Former Lokayukta Shivaraj V Patil asked the policemen to shed the British legacy of ‘rule of stick’ and called for a change in mindset for promotion and protection of human rights.
“The British used the rule of stick as they used to police to rule us. Today, we need the rule of law as we have our own Constitution. It is not enough for the police to think from a law and order perspective alone. The police need to develop tact, good humour, good information and presence of mind if they want to promote and protect human rights,” Patil said.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day national seminar on ‘The Role of Police in Protection of Human Rights in India: Issues and Perspectives’ organised by Bangalore University Law College. Patil said that policing was a tough, difficult and complex process as the expectations of people about this department was high.
“The police work under multi-layer pressure, from village to assembly levels, elected representatives, higher officials and even the media,” Patil said, adding it is wrong to attribute violation of human rights only to the police. Citing the example of retired Punjab IGP Ashwini Kumar, Patil said policemen should not bog down to any pressure during investigations.
“It is better to suffer than to yield. Your focus should be on quality investigation, effective prosecution and speedy trials all of which result in delivery of justice,” he said.
Minister for Law S Suresh Kumar said politicians should not interfere in police work and called it ‘a great favour’ for the society. “If politicians leave the law enforcement agencies alone, it will be a great service to the society,” he said.
The minister added that violation of human rights by police would result in “erosion of public confidence, hamper effective prosecution, isolate police from community and wrongful conviction of the innocent.”
Former minister H K Patil, BU Vice-Chancellor N Prabhu Dev, University Law College principal K M H Rayappa among others were present.