NEW DELHI: In the wake of the recent murder of a teenage receptionist of a resort, who was allegedly murdered by the son of now expelled BJP leader, an application has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking abolition of the Revenue Police System prevalent in many parts of State of Uttarakhand.
Under the state’s revenue police (Patwari system), revenue officials double as policemen in hilly areas. The system was introduced by the British government in 1861 and had also got legal backing through an Administrative Order by the Lt Governor of the United Province in 1915.
The application has been filed by journalist Anu Pant who hails from Uttarakhand in the Uttarakhand government’s petition filed in 2018 challenging HC’s order of directing the state to abolish the British-era revenue police system being practiced in hilly terrains of the Himalayan state within six months.
It has been contended in the plea that the teenager's murder is a textbook example of the failure of century-old Revenue Police System prevailing in the State of Uttarakhand which lead to massive outrage amongst the public at large.
“Organisational Set up of Uttarakhand Police as has been mentioned on the official portal states that work of Revenue Police area comprises 61.19% whereas the work of Regular Police Area comprises only 38.81 %. The major police work is being carried out by the unequipped, inexperienced, untrained and a Century old Revenue Police system in the State of Uttarakhand,” the application states.
The plea further states that the present Revenue Police System prevailing in the State of Uttarakhand is unconstitutional as it deprives the citizens of Uttarakhand, equal protection of law as all the Citizens are not been given the same treatment in detection and Prevention, investigation and trial of criminal cases.
“Therefore, by practicing two different police systems by the State of Uttarakhand, the State has gone against the Spirit and essence of the Constitution of India,” plea states.
Pant in the application also contends that citizens of the Uttarakhand government are being discriminated against in terms of the criminal justice system since two, three districts of the state have the advantage of a regular police system.
“This is a categorical violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India and to the concept of Equal Protection of law enshrined under it,” plea filed by Advocates Rituparn Uniyal, Abhishek Kumar, Deeksha Saggi & Nayan Mishra states.
The victim's father was made to run from pillar to post by the police and revenue authorities for the registration of complaint for his daughter who went missing on September 18 from Vanantra Resort where she worked as a receptionist. When he reached the Revenue Police Chowki, Udaipur Talla on September 20, the patwari refused to register his complaint as the same was registered already by the accused Pulkit Arya.