Bengal police regulation [Chapter II]

Police Regulations, Bengal – 1943


Relations with other departments

Relations of police officers with other servants of the Crown, local authorities and the public.

13. Position of Commissioners. – (a) The Commissioner, as the local head of the administration, shall exercise supervision and control over the action of the District Magistrate in police matters.
(b) Any order received from the Commissioner either direct through the District Magistrate shall be promptly executed by the Superintendent, who shall however, report it through the Deputy Inspector-General of the Range to the Inspector-General if it is of an unusual nature.

14. Relations between Range Deputy Inspectors-General and Commissioners and District Magistrates. [§ 12, Act V, 1861]. – (a) The Deputy Inspector-General of a Range shall keep in close touch with Commissioners and District Magistrates in regard to the maintenance of peace and the prevention and detection of crime in their respective charges, and shall do all in his power to establish harmonious co-operation between the police and the magistracy.
(b) He shall ordinarily communicate with the Commissioner by demi-official or unofficial notes and with District Magistrates through Superintendent but he shall make a point of having personal discussions with them at intervals, e.g., when he visits their headquarters.

15. Relations between Superintendent and District Magistrate. – (a) The Superintendent is the immediate head of the police force of the district and is responsible for all matters concerning its internal economy and management and for its efficiency and discipline. He is also responsible, subject to the general control of the District Magistrate, for the criminal administration of the district, and for the proper performance by officers subordinate to him of all preventive and executive duties.
(b) The District Magistrate has no authority to interfere in the internal organisation and discipline of the police force, but it is his duty to bring to the notice of the Superintendent all cases in which the conduct and qualifications of a police officer affect the general administration of his district.

(c) The District Magistrate may call for the papers relating to the conduct or character of any police officer of his district and may send them on to the Deputy Inspector-General of the Range for the information of the Inspector-General and Commissioner. He may direct an enquiry to be made into any case of misconduct of a police officer. The Superintendent shall submit to the District Magistrate the papers regarding all serious cases of misconduct and of cases likely to affect the relations of the police with the public.

(d) All orders of the District Magistrate relating to the police except those passed in his judicial capacity, shall be addressed to the Superintendent, or in the event of his absence from headquarters to the officer-in-charge during his absence. The Superintendent, as the local head of the police under the District Magistrate, is bound to carry out his orders except in regard to the internal economy, organisation and discipline of the force, and matters of a purely departmental nature.

(e) Should any difference of opinion on any question relating to the police administration arise between the Superintendent and the District Magistrate, it is the duty of the Superintendent to carry out the Magistrate’s instructions. The Magistrate shall in such cases forthwith refer the matter to the Commissioner and the Superintendent shall similarly make a reference to his Deputy Inspector-General. The Commissioner and the Deputy Inspector-General shall consult together and, if possible, arrive at an agreed decision. If they are unable to agree, the matter shall be referred the Provincial Government through the Inspector-General.

(f) The District Magistrate, in the exercise of his power of control, shall abstain from any action likely to weaken the authority of the Superintendent or to deprive him of responsibility. For this reason he shall avoid, as far as possible, the issue of executive orders until he has consulted the Superintendent.

(g) No circular or general order dealing with questions of law or procedure other than purely departmental matters may be issued by a Superintendent until it has been approved by the District Magistrate.

16. Superintendent to be in close touch with District Magistrate. – (a) The Superintendent shall remain in constant personal communication with the District Magistrate whenever possible, and consult him on all important matters. It is incumbent on him to afford the District Magistrate all possible assistance in the criminal administration of the district, and in such matters he shall, as far as possible, accede to his wishes Should any question arise on which they do not agree the District Magistrate shall give the Superintendent written orders and the Superintendent will carry them out; but the District Magistrate shall refer the point under dispute, if the Superintendent so desires, to the Deputy Inspector-General when the matter will be settled as laid down, in regulation 15(e).
(b) The Superintendent shall keep the District Magistrate fully informed of all matters coming to his knowledge affecting the peace of the district, and when he is on tour the police officer-in-charge of headquarters shall send direct to the District Magistrate all important information which would not reach him soon enough through the Superintendent.

(c) Whenever he is about to leave the station, the Superintendent shall report his intention to the Magistrate, specifying, as far as possible, the places at which he may be found from day to day; and the Magistrate, for reasons to be recorded by him, may require the Superintendent to remain at headquarters.

