Section 188 of The Indian Penal Code

The Indian Penal Code

188. Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.

Whoever, knowing that, by an order promulgated by a public serv­ant lawfully empowered to promulgate such order,

he is directed to abstain from a certain act, or to take certain order with certain property in his possession or under his management, disobeys such direction, shall, if such disobedience causes or tends to cause obstruction, annoyance or injury, or risk of obstruction, annoyance or injury, to any person lawfully employed, be punished with simple impris­onment for a term which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both;

and if such disobedience causes or trends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.

Explanation.—It is not necessary that the offender should intend to produce harm, or contemplate his disobedience as likely to produce harm. It is sufficient that he knows of the order which he disobeys, and that his disobedience produces, or is likely to produce, harm.

Continue Reading

Police Rank in Andhra Pradesh

POLICE RANKS

  1. Director-General of Police (DGP)
  2. Addl.Director-General of Police (Addl.DGP)
  3. Inspector-General of Police (IGP)
  4. Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG)
  5. Superintendent of Police (SP)
  6. Addl.Superintendent of Police (Addl.SP)
  7. Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP)
  8. Inspector of Police (Insp)
  9. Sub Inspector of Police (SI)
  10. Assistant Sub Inspector of Police (ASI)
  11. Head Constable (HC)
  12. Police Constable (PC)

 

Police Stations under Barrackpore Police Commissionerate

There are 16 (sixteen) Police Stations under the Commissionerate, out of which 14 Police Stations under the Commissionerate are organized in two divisions viz. Barrackpore and Belghoria, headed by one Deputy Commissioner of police (DCP) for each division.

There are seven (7) Police Stations under Barrackpore Police Division and seven (7) under Belghoria Division. Four Zonal Assistant Commissioners of Police supervise the functioning of all the thirteen Police Stations.

Baranagar
Barrackpore
Belghoria
Bhatpara
Bizpore
Dumdum
Ghola
Jagaddal
Khardah
Naihati
Cyber Crime P.S
New Barrackpore
Nimta
Noapara
Titagarh
Women P.S


Source: Barrackpore Police Commissionerate

Advisory on Media Policy of Police by Home Ministry

F. NO.15011/48/2009-SC/ST-W

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA/BHARAT SARKAR
MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS/GRIH MANTRALAYA
NORTH BLOCK NEW DELHI /CS DIVISION

New Delhi, the 1st April, 2010

OFFICE MEMORANDUM

Subject: Advisory on Media Policy of Police–regarding

  1.  ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects under the Seventh Schedule (List-II) to the Constitution of India and, therefore, the State Governments and UT Administrations are primarily responsible for prevention, detection, registration, investigation and prosecution of all crimes within their jurisdiction. The Union Government, however, attaches highest importance to the matters relating to the prevention of crime; and therefore, the Union Government has been advising the State Governments/ UT Administrations from time to time to give more focused attention to the administration of the criminal justice system with emphasis on prevention and control of crime.

2.  A good relationship of Police with media helps focus on the positive work done by the Police and the good detective and investigative efforts made. When crimes occur, the situation should be used to put the crime and law and order situation in correct perceptive, bring out efforts being made by the police to nab the accused, prevent
unnecessary panic, and send a message to the public from the angle of crime prevention
and alert them against terrorist acts etc. Press communiqués and conferences form a vital component of communication channel between police and media. However, while
sharing information with the public through the media, adequate precautions need to be
taken to ensure that only authentic and appropriate information as is professionally necessary is shared without hampering the process of investigation or issues of legal/privacy rights of the accused/victims and matters of strategic and national interest.

The following guidelines may be scrupulously adhered to while dealing with media:

I. Only designated officers should disseminate information to the media on major crime and law and order incidents, important detections, recoveries and other notable achievements of the police.

II. Police Officers should confine their briefings to the essential facts and not rush to the press with half-baked, speculative or unconfirmed information about ongoing investigations. The briefing should normally be done only at the following stages of a case:

a. Registration
b. Arrest of accused persons
Page 2 of 3
c. Charge-sheeting of the case
d. Final outcome of case such as conviction/acquittal etc.

