Press Trust of india

Break nexus with political executives, reclaim social legitimacy and public trust: CJI to Police

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New Delhi:  In a straightforward advice to police officers complaining about harassment after government change,  Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Friday asked them to be impartial, saying “when you endear yourself to powers, you will have to face consequences”.

Delivering the 19th DP Kohli Memorial Lecture on CBI foundation Day on ‘Democracy: Role and Responsibilities of Investigative Agencies’, he said despite having many achievements to its credit, with some personnel making the supreme sacrifice, it is ironical that people hesitate to approach them in times of despair.

He said the image of the institution of police is regrettably tarnished by allegations of corruption, police excesses, lack of impartiality and close nexus with the political class.

“Often, the police officers approach us with the complaint that they are being harassed after the change in the regime. When you try to endear yourselves to the powers, you will have to face the consequences,” he said.

Justice Ramana said the need of the hour is to reclaim social legitimacy and public trust.

“The first step to gain the same is to break the nexus with the political executive. Often the best of talents enter this system in expectation of recognition and accolades. But, if the threat of infection looms large, honest and upright officers find it difficult to stand by their oath,” he said.

He said the truth is that no matter how deficient and non-cooperative the other institutions may be, if you all stand by your ethic and stand united with integrity, nothing can come in the way of your duty.

“In fact, this stands true for all institutions. This is where the role of leadership comes into play. The institution is as good, or as bad, as its leadership. A few upright officers can bring a revolution within the system. We can either go with the flow or we can be a role model. The choice is ours,” he said.

Justice Ramana told police officers that they must remember that their allegiance must be to the constitution and the rule of law, and not to any person.

“When you stand upright, you shall be remembered for your courage, principles and valour. The political executive will change with time. But you, as an institution are permanent. Be impermeable and be independent. Pledge solidarity to your service. Your fraternity is your strength,” he said.

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