immediately disclose the results of the supervision to those concerned with the case.

“There are quite a few important cases in which a senior police officer goes for an investigation. Directions have been issued that after the investigations, the officer should announce to the people about the course of the investigations, in which way things are moving and which party could be guilty.

“By doing this, the people will not have to wait to know the outcome of the police investigations. The people will be kept in the loop and will know in which way the investigations are heading. With the police officer on the field interacting with the people and telling them about the outcome, the people can expect more transparency,” Abhayanand told The Telegraph.

Police sources said that in most of the cases, the complainants remain dissatisfied with the officer investigating their cases.

“At the janata darbars of the superintendent of police, many people complain that the investigating officer is not doing a good job and that there are no proper investigations, arrests etc. With they being replaced immediately upon the request, things will get more clear and lucid,” a police officer in the state capital said.

Some other officers were sceptical, saying the order could be misused also. “Sometimes false cases are filed by people with vested interests. If they find the investigating officer is about to call their bluff, they could lodge a complaint and get him replaced. The idea is novel, but our bosses should be alert to such misuse of the order,” said an officer.

Source: The Telegraph

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