The Uttarakhand High Court, in a landmark judgment, on Friday, ordered the state government to abolish the “century old practice” of revenue police system which is unique to the hill areas of the state where the revenue department officials function as the police.
“…more than a century old practice of revenue police system… in many parts of the state of Uttarakhand is ordered to be abolished within six months from today,” the order of Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Alok Singh, stated, adding that “in the meantime, the State Government shall put in place the regular police system as prevalent in the entire country.”
The court order came against the backdrop of a case of a woman’s alleged killing by her in-laws for dowry in the year 2011 in a village in the Tehri Garhwal district which comes under the revenue police system.
Two Uttarakhand police stations – Nainital district’s Banbhoolpura police station and Dehradun district’s Rishikesh police station – made it to the list of top 10 police stations in the country that was recently released by the Union Home Ministry. However, the state has only 156 police stations.
Currently, 55-60 percent area of the state’s Kumaon and Garhwal regions, comes under the revenue police system where revenue officials, including a patwari, work as the police – investigating cases, and making arrests. Roughly 25 percent of the state’s 1.25 crore population is currently under the revenue police system.
Only 40-45 percent area of the state, which roughly encompasses 25 percent of the state’s population, falls under the regular police system, IG (law and order) Deepam Seth said.
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