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INDIA: Code of Ethics

(Ed. note: Students taking the police training program in human rights at the Human Rights Centre of the National Law School of India University use this code of ethics as the basis of the oath that they take at the completion of their training.)

AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.

I WILL keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous and calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I WILL never act officiously or permit my personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favour, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I RECOGNIZE the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession - law enforcement.

(Source: A Training Manual for Police on Human Rights edited by N. R. Madhava Menon and published by the Human Rights Centre of the National Law School of India University, 1997, Bangalore, India. This code - the Professional Code of Ethics promulgated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 1957 - is reproduced from Leonard and Max, Police Organization and Management, Police Science Series, The Foundation Press, 1971, New York.)

Posted on 2001-08-14
Asian Human Rights Commission

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