'Will tell HC no need for superior officers': Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey on POCSO circular

The top cop was speaking in his weekly Facebook Live session and referring to his controversial circular issued earlier this month.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Sunday, June 19, 2022, 09:01 PM IST
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Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey | Photo: File

Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey on Sunday said that he would be telling the Bombay High Court that there was no need for superior officers if their supervision of cases was being deemed unnecessary by the people.

The top cop was speaking in his weekly Facebook Live session and referring to his controversial circular issued earlier this month.

The circular said that divisional Assistant Commissioners of Police (ACPs) and Deputy Commissioners of Police (DCPs) should be consulted while registering cases of molestation under the Indian Penal Code as well as cases of sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

The move had attracted widespread outrage and a petition was filed against it before the Bombay HC. The CP is supposed to file his reply by June 23.

On Sunday, Pandey, who was visibly upset and dripping with sarcasm, lashed out at his detractors during his live session.

“I never said we will not register cases. I am the last person to shirk work. I am the one who had issued a circular saying that policemen shirking their work will be liable for action. I don’t want to stop the registration of cases but you people don’t want supervision. So be it. You have taken us to the HC now. If you think superiors are only here to stall your investigation, I suggest you amend your petition and add that we don’t need supervisory officers,” Pandey said.

He added, “I will personally say so in my affidavit before the HC. And if I am taken to the gallows for it, so be it. But I think what people are saying is that police supervision has no meaning. We bow to you. We will keep registering false cases, people will go to jail for months and then they will get discharged. This is not done, but there are people who are completely oblivious to the complaints we get of molestation and under POCSO. We will be submitting this before the HC.”

Pandey had two days ago issued an amended circular in which he stated that a case should be registered without consulting superiors if there were no disputes involved.

He reiterated that the original circular was only issued because molestation and POCSO cases were being registered in matters of property or monetary disputes.

“The matter of interpersonal relationships has plagued this city a lot. Even between husband and wife, there are so many disputes. We have set up counselling centres in each police station under the directions of the HC but I haven’t seen anybody coming out satisfied with those counselling centres yet. We are not psychologists or therapists, we are trained to investigate crimes,” said Pandey.

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