In a case that attracts the interest of the media, a specific time may be fixed everyday when the designated officer would make an appropriate statement on the investigation.

III. In the first 48 hours there should be no unnecessary release of information except about the facts of the incident and that the investigation has been taken up.

IV. The general tendency to give piecemeal information/clues, on a daily/regular basis, with regard to the progress/various lines of investigation, should be strongly discouraged so that the investigations are not compromised and the criminals/suspects do not take undue advantage of information shared by the Police authorities about the likely course of the investigation.

V. Meticulous compliance with the legal provisions and Court guidelines regarding protection of the identity of juveniles and rape victims should be ensured, and
under no circumstances should the identity of juveniles and victims in rape cases be disclosed to the media.

VI. Due care should be taken to ensure that there is no violation of the legal, privacy and human rights of the accused/victims.

a. Arrested persons should not be paraded before the media.
b. Faces of arrested persons whose Test Identification Parade is required to be conducted should not be exposed to the media.

VII. No opinionated and judgmental statements should be made by the police while briefing the media.

VIII. As far as possible no interview of the accused/victims by the media should be permitted till the statements are recorded by the police.

IX. The professional tradecraft of policing and technical means used for the detection of criminal cases should not be disclosed as it alerts potential criminals to take appropriate precautions while planning their next crime.

X. In cases where National security is at stake, no information should be shared with the media till the whole operation is over or until all the accused persons have been apprehended.

XI. The modus operandi of carrying out the operations should not be made public. Only the particulars of apprehended persons and details of recovery should be revealed to the media on completion of the operations.

XII. There should not be any violation of court directions and other guidelines issued by the authorities from time to time on this matter.

XIII. Preferably, there should be one officer designated as the Public Relations Officer to handle the immediate information needs of all media persons and give the correct and factual position of any crime incident.

XIV. As and when instances of misreporting or incorrect reporting of facts/details pertaining to an incident or the department comes to notice, a suitable rejoinder  Page 3 of 3 should immediately be issued and, in more serious cases, the matter should be taken up at the appropriate levels for remedial action.

XV. Any deviation by the police officer/official concerned from these instructions should be viewed seriously and action should be taken against such police officer/official.

3.  You are requested to kindly issue suitable directions to all concerned under intimation to this Ministry. The receipt of this letter may kindly be acknowledged immediately.

Yours faithfully,

(Nirmaljeet Singh Kalsi)
Joint Secretary to the Government of India
Ministry of Home Affairs, North Block
New Delhi – 110001
Tel. No. 23092630

To,
1. The Chief Secretaries of all State Governments and UT Administrations
2. The Principal Secretary / Secretary (Home) of all State Governments and UT
Administrations.
3. Copy also for information and necessary action to:
i. The DGs / IGs (In-charge of Prisons) – All State Governments / UTs for
information and necessary action.
ii. The DGs of CPMFs/CPOs, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
iii. Director CBI, DoPT, Government of India.
iv. Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (Sh. P.P. Mitra, Joint
Secretary), Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.
v. Ministry of Women and Child Development (Mrs. Swarup Kiolkar, Joint
Secretary, MWCD) Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.
vi. JS(Judicial), JS(PM), JS(P-I), JS(P-II), JS(UT), JS(NM), JS(HR), JS (NE),
JS (K), JS (DM) in Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
vii. Shri Onkar Kedia, DDG, Media, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of
India.

(Nirmaljeet Singh Kalsi)
Joint Secretary to the Govt. of India

Police lathi charged on lawyers and fired 150 tear gas shell in the District Court premises at Jaipur: RHC disposed of the writ petition in 2014

“Henceforth, no police personnel would enter the precincts of a Court of the District Judiciary for any operation of the type involved in the incidents without the prior permission of the District Judge concerned or the judicial officer incharge of the particular station.

Committees at the district level would be constituted comprised of the District Judge, the Chairman of the Bar Council of Rajasthan and/or his nominee, President of the Bar, and the Collector or Superintendent of Police, as the case may be. These Committees would henceforth assess and monitor all situations, involving the members of the Bar and take appropriate steps in advance to avoid the occurrence thereof”.

