Karnataka cops have a probe budget, but expenses borne by victim

Karnataka cops have a probe budget, but expenses borne by victim

Date: 08 Feb 2024,

BENGALURU: Police investigation often involves expenses, but there is little clarity on who is footing the bills. There have been complaints that the victim is asked to pay for random expenses which could involve travel and boarding -- taxi, airfare and hotel room rent -- when crime investigation involves travel to other cities and states.

Police and human rights experts have upheld the principle that investigation is not to be done at the expense of the victim, who is already traumatised by the crime. Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, a Delhi-based NGO, has studied investigation expenses of the Karnataka police and found some anomalies to point out that departmental grants are not being used for investigation.

CHRI Director Venkatesh Nayak said, ‘’Ordinarily, one would expect the annual expenses on investigation to go up, with an increase in the number of cases registered and investigated by police. Strangely, the data does not display such a trend. If the number of cases registered and investigated in a year goes up, compared with the previous year’s figures, the investigation budget would go up as well, if not in a one-to-one corresponding manner.

However, data on registration, investigation and charge-sheeting of cases shows a fairly even trend, but the average cost of investigating each case shows a falling trend in most years during the period under study, even when there is a sharp spike in the number of cases investigated and charge-sheeted in a particular year. This is perplexing.’’

“While studying crimes year on year, it is strange to find that while the larger number of cases have been investigated, smaller investigation expenses have been used. Whose money are they using? For example, when it was first introduced, the average amount spent per case was Rs 1,483, that has dropped to a mere Rs 399.32 for the period 2022,’’ Nayak added. Former police commissioner and DG&IGP of Karnataka Ajai Kumar Singh said, “I remember I was DGP CoD when investigation expense was first listed in the budget.

I am of the firm opinion that the victim should not be burdened further by making him bear additional expenses during investigation. During my time, I had the satisfaction of seeing this amount earmarked for investigation by the government. The jurisdictional SP and Commissioner can release it.’’ Bangalore Police Commissioner B Dayanand said, “For the past seven or eight months, I have streamlined the city police and ensured that police personnel use the fund. Some memos have also been served. At the police station level, staffers are being asked to ensure the fund is utilised for investigation.’’ Read More