17. Correspondence between Superintendent and District Magistrate. – Correspondence between District Magistrates and Superintendents shall be carried on by means of unofficial notes or memoranda. The original file shall be sent for action, when possible, and formal letters shall on no account be written.
18. Magistrate’s orders to pass through Superintendent. – All orders on the police, except judicial orders, issued by the office of the District Magistrate shall ordinarily be sent through the Superintendent, This includes orders relating to tours by the District Magistrate and other officers and the provision of supplies by the police. Similarly, orders issued by the Sub-divisional Magistrate shall be sent through the Sub-divisional Police Officer or if there be no Sub-divisional Police Officer, through the Circle Inspector.
19. Inspection by District. Magistrate. – The District Magistrate shall exercise constant supervision over the prevention and detection of crime, for the proper conduct of which he is ultimately responsible. An important part of his duty is to inspect the police-stations of his district at regular intervals. It is not necessary for him to examine the details of the working of the department, but he should give special attention to –
(i) the general diary and the manner in winch it is written up;

(ii) the recording of vital statistics;

(iii) the proper working of the Arms Act;

(iv) the methods of collecting crop statistics ;

(v) the working of the rural police;

(vi) the general state of crime in the police-station and any reasons for its increase or decrease:

(vii) whether the Sub-Inspector appears to have a proper knowledge of his duties, whether he is in touch with the respectable inhabitants of his charge, has acquired local knowledge, and takes an interest in his work;

(viii) whether the police-station officials appear to be working properly and have a proper knowledge of their duties and the neighbourhood;

(ix) whether the police-station has been regularly and properly inspected.

20. District Magistrate and transfers of police officers. – (a) If the District Magistrate observes in any police officer of or below the rank of Inspector marked incompetence or unfitness for the locality in which he is stationed, or unfitness for his particular duties, he may draw the attention of the Superintendent to the fact and request him to consider the advisability of transferring him to another locality or to other duties. He shall, however, bear in mind that not only are transfers detrimental to police work, but the officer transferred may do as badly or even worse in another place. Unsatisfactory work is as a rule met by punishment and a transfer should not be recommended unless it is likely to improve the criminal administration of the district as a whole.
(b) If the District Magistrate observes in any police officer above the rank of Inspector incompetence or unfitness he may communicate with the Inspector-General, who after paying careful attention to the views of the District Magistrate, shall determine what measures should be taken and shall inform the District Magistrate of the action which he takes in the matter.

21. Relations between subordinate Magistrate and the police. – (a) Except as provided in the Code of Criminal Procedure or any other Act, or in any rules made or approved by the Provincial Government, for the time being in force, subordinate Magistrates have no power to interfere in police work. But Magistrates having jurisdiction and empowered to take cognizance of police.cases are reminded of their responsibility for watching the course of police investigations in the manner laid down in Chapter XIV of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
(b) The District Magistrate should take care that his subordinate Magistrates do not abuse the power given to them by sections 155 and 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of ordering a police investigation in non-cognizable cases. Such orders should be made only in exceptional cases, and when the Magistrate requires information of specific matter of fact, and not, as is often the custom, as a routine preliminary to the granting of a summons. The subordinate police may often not be averse from this abuse of procedure, and it is incumbent on the Superintendent to watch the working of these sections, so far as they affect the police, and to bring to the notice of the District Magistrate any tendency on the part of Magistrates to misuse them.

22. Relations between Sub-divisional Magistrate and the police. – (a) Except where it is provided otherwise in these Regulations or by any law for the time being in force, Sub-divisional Magistrates shall have only the same powers in respect of the police as other subordinate Magistrates; but it is the duty of every Sub-divisional Magistrate to inspect all police-stations within his jurisdiction once annually. At such inspections Sub-divisional Magistrates shall follow the instructions laid down for District Magistrates in regulation 19 and may give orders affecting the preparation and trial of cases; but they are not empowered to issue executive orders to the police, and shall confine themselves to bringing to the notice of the District Magistrate any matter which appears to call for intervention.
(b) A Magistrate in charge of a subdivision can only nominate the officer-in-charge of a police-station to investigate a case within the limits of such officer’s police-station; but should such Magistrate intimate his opinion that for particular reasons a special officer should conduct the investigation, the Sub-divisional Police Officer or the Circle Inspector shall, if possible, comply with his wishes.

(c) The Sub-divisional Police Officer shall remain in constant personal communication with the Sub-divisional Magistrate regarding matters of general police administration and should discuss with him all important matters. In subdivisions (other than the sadar subdivision) where there is no Sub-divisional Police Officer, the Circle Inspector shall similarly remain in constant personal touch with the Sub-divisional Magistrate wherever possible and keep him informed of all important matters concerning the criminal administration of his circle. A Circle Inspector whose circle headquarters are not situated at the Sub-divisional headquarters, shall take every opportunity of keeping the Sub-divisional Magistrate informed of such matters whenever he visits the Sub-divisional headquarters or when the Sub-divisional Magistrate visits his headquarters. Each officer (Sub-divisional Magistrate and Sub-divisional Police Officer or Sub-divisional Magistrate and Circle Inspector) shall arrange to have a copy of his tour programme sent to the other and to keep him informed of any subsequent modification made in it.