(2014) 26 RCR(Civil) 699 : (2015) 1 WLN 67

RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT (JAIPUR BENCH)

DIVISION BENCH

( Before : Sunil Ambwani, Acting C.J.; Veerender Singh Siradhana, J )

MAHENDRA SHANDILYA — Appellant

Vs.

STATE OF RAJASTHAN — Respondent

D.B. Civil Writ Petition (PIL) No. 3758/2013

Decided on: 14-10-2014

Counsel for Appearing Parties

Vishal Sharma, Advocate on behalf of N.M. Lodha, Advocate General, Advocates for the Respondent

JUDGMENT

1. We have heard the Counsel appearing in person. Shri Vishal Sharma appears for the State-respondents. On 07.03.2013, this Court took notice of the pleadings in respect of the happenings on 6th & 7th March, 2013, in which the police personnels are alleged to have attacked a peaceful procession of lawyers, proceedings towards State Legislative Assembly, with an object of giving a memorandum to the Speaker of the House with regard to the demands of the Advocates for allotting land in a colony, and for releasing the Advocate Welfare Fund. The lawyers were subjected to lathi charge by the police. On the next day, the police personnels, without any provocation, fired 150 tear gas shells in the District Court premises at Jaipur.

2. It is submitted that in these extraordinary circumstances, this writ petition was filed for a direction to appoint a Judicial Enquiry Commission, to enquire into the incident of lathi charge, and firing of tear gas shells on the lawyers in the Court campus, and to give necessary instructions to the police for taking appropriate steps, so as to ensure that no further untoward incident happens, and the law and order is maintained.

3. On 07.03.2013, this Court, after taking notice of the pleadings, directed the respondent Nos. 3 and 4 to take all necessary steps to ensure that no further untoward incident happens, and that law and order is maintained. The respondents were also directed to secure proper and necessary medical treatment to the injured, who were taking treatment in the SMS Medical Hospital, and other hospitals in Jaipur.

4. This Court also took notice of the fact, that the campus of the Court of Jaipur Metropolitan was cordoned by the police, amongst others, to prevent ingress and egress of the members of the Bar. They were directed to ensure that there is no impediment for members of the Bar to enter the Court compound.

5. On the next date i.e. 08.03.2013, taking assistance of the then Advocate General, the Division Bench, in order to prevent any further agitation, issued certain directions, on which the Commissioner of Police, and other officers, who were blamed of causing assault on the lawyers without provocation, were transferred.

6. The compliance report was filed by the respondents, in which it was reported that the direction No. 2 issued by the Court, has been complied with, and that the State Government in compliance of the direction No. 3, issued directions to all the District Superintendent of Police, Police Commissioner, Jaipur and Jodhpur, and all Inspector General of Police (Ranges) to ensure compliance of the direction. In respect of direction No. 5, it was stated that necessary directions have been issued, as mentioned in the wireless message dt. 10.03.2013. The direction No. 6 was also complied with, with instructions to the Principal Secretary, Department of Medical Education as well as Principal Secretary, Department of Medical & Health, and for direction No. 7 also, necessary wireless message was sent on 10.03.2013. So far as remaining directions, namely direction Nos. 1 and 8 are concerned, it was stated that these are not related to respondent Nos. 3 and 4.

7. The matter was not listed thereafter, nor any reply, or rejoinder-reply has been filed. No further material has been brought on record, to either establish the pleadings, or to place on record any subsequent developments with regard to the incident and the injuries caused to the lawyers. There is no proof on record of all the allegations made in the pleadings regarding police excesses, on the date when the incident is reported to have happened.

8. We are informed that so far as direction No. 1 is concerned, no steps were taken by the then Hon’ble Chief Justice to hold a judicial enquiry by a sitting Judge or any officer of the Court, to be nominated, or decided by the Hon’ble Chief Justice. The petitioner also did not make any request thereafter to constitute a Judicial Enquiry Commission, or any other officer of the Court to enquire into the incidents.

9. The matter thereafter came up after more than 1-1/2 years on 15.09.2014, and on that day, an order was passed by this Court as follows:–

“Petitioner, appearing in person, prays for and is allowed two weeks’ time to file rejoinder-reply.

List for hearing on 14.10.2014, as a first case.

