While it is understood that it is the police force’s job to ensure compliance of the lockdown rules and maintain effective social distancing, this compliance cannot be rooted in the use of excessive and disproportionate violent force as use of excessive force by the police results in violation of human rights and dignity1 and is blatant harassment.
Similarly, handing out humiliating punishments onto lockdown violators such as crawling on the road constitutes harassment. The Supreme Court has also held practices such as lathi charge unacceptable2 and those who resort to them, should be made liable .
If you face any harassment by the police during the pandemic you have two options:
File a complaint with your State’s police complaint authority which is the nodal authority that looks into complaints of misconduct by police officers
File a case in the High Court of your state with the help of a lawyer to stop police harassment. Make sure you have the receipts of the complaints filed to the police complaint authority to add into your petition to the Court.
- Anita Thakur and Ors. vs. Govt. of J & K & Ors, Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 118 of 2007.
- Ramlila Maidan Incident v. Home Secretary, Union of India, (2012) 5 SCC.
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