If a fair investigation isn’t done in this case, then for majority of citizens, the incident would only lead to strengthening of usual perception of police harassment for being an informer in cases where it is expected from them. Unfortunately, mishandling of such cases is reality in India, thus, a loophole in encouraging obedience toward civil duties among citizens. People would avoid dialing 100.
SHIMLA- Shimla Police is again caught in controversy for allegedly beating, misbehaving, and filing a false case against a local who had dialed 100 to inform police about then ongoing crime scene. However, police, on the other hand, claims that the person was detained for misguiding police, but denies allegation of beating and misbehave. The complainant has taken the issue to higher police authority and has submitted a complaint to the DGP and Deputy Commissioner.
According to Nitesh Gupta, a resident of Totu, Shimla, on March 17, 2016, he was on his way back to Totu with his ‘mistry’ after visiting his under-construction home in Heeranagar. Near the ‘Naltu Jungle’, a spot between Heeranagar and Dhanda, a group of 3-4 people came out of a pick-up and started beating a man mercilessly. As per Nitesh, he and his ‘mistry’, who were riding a scooty, stopped to observe the scene, but had to flee when the alleged assailants noticed them and chased them.
Nitesh said that he informed the traffic policeman on duty at the Totu Chowk and also dialed emergency helpline 100 to inform about the same. He was given the number of Boileauganj Police Station. His mistry, according to Nitesh, had read the number of the vehicle and same was given to the police. The SHO, Vir Singh, contacted Nitesh again and again asking him to provide exact details of the location.
Next day, in morning, Nitesh received a call asking him to appear at the Boileauganj police station where, allegedly, he was taken into a room and beaten brutally, kicked, punched, slapped and abused. Nitesh also alleged that his phone was snatched and he was not allowed to contact anyone, neither the police followed the procedure of informing the family members of detention of the person. Somehow, according to Nitesh, when the SHO was done beating him, a constable informed his wife about the detention only when she repeatedly kept calling.
Receiving the information about Nitesh’s detention his uncle, Nagender Gupta, and his wife ran to police station and get Nitesh released on bail. Nitesh alleged that the SHO also misbehaved with his wife.
On the other hand, the police claims that action has been taken against the person for providing wrong information and misguiding the police. Police justified that the false information caused great inconvenience to its men as they kept searching the area for clues of reported assault entire night and that it had also detained the driver and people in the reported pick-up, who were released as nothing came up against them.
According to report published in Jagran, the police claimed that the informer did not provide them proper details about himself when contacted by policemen who reached the location after receiving information.
Nitesh accepted that he hesitated to provide details about him and his address fearing police harassment and inconvenience, which is quite normal in India. Jagran also reported that medical examination had not confirmed police beating.
However, demanding suspension of the SHO and proper investigation into the matter, Nagendra Gupta took the matter to higher officials and in a written complaint said,
We residents of the Shimla are concerned with the illegal conduct and misbehavior of S.H.O. Boileauganj, Viri Singh, with Nitesh Gupta when he was called by the police to come to Boileauganj Police Station. His only fault was that he performed his ‘civil duty’ thereby intimating police of some crime but now it appears that there is some nexus between the police and those suspicious anti social elements.
Further, Nitesh has also reached higher officials with his complain in which he said:
That is how the Shimla /HP police is treating genuine and educated civilians. After such an experience anybody at my place will say that never ever help anybody even if he is dying. Such a physical and mental harassment to a genuine informer is extremely shameful.
The SP Shimla, DW Negi, was also informed about the issue who had assured action, but didn’t appear to have initiated. The DGP has also assured proper enquiry into the matter.
While law abiding citizens would agree that no clear conclusion can be reached so far, it’s hard to ignore some interesting questioning about the working of police against a citizen who has no history of complaints against him, or at least of toying with police on 100 helpline. If an information could not be verified and a person causes huge inconvenience or waste of police resources, he can be booked under what law provides. Law doesn’t empower or authorize police to make judgements and decide on the spot punishment.
If a fair investigation isn’t done in this case, then for majority of citizens, the incident would only lead to strengthening of usual perception of police harassment for being an informer in cases where it is expected from them. Unfortunately, mishandling of such cases is reality in India, thus, a loophole in encouraging obedience toward civil duties among citizens. People would avoid dialing 100 – one of the most essential service provided to extend immediate help in emergencies.
HP Govt Employees to Get Higher Pay Scale on Completion of Two Years of Service: CM Jairam
Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government employees working in different departments before January 3, 2022, would be given a higher scale at par with other employees on completion of two years tenure of regular service. A higher pay scale was also announced for the Junior Office Assistants (IT) on completion of two years of regular service.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur made these announcements during the Karamchari Maha Sammelan of the Himachal Pradesh Non-Gazetted Employees Federation at the hotel Peterhof on Sunday.
He appreciated the role played by the employee especially frontline workers in the battle against the pandemic.
He said most of the government employees in the state have been given revised pay scales and on average, every employee has got the benefit of a 12 to 15 percent salary hike. There has also been an increase in the pension of about 1.50 lakh pensioners of the state. The financial benefits of Rs. 7801 crore have been given to state government employees and pensioners from the year 2018 to 2022. The pensioners who retired before 2016 are getting the benefit of a 15 to 20 percent increase in the pension while around 40 thousand pensioners who retired after 2016 would be benefitted soon, he said.