In this matter, considering the urgency which had arisen to entertain the Division Bench Civil Writ Petition, as public interest litigation, the Division Bench of this Court, has, on 08.03.2013, passed an order, which has far reaching effects. These directions are quoted as follows:–

“(1) A Judicial Enquiry into the incidents of 6th and 7th March, 2013 which form the subject matter of the instant writ petition be made, if admissible, by a sitting Judge of this Court or otherwise to be nominated/decided by the Chief Justice. The Committee is requested to submit its report within a fortnight from today.

(2) In order to facilitate proper and impartial enquiry, the respondents No. 5 & 6, in particular, may be shifted, if needed, from the present place of posting. Further orders in their regard, as deemed necessary would be passed on the receipt of the report.

(3) Henceforth, no police personnel would enter the precincts of a Court of the District Judiciary for any operation of the type involved in the incidents without the prior permission of the District Judge concerned or the judicial officer incharge of the particular station.

(4) Committees at the district level would be constituted comprised of the District Judge, the Chairman of the Bar Council of Rajasthan and/or his nominee, President of the Bar, and the Collector or Superintendent of Police, as the case may be. These Committees would henceforth assess and monitor all situations, involving the members of the Bar and take appropriate steps in advance to avoid the occurrence thereof.

(5) The State Government would take all necessary steps to ensure that the law and order in the State is maintained on the issue and the access of the learned members of the Bar and the litigants to the Court premises and otherwise, is not hindered in any way.

(6) The State Government would also take appropriate steps to ensure that appropriate medical treatment is provided to the injured, who are presently taking treatment in the various hospitals in the City.

(7) Both the sides would maintain restraint and calm to ensure that no untoward incident, bearing on the law and order and causing inconvenience to the members of the public and the litigants, in particular, occurs.

(8) As has been expressed on behalf of the members of the Bar, the office bearers of the concerned Bar Councils and the Bars would actively reconsider their decision of continuing with the strike vis-a-vis their demands in the face of the above directions as well as the supervening public interest, more particularly, the interest of the litigant masses.”

We have gone through the directions issued by the Division Bench on 08.03.2013. Eight directions were issued to meet the crisis on 08.03.2013, and in which, upon hearing the members of the Bar and the learned Advocate General and on a consideration of the facts and circumstances and the material available on that date, a judicial enquiry was directed into the incidents of 6th and 7th March, 2013, by a sitting Judge of this Court, and during pendency of the judicial enquiry, the respondent Nos. 5 and 6, in particular, were requested to be shifted, vide directions Nos. 1 and 2. There is no reference to appointment of any Hon’ble Judge for holding judicial enquiry on record.

The direction No. 3 was regarding entry of police personnel in the precincts of a Court of the District Judiciary for any operation of the type involved in the incidents without prior permission of the District Judge concerned, or the judicial officer, in-charge of the particular station, does not need any reiteration as the entry of the police in any Court, is to be restricted on the request or permission given by a Hon’ble Judge, or any officer, in-charge of the Court administration in the High Court, or subordinate Courts, as the case may be.

The direction No. 4 related to constitution of committees at the district level, to monitor the situation involving the members of the Bar and take appropriate steps in advance to avoid the occurrence thereof. This direction is also innocuous and was issued to resolve any situation and to maintain the law and order.

The direction Nos. 5, 6 and 7 are general in nature, given by the Court to maintain the law and order situation in the State, which sometimes arises and for which, the responsibility of the State Government cannot be denied.

The direction No. 8 related to agitation of the Lawyers, which, by this time, has lost its significance.

In view of the above, we find that apart from directions Nos. 3 and 4, no other direction requires to remain in force.

Considering the special facts and circumstances of the case, we direct that henceforth only direction Nos. 3 and 4, would remain in force. The direction Nos. 5, 6 and 7 do not require any reiteration at all. The other directions would remain suspended until final hearing of the writ petition.”

10. After filing the writ petition both, the petitioner as well as the respondents, have not taken any interest in the matter. They have not brought on record sufficient materials, to either prove or disprove the allegations. The petitioner has also not filed any rejoinder reply to the compliance report. The incident has neither been enquired, nor any effort has been made to make any investigation to find out the persons who may have acted negligently or beyond their authority. Admittedly, no care was taken by either side to either establish the allegations of police excesses on the lawyers, nor any further material has been brought on record to add weight to the allegations. Both the petitioner and the respondents have thought it proper not to proceed further in the matter.

