Sunday, May 29, 2011

Policing & Magistrate's Complaints

Some people have written to me to ask what they can do about the alleged breach of a law against campaigning over a particular period by one candidate during the recent general elections. Some people have lodged police reports against the candidate. Others are frustrated by how fast the police investigations are moving. For some background, read here (but note that I do not agree with the author's views on the rule of law).

If you lodged the police report, you are entitled to ask the investigator assigned the matter for an update.

If the police investigator does not give you a satisfactory reply, you can write to the police commissioner to lodge a complaint against the investigator.

If the police commissioner fails to act on the complaint, you can see your Member of Parliament. Persuade your Member of Parliament to raise the issue with the police. If the police investigator does not reply to the Member of Parliament, there is still the option to raise it in Parliament and to get the Executive to address the issue.

Alternatively, if you live in the affected constituency, you may wish to take legal advice and explore the option of filing a Magistrate’s Complaint.

Many criminal lawyers in Singapore take out such applications on a regular basis for their clients because the police fails to act in certain matters. For example, in 2009, about 4500 Magistrate’s Complaints were filed. If you need to find a suitable lawyer, contact the Law Society of Singapore.

Don’t just whine that the police force is sitting on your complaints. As a citizen of a democratic republic, you have certain rights. Use those rights.

Dharmendra Yadav

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