He said the daily wages were Rs. 210 in the year 2017 which has been increased by the present state government to Rs. 350. Similarly, 12 per cent interim relief annually has been provided to government employees and pensioners during the present government’s tenure. He said the Himachal government has provided Dearness Allowance to its employees and pensioners on the lines of Punjab and Central governments from the due date. The Punjab government has given only 5 percent interim relief to the employees while the Himachal government has provided 21 percent interim relief to its employees.
“Out of the total interim relief amount given to the employees and pensioners amounting to about Rs. 6500 crore, Rs. 3500 crore has been paid during the tenure of our government” added the Chief Minister.
He said that the state government has increased the government contribution for NPS employees from 10 percent to 14 percent benefitting more than one lakh employees. The NPS employees are being given the benefits of retirement and death gratuity at par with employees falling under the old pension scheme. The government has also increased the upper limit of death gratuity from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh.
The Chief Minister said the state government has also increased the honorarium of para-workers working in various departments. The salary of outsource workers has been hiked by Rs 1,500 per month.
Non-Gazetted Employees Federation President Ashwani Thakur thanked the Chief Minister for providing various financial and other benefits to different categories of government employees.
Most Covid Restrictions to be Lifted From March 31, Mask and Hand Hygiene to Continue
New Delhi-The Centre has issued a notification to the States informing that the provisions of the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005 will not be invoked in the country after March 31. The Union Health Ministry said that the use of face masks and following hand hygiene will continue.
It implies that most of the Covid-related rules and restrictions would end.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued the notification which said that the decision was taken following the overall improvement in the situation and the preparedness of the government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, local authorities and State police can still invoke fines and criminal cases against persons violating COVID-19 norms under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a senior government official said.
The DM Act was invoked on March 24, 2020, due to the pandemic
“Over the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases. The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28%. It is also worth mentioning that with the combined efforts, a total of 181.56 Cr vaccine doses have been administered,” the notification said.
“I would like to mention that in view of the nature of the disease, we still need to remain watchful of the situation. Wherever any surge in the number of cases is observed, the States/UTs may consider taking prompt and proactive action at a local level, as advised by MoHFW (Health Ministry) from time to time,” the notification said.
The Indian government had issued various guidelines and measures for the first time on March 24, 2020, under the Disaster Management Act to curb the COVID-19 situation in the country, which have been modified several times thereafter.
India currently has 23,087 active COVID-19 cases and recorded 1,778 new cases and 62 deaths in the last 24 hours. The daily positivity rate has also declined to 0.28%.
HP Cabinet Decisions: Country Liquor Made Cheaper in New Excise Policy, Read All Decisions
Shimla-A meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet was held on March 20, 2022, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The excise policy for the financial year 2022-23 was approved. Approval was also given for the renewal of retail excise vends in the state for the financial year 2022-23 at the renewal fees of 4% of the value of unit/vend.
The State Government said that wants to enhance the government revenue and curb the smuggling of country liquor from the neighbouring states by a reduction in its price.
The brands of Country Liquor will be cheaper as license fees have been reduced. This will help in providing good quality liquor at a cheaper rate to the consumers.
In the new excise policy, the 15% fixed quota of country liquor for manufacturers and bottlers to be supplied to the retail licensees has been abolished. According to the government, this step will give the retail licensees to lift their quota from the suppliers of their choice and further assure the supply of good quality country liquor at competitive prices. The MRP of country liquor will be cheaper by 16% of the existing price.
In this year’s policy, the Gaudhan Vikas Nidhi Fund has been enhanced by Re.1/- from the existing Rs.1.50 to Rs.2.50.
The fixed annual license fee of Bars has been rationalized by abolishing the area-specific slabs of license fee. Now throughout the State, there will be uniform license slabs based upon the room capacity in hotels.
Rates of the annual fixed license fee of Bars in the tribal areas has been reduced considerably.
Further, all the above stakeholders will have to install CCTV cameras at their establishments as it was made mandatory for them.
Wholesale vends and retail vends, the penalty provisions under the H.P. Excise Act, 2011 have been made more stringent.
An end to end online Excise Administration System would be established in Himachal Pradesh, the government said.
HP Government estimates a collection of Rs 2131 crore revenue during the year, which will be Rs. 264 crores higher than the financial year 2021-22 – growth of 14% in state excise revenues.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to amend Himachal Pradesh Disaster Relief Manual-2012 to include deaths due to biting of honey bees, hornet and wasps, accidental drowning and deaths due to accidents of vehicles (including land, water and air) under this Manual.
The Cabinet gave its approval for filling up 11 posts of ‘A’ Class Tehsildar in Revenue Department through direct recruitment on regular basis through Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.
HP State Toll Policy 2022-23
The HP Cabinet also gave its nod to HP State Toll Policy for the year 2022-23 which envisages auction cum tender for all the toll barriers in the State. During the year 2021-22, toll revenue has registered a growth of 20 percent of the previous year’s revenue.