Cops involved in barbaric acts threat to society: apex court

Monday, October 25, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court Monday said some policemen in India still lived with a colonial mindset and perpetrated barbaric acts which were an anathema to a democratic society.

The court said this while hearing a case in which a man’s penis was cut off by policemen in Rajasthan.

“If protector becomes the predator, civilized society will cease to exist,” the judgment read.

“This case reveals that some policemen have not got over their old colonial mentality and are persisting in barbaric acts in a free country which claims to be run by democratic constitution and rule of law,” said Justice Markandey Katju and Justice T.S. Thakur.

“It also reveals a grisly state of affairs prevailing in our police set up,” the court said.

Speaking for the bench, Justice Katju said the question before the court was: “What should be done to policemen who ‘Bobbitt’ a person in a police station and think they can get away with it?”

Victim Jugta Ram was taken to the Sadar police station in Barmer Feb 2, 1994 by constable Kishore Singh.

Jugta Ram was an assistant in a liquor shop owned by Bheru Singh and lived with the latter.

Jugta Ram was suspected of having an illicit relationship with Bheru Singh’s wife and his eldest daughter. The constable who took Jugta Ram to police station was related to Bheru Singh.

At the police station, Jugta Ram was illegally detained and tortured. On Feb 5, 1994, he admitted to his illicit ties with Bheru Singh’s wife.

Thereafter, he was held by the Station House Officer Sohan Singh and Assistant Sub-Inspector Sumer Dan and constable Kishore Singh used a sharp edged blade to chop off Jugta Ram’s penis.

In December 2005, the trial court awarded life imprisonment to constable Kishore Singh and different jail terms to Sohan Singh and Sumer Dan.

The Rajasthan High Court acquitted Sohan and Sumer Dan. Kishore Singh’s sentence was reduced to imprisonment already undergone.

The court said that what the policemen did “was a barbaric act” and they deserve no leniency.

Rebutting the arguments of the senior counsel for the accused that there was no witness other than Jugta Ram, the judgment said: “A police station is not a public road or public place where people can see what is going on.

“In our opinion, policemen who commit criminal acts deserve harsher punishment than other persons who commit such acts because it is the duty of the policemen to protect the people, not break the law.”

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