The Gujarat Police has empowered its constables with investigating powers for cases in which the quantum of punishment is less than or up to five years, as per a directive by the state government, thereby aiming towards quick disposal of minor crimes across the state.
Earlier, as per the Code of Criminal Procedure 1973, police officers from and above the rank of head constable were bestowed with the task of investigating a case, whereas constables would assist the investigating officer in any case.
According to a statement released by the office of Gujarat Director General of Police Shivanand Jha on Thursday, the state government passed a notification order on June 30 empowering unarmed police constables with minimum five years of experience with the power to investigate cases in which the quantum of punishment is less than or up to five years.
With this move, as many as 12,000 police constables in Gujarat will be eligible to become ‘investigators’ in cases pertaining to Gujarat Prohibition Act, Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, Minor Acts, Bombay Police Act, Motor Vehicles Act among others which are seen as “minor offences.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Vinod Mall, Additional Director General of Police (police reforms), said, “This decision was under consideration for a long time and it is certainly a part of police reforms. Usually, the investigators are swamped with cases due to the large number of cases active in the state and many constables as part of the assisting team have become skilled enough with time. This decision will only motivate the skilled personnel who have picked up investigative skills in five years of their police service to further assist the society.”
According to a statement released from DGP Jha office, the move is aimed at quick disposal of minor crimes in the state.
“Delay in disposal of cases by the investigating officers owing to handling multiple cases at a time, has become a cause for concern. By this order, more than 12,000 constables will be getting chances to investigate cases, which will also pave the way for quick disposal of minor crimes. At times, the investigation of serious offences suffers due to the time spent on petty offences by the investigating officers. This problem will also be addressed as the offences under the Gujarat Prohibition Act, Gujarat Prevention of Gambling Act, Minor Acts, Bombay Police Act, Motor Vehicle Act among others attracting punishment less than five years will now be allotted to the constabulary staff,” the statement read.
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