The High Court of Punjab and Haryana condemned the use of derogatory word for an African National by the Police accused in a criminal case under NDPS Act.
The bench presided by Justice Rajiv Narain Raina criticizing the act of the Punjab and Haryana Police said “this is a highly offensive word across the globe and no one has any business to use it, and much less the police. Hence, it is directed never to use the unprintable word in any police document including in challans or anywhere else on case papers including in investigation reports. This brings shame to India and hatred for the country. The police appears to have assumed that every black is a drug peddler and should be treated as such. This is terrible thinking.”
The bench further directed the Director General of Police, Punjab to consider the entire issue and notify instructions in this regard to the Police force calling upon them never to use the offensive term ‘nigro’ or ‘negro’ while referring to “black” persons in case papers.
The bench further observed that the African Nationals deserve the dignity and respect in a foreign land as visitors or students in India from Africa temporarily living in our country, which prides itself of many peoples of all colours of the skin ranging from white to black and aboriginal. This has nothing to do with investigation or crime.
The bench also directed that the investigating officers and the police officials that record FIRs be immediately sensitized and warned on the issue by ensuring that no person should be looked down upon on the basis of the colour of his or her skin.
The Court further observed that “this aspect needs to be corrected by sanction of the law by ordering strict action against the policemen who indulge in this character assassination based on physical features, investigation of crime apart, investigation which should be non-aggressive in the search for truth and commission of cognizable offences.”
The Court has also directed that it be informed of action proposed to be taken on this issue on the next date of hearing.
-India Legal Bureau