23. Relations between Sub-divisional Police Officer and Sub-divisional Magistrate. [§. 12, Act V, 1861]. – The Sub-divisional Police Officer shall consult the Sub-divisional Magistrate in all matters affecting the criminal administration and the maintenance of peace in the subdivision. His relations with the Sub-divisional Magistrate shall generally be similar to those between the Superintendent and the District Magistrate.
24. Procedure when an allegation is made against a police officer in a complaint or first information. – (a) When an allegation of misconduct is made against a police officer-
(i) in a complaint before a Magistrate, or

(ii) in an information lodged with a police officer and forwarded by him to the District or Sub-divisional Magistrate under regulation 244 (c),

the Magistrate concerned should decide whether there will be an inquiry under the appropriate section (159 or 202) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
(b) If he decides that an inquiry is necessary, he should direct it to be made by a Magistrate or by a Police Officer.

(c) If the alleged occurrence appears to be obviously trivial though cognizable, it should be sufficient to order a local investigation by a police officer of superior rank. The Superintendent should be asked to arrange for such investigation to be held at once.

(d) If there is no apparent reason to doubt the truth of the complaint and no preliminary inquiry is thought necessary, the Magistrate should fix the earliest possible date for the trial.

25. Allegations against police made otherwise than in complaints, first informations or comments by Courts. – (a) Whenever an allegation of misconduct on the part of a police officer comes to the notice of a Magistrate otherwise than under regulations 24, 26 or 28, he may, if he considers it necessary, take cognizance of the case under section 190(1)(c) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
(b) (i) A police officer of superior rank shall at once report to the Superintendent any allegation of serious misconduct which comes to his notice otherwise than under regulations 24, 26 or 28, and the Superintendent shall in turn report it at once to the District Magistrate.

(ii) The Superintendent shall personally consult the District Magistrate as to the action to be taken, if they are both at headquarters. If either is absent from headquarters, the Superintendent shall himself hold a departmental inquiry locally or, if he cannot himself hold it, shall direct it so to be held by a police officer of rank superior to that of the accused; such officer shall, if the accused is a head constable or officer of higher rank, be a gazetted officer.

(iii) If the District Magistrate considers it necessary in view of the rank of the accused, the gravity of the alleged offence or the extent to which such allegations are prevalent in the district, he should instruct a Magistrate to co-operate with the Police Officer holding the departmental inquiry or should order a magisterial inquiry to be held instead.

26. Comments by Magistrates trying cases. – (a) A Magistrate trying a case should not notice in a final order or judgment (except, if necessary, as a matter demanding inquiry) any misconduct that he suspects on the part of a police officer, unless –
(i) it has been established after the officer has been given reasonable opportunity to explain it, or

(ii) reference to it is necessary for the elucidation of the case.

(b) When such Magistrate finds it necessary to criticise the conduct of any police officer, he should record the important points clearly in a separate note and send it forthwith to the District Magistrate.

(c) Any favourable comments should similarly be made in a note forwarded to the District Magistrate.

(d) The District Magistrate shall take action on such criticisms or comments in the manner prescribed in regulations 27 and 28(b)(1).

27. Comments by Courts and Magistrates to be communicated to Superintendent. – (a) The District Magistrate shall send immediately to the Superintendent a copy of any comments, whether favourable or unfavourable, that have been made on the conduct of a police officer (i) in a judgment by a Magistrate, a Judge, or a Court of superior status, or (ii) in a note submitted under regulation 26(b) by a Magistrate trying a case.
(b) The Superintendent shall cause all favourable comments to be entered in a manuscript register of comments by Courts and in the case of unfavourable comments, shall take such action as is suitable bearing in mind the requirement of regulation 28 where such comments are made by a Court of Sessions or Court of superior status.

28. Action to be taken on comments in judgments of Courts. – (a) When a Court of Sessions or a Court of superior status has in a judgment criticised the conduct of a police officer and has recorded its opinion that a special inquiry is necessary –
(i) the District Magistrate may institute criminal proceedings forthwith if. in his opinion, there is sufficient evidence already available;

(ii) otherwise, he should move the Provincial Government through the Commissioner to appoint a commission of two officers for publicly conducting such an inquiry; and

(iii) in either event a preliminary departmental inquiry shall be held immediately by a police officer of superior rank with the object of collecting, collating and preparing all the available evidence for the criminal prosecution or the special inquiry.