11. The incidents of the nature, as alleged in the pleadings, should be enquired into to ascertain the circumstances, and to take remedial steps, so that in future such incidents may be avoided. Though the respondent Nos. 5 and 6 were shifted, since allegations against them were not proved, we find it necessary to make an observation that the compliance of the orders passed by this Court for shifting the respondent Nos. 5 and 6, shall not be taken by the State Government to be adverse against them. The order dt. 08.03.2013 shall not be treated to be adverse for having any consequence against them in their service record, or otherwise.

12. It was reported that lawyers had suffered injuries in the incident. The injury reports however have not been brought on record, nor the affidavit of any lawyer who had suffered such injury, has been filed, to prove the allegations.

13. We find it appropriate to reiterate that directions Nos. 3 and 4, were not only necessary to have been passed on 08.03.2013, these directions must be complied with, so that no such incident happens in future, where police may enter the Court premises without permission of the District Judge, or Officer-in-charge of the particular station. The committees at district level to assess and monitor such situation, will also be helpful in avoiding any incident to take place in future.

14. In the aforesaid facts and circumstances, we do not find any need of compliance of any direction except directions Nos. 3 and 4. The rest of the directions are discharged. The writ petition is accordingly disposed of.

National Human Rights Commission issued notice to DG West Bengal for police atrocities on Howrah court lawyers

NHRC notice to the Director-General Police, West Bengal over reported police action against lawyers in Howrah leading to head injuries to many of them (26.04.2019)

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of on a  report supported with photograph that as many as 20 persons including the Civic Agency staff and the lawyers received head injuries in the alleged police action in Howrah, West Bengal on the 24th April, 2019. Reportedly, demanding action against the police personnel, the Bar Council of West Bengal observed black day throughout the State today and has resolved to cease the work till April 29th in solidarity with the lawyers of Howrah. According to media reports, the incident happened following the lawyers’ faceoff with the Howrah Municipal Corporation staff over parking.

The Commission has issued a notice to the Director General of Police, West Bengal calling for a detailed report in the matter, within four weeks including action taken against the delinquent police personnel and health status of the victims.

It has observed that the contents of the news report, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of the victims, who have sustained injuries in the incident. Apparently, the police personnel did not deal the situation in proper manner which resulted in humiliation and physical injuries to the Advocates.

According to the report that the incident was triggered after and the elderly lawyer was turned away by the Guard of the civic headquarters on Mahatma Gandhi Road in Howrah when he tried to park his vehicle in the civic agency’s compound. Thereafter, the lawyers and the civic body staff fought for hours as many lawyers joined the protest against the guard. The civic staff, however, claimed that they were attacked first. Both sides, as mentioned in the news report, pelted stones and bricks at each other before the police intervened and chased away the lawyers.

Section 167(3) of Cr.PC requires the Magistrate to record reasons for granting remand to police custody

ANDHRA PRADESH HIGH COURT

SINGLE BENCH

( Before : Vaman Rao, J )

MD. JAHANGEER 

Vs.

STATE OF A.P. 

Criminal RC No. 123 of 2000

Decided on : 08-02-2000

Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) – Section 167(3), Section 3, Section 376, Section 397, Section 435, Section 561

Cases Referred

State of Gujarat Vs. Swami Amar Jyoti Shyam, (1989) CriLJ 501 : (1989) 1 GLR 217
Counsel for Appearing Parties

