The Curious Case of Lost and Stolen
“Iski missing complaint likhwa lo, mil jayega”
You might relate to this if you have ever lost your stuff or it got stolen and you straight went to the police to file the complaint. So, when you land (already panicked) you are made to understand the complexities of the Indian Judiciary which flourishes much better under jugaad than any other policies. The lax laws of the country and the increase in the criminal activities have already made the nationals lose hope in the system. And now, with the ignorant attitude of the authorities, there is absolutely little hope left to get your lost belongings back.
When Vikram Sheoran (Web Manager, CSR) went to Vasant Kunj Police Station to file an FIR of his stolen wallet, little did he know what is there in store. First, he witnessed the heated debate between the south and north Vasant Kunj police officials to sort out the area of theft and next was when his complaint of stolen wallet was registered as a missing complaint without even notifying him.
The catch between lost and stolen is:
- You can file the FIR (FIRST INFORMATION REPORT) only in cases of stolen where the police has the authority to make immediate arrest and also, has to start the investigation.
- In cases of missing, NCR (NON-COGNIZABLE REPORT) is lodged where the police can neither take any action without the court order nor effect any arrest.
Also, to show up on the list of stations with least number of theft complaints, the police tries to shift all the reports of lost to missing. Else they are answerable to all the complaints of theft in their areas.
On 9th April 2015, Centre for Social Research filed an RTI to enquire about the reported number of lost and stolen purses in Delhi between 2012 to 2015.
After two consecutive letters from Ministry of Home Affairs, the first letter stated that, “As per reports of SHO, no separate record is maintained in this regards. Hence, the required information is not available at a glance. However, the applicant may visit all Police Stations of this district on any working day to inspect the permissible record under the provision of section 4(1)(d) (Regulation of Fee & Cost) of RTI Act-2005 for which necessary directions have been issued to all SHOs of this district.”
Following this, we received another letter stating that no separate record of lost and stolen of wallet/purse is maintained in this unit. This was from PIO IGI Airport Unit, Mehram Nagar, Police Lines, New Delhi 37.
Disappointed with the response, Centre for Social Research will follow up with the authorities and shall share any further response with you all.
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