Principles and Code of Conduct of the Karnataka State Police Force

The Duties and Responsibilities of the Police are to:

  1. The Police Officers have been given powers under the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Act No.II of 1974), the Karnataka Police Act, 1963 (Karnataka Act No.4 of 1964), and several special acts notified by the Government of India and the Government of Karnataka in regard to these duties.
  2. The Police must bear faithful allegiance to the Constitution of India and respect  and uphold the rights of the citizens as guaranteed by it.
  3. The Police are essentially a law  enforcing agency.  They should not question the propriety or necessity of any duly enacted law.  They should enforce the law firmly and impartially, without fear or favour, malice or vindictiveness.
  4. The police should recognise and respect the limitations of their powers and functions.  They should not usurp or even seem to usurp the functions of the judiciary and sit in judgement on cases, nor should they avenge individuals and punish the guilty.
  5. In securing the observance of law or in maintaining order, the police should use the methods of persuasion, advice and warning. Should these fail, and the application of force becomes inevitable, only the absolute minimum required in the circumstances should be used.
  6. The primary duty of the police is to prevent crime and disorder and the police must recognise that the test of their efficiency is the absence of both and not the visible evidence of police action in dealing with them.
  7. The police must recognise that they are members of the public, with the only difference that in the interest of the community and on its behalf they are employed to give full-time attention to duties which are normally incumbent on every citizen to perform.
  8. The police should realise that the efficient performance of their duties will be dependent on the extent of ready co-operation they receive from the public.  This, in turn, will depend on their ability to secure public approval of their conduct and actions and to earn and retain public respect and confidence.  The extent to which they succeed in obtaining public co-operation will diminish proportionately the necessity of the use of physical force or compulsion in the discharge of their functions.
  9. The police should be sympathetic and considerate to all people and should be constantly mindful of their welfare.  They should always be ready to offer individual service and friendship and render necessary assistance to all without regard to their wealth or social standing.
  10. The police shall always place duty before self, should remain calm and good humoured whatever be the danger or provocation and should be ready to sacrifice their lives in protecting those of others.
  11. The police should always be courteous and well-mannered.  They should be dependable and unattached; they should possess dignity and courage; and should cultivate character and the trust of the people.
  12. Integrity of the highest order is the fundamental basis of the prestige of the police.  Recognizing this, the police must keep their private lives scrupulously clean, develop self-restraint and be truthful and honest in thought and deed, in both personal and official life, so that the public may regard them as exemplary citizens.
  13. The police should recognise that they can enhance their utility to the administration and the country only by maintaining a high standard of discipline, un-stilted obedience to the superiors and loyalty to the Force and by keeping themselves in a state of constant training and preparedness.
  14. Every Police Officer shall be considered to be always on duty and shall be liable for service anywhere in India and shall have the powers, duties, privileges and liabilities of a Police Officer wherever employed as such.
  15. Observance of human rights is of paramount importance for the Police.  The Police as an Institution are accountable to the people and the Police role and functions are comprehensive of not only law enforcement but also several other functions  which include social services and emergency services.  The Police should see that they do not violate the human right norms and they should respect human dignity in all its dimensions. It should be remembered that the observance of human rights can best be sustained by following the principles of rule of law.