Mr. Prabhakar Reddy, for the Appellant; Public Prosecutor, for the Respondent

ORDER

1. This revision case purported to have been filed u/s 397 read with Section 401 Cr.PC challenges the order dated 5-2-2000 passed by the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Bhadrachalam in Criminal MP No. 10 of 2000 in Crime No.2 of 2000 of PS Chinthoor. It is however pointed out by the learned Public Prosecutor that as the matter arises from agency area, it is the Criminal Procedure Code, 1898 that is applicable and not the new Criminal Procedure Code of 1973. The learned Counsel for the petitioner requests this Court to treat this case as a revision u/s 435 of Cr.PC 1898 or in the alternative as a petition u/s 561-A of Cr.PC 1898 for invoking the inherent powers of this Court for challenging the order of the Sub Divisional Magistrate. It appears that the petitioner was involved in an offence punishable u/s 376-G IPC and Section 3(1)(xii) of SCs and STs (PA) Act in Crime No.2 of 2000 on the the of PS Chinthoor, Khammam District. It aiso appears that having come to know of the registration of FIR against the petitioner, he has surrendered before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Khammam on 31-1-2000, who directed him to be remanded to the judicial custody. The petitioner was accordingly lodged In judicial custody in Sub Jail Khammam. Thereafter, on 4-2-2000 the Assistant Superintendent of Police, Bhadrachalam moved an application before the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Bhadrachalam u/s 167(3) of Cr.PC seeking police remand in respect of the petitioner. The learned Sub-Divisional Magistrate accordingly granted police remand for three days commencing from 10.30 a.m., on 9-2-2000. The learned Magistrate also directed some safe guards against using of third degree methods on the petitioner. The learned Counsel for the petitioner contends that neither the application filed by the Assistant Superintendent of Police contains any reasons or any purpose for which police remand is sought, nor the order passed by the learned Magistrate records any reasons to justify the grant of police remand in respect of the petitioner. The learned Public Prosecutor however contends that there is no need for giving any specific reasons for granting of police remand and if the facts and circumstances justify, the Magistrate has powers to grant police remand in respect of an accused. To appreciate the rival contentions, it will be convenient to extract the provisions of Section 167(3) of Cr.PC, 1973 as under:

“167. Procedure when investigation cannot be completed in twentyfour hours:

(3) A Magistrate authorising under this section detention in the custody of the police shall record his reasons for so doing.”

2. Thus it is apparent from subsection (3) of Section 167 that a Magistrate shall record reasons while authorising the detention of the accused in the custody of police. The learned Counsel for the petitioner relied on a judgment of the Gujarat High Court reported in State of Gujarat Vs. Swami Amar Jyoti Shyam, , wherein it is held that remand to police custody of an accused cannot be granted as a matter of course. In the said judgment it was further observed that Section 167(3) of Cr.PC requires the Magistrate to record reasons for granting remand to police custody. The learned Counsel for the petitioner also relied on a judgment of this Court reported in Yelamanchili Mahesh Babu v. State of A.P. 1993 (2) ALT (Crl.) 464, wherein the learned Judge emphasised on the fact that in the instant case the police gave specific reasons for which remand to police custody of the accused was sought. The learned Judge further observed that the Magistrate has also recorded cogent reasons justifying the order of remand passed by him and it is in these circumstances, the learned Judge in that case, refused to interfere with the order of granting remand to police custody. In this case, as stated above, the application filed by the Assistant Superintendent of Police omits to mentions any reasons or purpose for which police custody is sought, except a bald statement that such a remand is required for further investigation in the case. The learned Sub Divisional Magistrate has also failed to record his reasons for remanding the petitioner to the police custody. Thus the requirement of Section 167(3) of Cr.PC does not seem to have been complied with in this case. In these circumstances, the order dated 5-2-2000 passed by the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Bhadrachalam in Criminal MP No. 10 of 2000 in Crime No.2 of 2000 is set aside. However this does not preclude the police from filing a fresh application for such remand giving reasons. In that case, the learned Sub Divisional Magistrate, Bhadrachalam shall pass orders basing on facts and circumstances of the case, recording his reasons for granting or for refusing the remand to police custody as required u/s 167(3) of Cr.PC. Accordingly this case is disposed of.

No costs.


(2000) 1 ALT(Crl) 445 : (2000) 2 AndhLD 831 : (2000) 1 AndhLD(Criminal) 639 : (2000) CriLJ 2188 : (2000) 3 RCR(Criminal) 296

Checks and balances for use of firearms by police force for dispersion of unlawful assemblies.

