In an aam-aadmi-friendly move, Mumbai police chief Dr Satyapal Singh has instructed the police not to ask people who have lost property such as mobile phones or valuable documents for an affidavit. In an order sent to all police stations, Singh said that there are provisions for such demands — which create unnecessary obstacles — in the law. He warned officers that stern action would be taken against those who were found guilty of indulging in the practice.
The order, a copy of which is with dna, states: “If an expensive product such as mobile phone or valuable documents such as passport, certificate, cheque book or licence go missing, and if any person comes to the police station, then it is mandatory for the on-duty policeman to register a complaint with details such as how and under what circumstances the said valuables went missing and give a certificate to the victim. He should also register the said incident in the station diary.”
The said certificate should contain description of the lost property, details about the property and number of the station diary, the order reads.
“However, it has been observed that in many police stations, the duty officers have asked complainants to bring in affidavit from notary for such lost property cases. They even refuse to register such cases in the station diary if the victim didn’t bring the affidavit from a notary,” the commissioner said in his order.
“It is illegal and objectionable. In fact there is no such provision in the existing laws which ask for affidavit from the complainants for registering such cases. Despite this fact, duty officers are making such demands and create hurdles in the process. It is creating a misunderstanding among the general public and maligns the image of the police force,” the order reads.
“In the above circumstances, it is ordered that if police officer or on-duty policeman demands for the affidavit from the complainant for registering the case, a serious note will be taken of it and strict departmental action will be taken for this act. In these cases the police inspector on duty will be held responsible along with the duty officer. The senior police inspectors of all the police stations should inform their men about this order,” the commissioner states in the order.