Third Degree is a Cardinal Sin. Any Professional Police Force Must Say No To It

·2-min read

The scope for progress in the police system is constant. There is a need for constant innovation and access to latest technologies to get the better of crime syndicates and anti-national elements.

A professional police force should be competent and people-friendly. To stay ahead of the curve, we need to employ futuristic technologies, from forensic science, DNA profiling and lie detector tests to big data analytics, face recognition software and electronic surveillance. Even drone technology should be a part of the police force’s arsenal.

The proposed measures announced by the government are small but incremental steps. There was a time when it was said that a good police officer is one who’s a half butcher, because police officers would use third degree to extract illegitimate confessions, which is beyond the purview of law.

When do you see third degree? Police use third degree only to extract illegal confessions from the accused, and on the basis of trumped up charges, make fake recoveries. That is what third degree is. If police have technology on their side, it can revolutionize the way the forces work.

There is not a single case of human rights violation against the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) because they use technology to work out the most complicated cases against crime syndicates, warlords and anti-national elements. Because they have technology at hand, they can get all the details pertaining to the case and the crime without even touching the accused. This is their secret for success.

Third degree is absolutely an anachronism. It should never be used. It is also indicative of the fact that the police are not professional. Using third degree is a cardinal sin that no professional police force must commit.

Increasing the workforce and filling up to 30 per cent vacancies in the police force should be done on priority. We should have realistic expectations from the force— they cannot work for 15 hours a day, 24×7, 365 days a year. The system is already collapsing. They should be given realistic targets. Once the reforms start rolling, one will surely see a change in how the police forces operate.

(as told to Rounak Gunjan)

The author is Former DGP, UP Police and Chancellor, Noida International University, Greater Noida. Views are personal.

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