While explaining Bengal Police Regulation Calcutta High Court in ASSOCIATION FOR PROTECTION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS Vs. STATE OF WEST BENGAL AND OTHERS observed :

84. On the perusal of the Regulations it would appear that the Police ‘ Regulations provide a series of checks and balances for the use of firearms by the police force for the dispersion of unlawful assemblies. Regulation 151 provides that when a Magistrate is present with an armed party, employed for the suppression of a riot or the dispersion of unlawful assemblies, he shall give the warning prescribed by Regulation 153(c)(ii). Regulation 154 provides for general rules relating to the use of firearms. Regulation 155 specifies that the Magistrate may himself give the order to open fire or may direct officer in command to issue the order. In case the Magistrate is not present the officer himself can issue the order provided he considers it to be necessary. Regulation 156 provides for action to be taken after the police have used firearms. A detailed report is to be submitted to the District Magistrate. Regulation 157 provides that whenever the police have used firearms a full executive enquiry to ascertain whether the firing was justified and whether the Regulations were obeyed, shall be held as soon as it can possibly be arranged. Thus, it appears that the Regulations provide a comprehensive guide for the control of the use of firearms. We are unable to accept the submission of the learned Advocate General that since the Regulations 152 to 154 were complied with, the police cannot be accused of indiscriminate firing at the Nandigram “unlawful assembly”. We are of the considered opinion, that if Regulations 151, 152, 153 and 154 are strictly complied, there would be no scope for indiscriminate firing into a huge crowd. The Regulations permit only target specific shooting, which would be impossible when the police is faced with a crowd of thousands. Firstly it would be very difficult to identify the targets. Even if they are identified, they would have to be isolated before they could be shot. Therefore, detailed provisions have been made in these Regulations about the method and manner of firing. The object is clearly to minimise the injuries. Regulation 151 gives the power to the Magistrate when present to direct the Officer-in-Command to use force or open fire. Regulation 152 specifically provides for the precautions which have to be observed by a police officer in command of an armed party for the suppression of a riot or the dispersal of an unlawful assembly. The Regulation is as under:

152.-(i) he should so dispose it that it has effective a field of fire as circumstances permit;

(ii) he shall not bring it so close to a mob as to risk either its being overwhelmed by a sudden rush or its being forced to inflict heavy casualties;

(iii) if, in order to minimise injuries from missiles, the party is extended, he shall not allow it to extend so far as to affect his ability to exercise strict fire control;

(iv) he should order bayonets to be fixed;

(v) he shall give orders to the party to load, when he thinks fit loading without such orders it strictly forbidden;

(vi) for the purposes of fire control he shall ordinarily divide his force into sections of not more than ten men each and place each section under a responsible commander;

(vii) if the party is, or is likely to be, attacked from two directions, he shall post the men in two ranks, each facing one of those directions, with sufficient space between such ranks to enable him to move between the ranks and to control the firing; and

(viii) generally he should follow the riot drill instructions as closely as circumstances permit.

85. A perusal of the aforesaid would show that it is the bounden duty of the officer in command that the armed party shall be so disposed as to have an effective field of fire as circumstances permit. The armed party shall not be brought so close to the mob as to inflict heavy casualties. The firing should always be under his strict control to minimize injuries. Even loading and unloading of the arms can only be done only specific orders of the officer-in-command. The armed forces have to be divided into small sections of not more than ten men. These directions contained in Regulation 152 are mandatory in nature. Therefore, no laxity can be permitted in their performance.

86. Regulation 153 lays down the eventualities in which fire arms permitted to be used. Undoubtedly, firearms are permitted to be used for the dispersal of unlawful assemblies. The procedure to be followed in such circumstances is as under:

153 (c) Use of firearms to disperse an unlawful assembly,:

(c) An order to fire upon a crowd should be regarded as an extreme measure to which recourse should be had only in the last resort when it is absolutely for the defence of life or property or when a Magistrate, an Officer-in-Charge of a police station or police officer superior in rank to such officer considers it impossible to disperse a mob by any other means.

(iii) Before an order is given to fire upon a crowd the Magistrate or, if no Magistrate is present, the police officer in command shall give full and sufficient warning to the rioters that they will be fired upon if they do not disperse immediately.

