Remedies Against Police Harassment

Police is a vital and prominent part of the justice administration system which is accountable for the protection of people and property in addition to investigation of the crimes and helping put the perpetrators behind bars.

In our day to day life, if we are observant enough we see the police committing certain legit actions but on the other hand there are a few actions of the police that raise eyebrows and we are left wondering whether they are acting within the ambit of law or not, however most of the times we never care to find out.

The legal actions that a police officer is designated with, is contained under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 and where the officer goes beyond his/her power, read on to find out how you can fight this harassment.

The remedies available to a victim of harassment by the police are as follows –

i. An FIR can be filed by you against the officer in question at any Police Station;

ii. Mostly the Police try to protect their own and refuse to register a complaint/FIR in that case you can send your written complaint to the District Superintendent of Police;

iii. If the above 2 remedies fail, you can go to the Magistrate and get your complaint registered who will then order the police to register the FIR;

iv. You can also send the complaint to the National or State Human Rights Commission;

v. PCA (Police Complaint Authority)

In 2006, the Supreme Court directed to set up a PCA at State as well District level which would investigate into the complaints against police officers either ‘suo-motu’ or on receipt of a complaint filed by the victim or by a friend or family member on the victim’s behalf or any person who witnessed the alleged occurrence.

This setting up of State and District PCA s are aimed at making the complaint mechanism easily accessible to all. A state PCA would entertain complaints against the officers of and above the post of the SP whereas District PCAs will entertain complaints against and below the post of the Deputy Superintendent of Police.

The complaint can be made in cases where as the consequence of an act or omission by a police officer there is a death; or grievous hurt; or rape while in police custody, in addition to extortion; illegal land/House possession by a police officer; and any event where there is a serious abuse of authority by a police officer.

In order to file a complaint you need to get in touch with the PCA and ask them if they want the complain in any prescribed format, if not then you can file the complaint in any format mentioning your details like your name, address, contact number, etc. as well as all the material particulars of the incident in question like the date of the incident, detailed account, police officer in question, whether there was any damage to person or property, etc. the complaint can be sent by registered post and can also be submitted personally at the PCA office.

Additional particulars like photographs of injuries can also be attached with the complaint and always make sure you keep a copy of the complaint with yourself.