The order of the NDPS case involves an African National, directing the police not to use any unprintable word in the police FIRs, Police Report(s), or any Seizure Memo/Panchnama.
In the case, Amarjit Singh vs The State of Punjab, Justice Rajiv Narain Raina emphasized that a person shall not be discriminated against based on skin tone or race, made liable for punishment under Section 173 of CrPC, 1973 (report of a police officer on completion of an investigation).
“After all, the mind has no skin. May I ask, what color is God’s skin, and is there is any God if anyone knows. Let us stamp out any thought process on unfair social or racial discrimination based on caste, creed, skin, nation, and race, on the equator or off it, on a whim of suspicion in an anticipated criminal investigation.” – Court remarked
Amarjit Singh, the accused allegedly had used derogatory terms like ‘Nigro’ or ‘Negro’ in the official records during the investigation. The court has issued an order to the Director-General of Police to immediately stop the usage of such derogatory terms based on skin tone/race. There was also the circular, warning that any violations would be viewed seriously and as misconduct, attracting disciplinary action. It also barred the usage of ‘Nigro’ or ‘Negro’, ‘Kala’ and other ‘racist’ words having any racist connotations. The judge further emphasized that the usage of such words has a deeper effect that one would think of.
“It shows the stereotypical mindset of the Police authorities which fractures their ability to provide “equality before the law and equal protection of the law”. This unfortunate ideology creates alterity which has strongly infiltrated the law enforcement agencies and which is exactly the vice Article 14 provides protection against” – Court remarked
Later, it was discovered that the term was used by a witness and not the police and that it was recorded in a witness statement.
“If a witness or an accused uses that derogatory racial term dealt with, he should be taken to task. It is the attitude of the police which requires reform and if the process of change comes about… only then can we truly achieve meaningful and proactive color blindness against social and biological prejudice and the typification of a class of persons as inferior or superior” – Court remarked
The matter is still pending in the court after disposing of this chapter of the case.