(ii) All ranks engaged in the suppression of a riot or in the dispersal of a riotous assembly must await the orders of a Magistrate, an officer-in-Charge of a police station or a police officer superior in rank to such officer before firing.

87. A perusal of this provisions would show that an order to fire upon a crowd should be regarded as an extreme measure to which resort should be made only in the last resort. When it is absolutely necessary for the defence of life or property. An order to fire upon a crowd can also be made when a Magistrate, Officer-in-Charge of a police station or police officer superior in rank to such officers considered impossbile to disperse a mob by any other means. Due to the drastic consequences that the gunfiring would have, it has been made mandatory for the police officer in command to give full and sufficient warning to the rioters that they will be fired upon if they do not disperse immediately.

88. Regulation 154 is as under:

(i) Before a police officer fires or gives order to fire, he shall give warning of his intention as is possible.

Note.-In the event of the exercise of the right of private defence it may not always be possible to give warning without the offender being enabled to fulfil his design against which the right is being exercised.

(b) Firing should always be controlled and directed or a specified target.

(c) No better hurt than is unable should be inflicted.

(d) Firing should cease as soon as its object is achieved.

89. A perusal of this Regulation would show that again the giving of warning prior to shooting has been made mandatory, This Regulation clearly forbids any indiscriminate firing on the crowd, as it is mandatory to direct the firing at a specified target. No material has been placed before the Court to show that the mandatory provisions of these Regulations were followed. No individual has been named as a leader or a target. We are unable to conclude that any of the directions contained under the Police Regulations 152, 153 and 154 had been complied with.

90. Regulation 155 provides as under,:

(a) The police officer in command shall give the order to use the force or to fire when so directed by a Magistrate under Regulation 151(iii) or, if no Magistrate is present, when he himself considers it to be necessary.

(b) He shall direct the firing in such a way as to secure immediate effect with a minimum of injury. Firing over the heads of the crowd or in any direction except on members of the crowd is strictly forbidden; as being likely both to cause injury to innocent persons at a distance and to embolden the participants in the disturbance by having no visible effect. Before he gives the actual order to fire, he should specify the range, the target and the number of rounds to be fired.

(c) He is responsible that no greater volume of fire is used than the circumstances demanded. He should normally order firing by specified individuals or by files: but he may order firing by sections, or volleys by not more than half the part at a time, if the attitude of the mob makes this imperative for the protection of his officers or for the protection of the life and property of others.

(d) He shall give the order to ceasefire as soon as the mob shows the slightest inclination to retire or disperse. The Magistrate, if any is present, has authority to direct him to give such order.

91. We have already noticed above that a strict compliance of Regulations 151 to 154 would ensure that there would be very little chance of indiscriminate firing. Sub-clause (b) of Regulation 155 also specifically forbids firing in such a way which would not secure immediate effect with the minimum of injury. This Regulation also provides that the firing has to be at specified target within its specified range. The order has to specify also the number of rounds to be fired. However, in the later part of the same Regulation it is provided that firing over the heads of the crowds or in any direction except on the members of the crowd is strictly forbidden. Justification that is sought to be given for this direction is to prevent injury to innocent persons who may be standing at a distance. In our opinion, on the face of it. Regulation 155(b) would seem to be violative of Articles 14, 19(1)(b) and 21 of the Constitution of India. Even though it is worded for protection of innocent bystanders, but in essence the mandate of the clause seems to be to fire into the crowd. It is difficult to perceive a situation where in a crowd of thousands, an officer would be able to single out the targets and identify them for the firing party. The intention of this clause would, therefore, seem to be to crush the demonstration rather than to control or disperse an unlawful assembly. This clause, in our opinion, can be easily abused by the officer commanding the armed party. The possibility of numerous innocent persons being killed on the basis of wrong identification mistaken identity, negligence and sheer inaptitude cannot be ruled out. In our opinion, such a Regulation would be clearly arbitrary and violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. This clause would not specify the test of reasonableness laid down in Maneka Gandhi’s case (supra). In order to fall within a reasonable restriction the clause would have to be just reasonable and fair. Learned Advocate General had accepted that even the law under Article 13 would have to be in conformity with Articles 14, 19 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

(emphasis supplied).