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June 16, 2024 9:23 pm

High Court orders abolition of revenue police system in Uttarakhand within a year

Nainital, May 22

The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the state government to totally abolish the system of revenue police within a year and hand over areas under its jurisdiction to regular police.

Uttarakhand is the only state in the country where the system of revenue police coexists alongside regular police.

Revenue police, which is manned by revenue department officials, has limited powers with only remote rural areas of the hill state coming under its jurisdiction.

A division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Ritu Bahri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Thapliyal issued the order on Tuesday while hearing a PIL seeking abolition of the system.

The high court had ordered removal of the nearly a century-old practice of revenue police from the state also in 2018 while hearing a dowry death related case which was handled shoddily by the revenue police.

Again in 2022, a division bench of the high court comprising the then Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice RC Khulbe passed similar orders while hearing a PIL which alleged that the investigation into the murder of resort receptionist Ankita Bhandari would not have been delayed if it came directly to regular police rather than being handled initially by revenue police.

The orders were passed in a PIL which said that had the government followed this order, there would not have been so much delay in the investigation of Ankita’s murder.

The state cabinet also passed a resolution in October 2022 for abolishing the revenue police system in a phased manner.

In 2004, the Supreme Court, in the case of Navin Chandra vs State Government, had felt the need to abolish this system. The SC had observed that the revenue police is not given training like the regular police.

Lack of basic facilities makes it difficult for the revenue police to review a crime, it had said.

The top court had also observed that there should be a uniform system of policing in the state.

 

 

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