New Delhi: Venting its anger on police brutalities, the Supreme Court Tuesday said law enforcers in the country still exhibited the culture of the brute force of the era of the British rulers.
"The culture they have been brought up in...they are representative of the British Raj. They don't belong to the nation whose father of nation was Mahatma Gandhi," said the apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice V. Gopala Gowda.
Police are bound to behave like this because for the British the Indians were chattels, the court said observing that India was the most tolerant country.
Mocking at police behaviour towards common people, the court sarcastically if there could be an "bravery award" for police brutality.
"Should there be a bravery award for the policemen who beat women and children," said the court.
The court said this while indicating that it was inclined to hold an independent inquiry into the brutal beating of the people who had assembled in the hall of Gangtok- based headquarters of Sikkim Karantikari Morcha by police.
"We are convinced that there should be an independent inquiry to fix the responsibility on the party or police. In a civilised society this is unacceptable in any situation," observed Justice Singhvi.
The members of the Sikkim Karantikari Morcha had assembled in the office of the outfit in connection with its inaugural function in February.
As counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner organisation, told the court that police personnel were asked by an inspector general to cane charge the people who has assembled for the meeting, the court orally observed: "It is the role of the police to beat the people and abuse them in the name of law and order."
Senior counsel A.K. Ganguly sought to present the side of the state government but the court asked him to view the video recording of the police cane charge that Bhushan had presented in the court.
The court took exception to the top police official of Gangtok city for instigating police personnel under his command and using filthy language.
Pointing to police cane charge on lawyers in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Maharashtra, Justice Singhvi said: "We shudder (at the thought) that one day police may enter the Supreme Court beating lawyers, lady lawyers and why only them, even we the judges."
While adjourning the matter, the court asked Ganguly to tell it why should not it order an independent probe into the Gangtok incident.