Duties and expectations from people

  • Every person is bound to assist a Magistrate or a Police Officer reasonably demanding his aid in taking or preventing escape of any person who could be lawfully arrested; in preventing or controlling breach of peace; and to prevent damage to public property. (Section 37 Cr.PC).
  • Any person aware of the commission of certain serious offences or intention thereof, is duty bound to give information to the nearest Magistrate or Police Officer of such commission or intention (Section 39 Cr.PC). These IPC crimes include offences against the State; against public tranquility; offences relating to illegal gratification or affecting life.
  • A private citizen can arrest or cause a person to be arrested if any non-bailable and cognizable offence is committed in his presence and can also arrest a proclaimed offender. (Section 43 Cr.PC).
  • Allow free ingress to a place if a Police Officer having authority to arrest/search any person or acting under a warrant of arrest/search, has reasons to believe that the person to be arrested has entered into or is within such a place. (Section 47 & 100 CrPC).
  • Assist a Police Officer if your assistance is sought by him to join a search. Refusal to do so when asked in writing, without reasonable cause, is an offence under section 187 IPC. (Sec. 100 CrPC).
  • Give correct evidence whenever associated in any investigation or trial. Do not give false information to the Police.
  • Co-operate with the Police in its action against anti-social elements and in maintaining law and order.
  • Protect public property and do not indulge in acts, which damage or deface public property or places.
  • All road users must be guided by the objective of enhancing road safety and must pay heed to the legitimate directions and suggestions of traffic police personnel and observe traffic norms and regulations.
  • Help injured persons in road accidents by taking them to nearby hospitals and by informing the Police. While so helping the police, if the person so desires, he would not be asked to be a witness in the case or otherwise put to any inconvenience.
  • The driver of the motor vehicle responsible for a road accident is duty bound to take all reasonable steps to secure medical attention for the injured person by taking him to the nearest medical practitioner or hospital unless it is not practicable to do so on account of mob fury or any other reason beyond his control. Failure to do so is punishable under law. (Section 134 Motor Vehicle Act, 1988).
  • It is a duty of every registered medical practitioner or the doctor on duty in a hospital to immediately attend to the injured person and render medical aid without waiting for procedural formalities unless the injured person or his guardian (in case of a minor) desires otherwise (Section 134 Motor Vehicle Act, 1988). Failure in this regard is punishable under law. (Section 134 Motor Vehicles Act, 1988).
  • Community policing initiatives must be given whole-hearted support. Security environment, particularly to curb crimes like thefts and burglaries, can be greatly enhanced if the local community takes initiative to improve physical security arrangement of the neighbourhood and of individual houses/establishments and deploys adequate number of watchmen.
  • Be truthful and forthright while going to police for redressal of complaints. Avoid the unholy practice of exaggerating or maneuvering facts to attract operation of criminal laws or to enhance their severity. This is particularly unfortunate when such complaints are pushed through devious recommendations or monetary inducements. Such short sighted actions strike at the root of the rule of law and are among the factors responsible for many of the ills, like malicious investigations and burking, affecting policing.
  • Cherish our Constitutional values. All citizens in our democratic polity have equal stake in the rule of law.
  • Do not ask or expect Police to resort to unlawful or questionable means while dealing with crime or criminals or public disorder.

Our Constitutional and legal processes have the capacity to evolve strategies to deal with the emerging threats. And you must be vigilant to prevent hijacking of the agenda in this regard by any vested interests, who generally are vociferous and often claim to reflect public opinion.