(b) When such Court has not recorded its opinion that a special inquiry is necessary, or when a Magistrate has in a judgment criticised the conduct of a police officer –

(I) it will be at the discretion of the District Magistrate to order –

(i) the institution of criminal proceedings, or

(ii) a magisterial inquiry or a departmental inquiry by a police officer of superior rank, or

(iii) disciplinary action by the Superintendent under the ordinary departmental rules,

he shall send the Superintendent a copy of his order.
(II) The Inspector-General may, if he considers it necessary, move the Provincial Government for the appointment of a special commission of inquiry.

29. Magisterial Inquiries into allegations against police officers. – When an order is passed for a magisterial inquiry into an allegation against a police officer –
(a) it should be held at the place of occurrence ;

(b) the Magistrate deputed to hold it should, if possible, proceed there not later than the following day;

(c) such Magistrate should be an Assistant Magistrate or a Deputy Magistrate of the first class if the officer concerned is of or above the rank of Sub-Inspector and is accused of committing a cognizable offence or of having demanded or accepted a bribe;

(d) no concurrent departmental inquiry should be made, but the Superintendent shall depute a police officer to attend and to arrange for the production before the Magistrate of any police witnesses and of such other evidence as may be available;

(e) no police officer connected with an investigation in the course of which there is alleged to have been ill-treated by the police should have any concern with the conduct of the inquiry into such allegation.

30. Police to treat Courts and Magistrates with respect. [§ 12, Act V, 1861]. – Police officers shall treat all Courts and Magistrates with due respect. They shall not make reflections on them in public or insert disparaging criticisms of their acts in departmental reports or similar documents which are or may be published; but, if a Superintendent has reason to believe that there has been a failure of justice or that police officers have received unfair treatment, he may bring the case to the notice of the District Magistrate either by a formal application presented by the Court officer for action under section 435 of the Code of Criminal Procedure or by an unofficial note or report, the language of which shall be temperate and respectful.
30A. The District Magistrate should consider such application referred to in regulation 30 note or report and take such action as he thinks fit: but he should not transmit to the Magistrate concerned any unofficial notes or reports on the subject.
31. Relations with Public Prosecutors or Government Pleaders. – (a) The Superintendent shall keep in close touch with the Public Prosecutor or Government Pleader whom he shall consult freely whenever an important or difficult legal question arises which affects the Police Department.
(b) A Sub-divisional Police Officer (or a Circle Inspector in a subdivision where there is no Sub-divisional Police Officer) shall similarly consult the Public Prosecutor or Government Pleader (if any) of the subdivision.

(c) No fee is payable for his advice to a Public Prosecutor or Government Pleader thus consulted.

32. Co-operation with Panchayats and Union Boards. – (a) Without the help of Panchayats and members of union boards, who employ and control the village police, the police administration cannot work successfully; all police officers must therefore show consideration and courtesy towards them.
(b) Officers posted to police-stations shall make themselves acquainted with the Panchayats and members of union boards in their jurisdictions and shall seek their assistance in all matters affecting the prevention and detection of crime.

(c) Officers of superior rank shall in the course of their tours interview Panchayats and members of union boards, organise co-operatic n meetings and generally do their utmost to promote friendly co-operation between them and the police.

33. Behaviour towards the public. [§ 12, Act V, 1861]. – (a) No police force can work successfully unless it wins the respect and goodwill of the public and secures its co-operation. All ranks, therefore, while being firm in the execution of their duty, must show forbearance, civility and courtesy towards all classes. Officers of superior rank must not only observe this instruction themselves but on all occasions impress their subordinates with the necessity of causing as little friction as possible in the performance of their duties.
(b) Rudeness, harshness and brutality are forbidden; and every officer of superior rank must take immediate steps for the punishment of any offenders who come to his notice.

(c) No officer should be recommended for promotion who habitually disregards the above instructions.

(d) Every officer, especially an officer of or above the rank of Deputy Superintendent, shall be easily accessible, both at headquarters and when on tour, to Indian gentlemen, whether officials or non-officials, and to other respectable persons and shall encourage them to communicate their opinions to him freely.

(e) Officers responsible for training a probationary Assistant Superintendent shall impress upon him the necessity for showing courtesy towards Indian gentlemen and teach him how to conduct himself towards them.

34. Relations with retired police officers. [§ 12, Act V, 1861]. – (a) All serving officers shall keep in touch with retired police officers living in their respective jurisdictions and shall attempt to maintain friendly relations with them. In particular, Circle Inspectors and officers in charge of police-stations shall seek their co-operation whenever their knowledge or experience is likely to prove useful.
(b) An index of such retired officers shall be maintained in the office of the Superintendent, who shall endeavour to sustain their interest in police work by extending to them such courtesies as invitations to conferences, ceremonial parades at headquarters and the like.