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Next time you are in a police station,don’t be surprised to find an illustrated calendar hanging on the wall spelling out the Supreme Court guidelines for police to follow while arresting a person.

The State Human Rights Commission keeps a date with the police with a calendar on the rights of people who are arrested

Next time you are in a police station,don’t be surprised to find an illustrated calendar hanging on the wall spelling out the Supreme Court guidelines for police to follow while arresting a person.

The mission is to create awareness among the police who conveniently follow their own unwritten guidelines as well as for the masses that are usually ignorant about their rights when they step on the wrong side of the law.

In its effort to create awareness,the State Human Rights Commission has come out with a D K Basu themed calendar which showcases the 11 guidelines which the police have to follow while arresting a person.

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The apex court had formulated these guidelines in 1997 while delivering the landmark judgement in the D K Basu Versus State of West Bengal case.

With the majority of the complaints before the commission pertaining to violations by the police,the commission though it apt to use their funds for such a purpose. Says chairperson and former Chief Justice of Bombay High Court,Kshitij Vyas: “Almost 80 per cent of the cases we receive are against police for harassment and custodial deaths. So we thought we will use this idea a medium to educate about the duties of the police and the rights of the citizens.”

“Next year we will come up with some other topic concerning human rights,” he added.

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Justice Vyas revealed that since the inception of the commission in 2001 nothing much has been done to create awareness among the people.

Chips in legal officer Manasi Datey,“Spreading awareness is one of their criteria for which there is a separate fund from the National as well as the State commission.”

Justice Vyas states that the calendar theme which was inaugurated by Director General of Police A N Roy has been dispatched to 1700 police stations as well as other officers of senior police officials and Collectors offices in the state.

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“Roy was happy with the initiative but of course he defended the police force also by stating they are doing their best,” Justice Vyas said. “We have sent 2020 calendars to all stations including Zilla Parishads,Talukas (where majority of the masses come from) and 16 other commissions in the country,” Justice Vyas said. “If the commissions in other states are interested they can forward it to the police stations in their state as well,” he added.

Justice Vyas however expressed his dismay for being unable to make the calendar fancier and more visible,due to scarcity of funds. Justice Vyas also revealed about the new magazine they are publishing from this month called the Maharashtra Rights Path. The magazine will be about what the commission is doing,important cases and other activities of the commission. “People must know something is happening in this city,” Justice Vyas concluded.

First published on: 02-02-2009 at 03:21:12 am
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