Home Contact Us
Search :
   

India - Articles

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
#2145, 8 November 2006
 
Reforming the Police and Policing
Saumitra Mohan
Additional District Magistrate, Hooghly (West Bengal)
 

While we have felt the need for and independent and sensitive police force for better enforcement of the law of the land and protection of the common citizens' rights, this has remained pious thoughts, nostrums from the rostrums. Many police reform commissions and committees later, police reforms have finally gained the attention of our judiciary and government.

Although we became independent almost sixty years ago, our police and policing is still governed by the colonial Indian Police Act of 1861. Despite incremental changes introduced in this Act from time to time, they have remained a patch-work exercise; our police organization definitely deserves a closer scrutiny in view of the multiple threats posed to our internal security. Ironically, the court's order came a fortnight after the Police Act Drafting Committee headed by Soli Sorabjee published for debate the draft a new law to replace the antiquated Indian Police Act of 1861. Inter alia, it has provisions to check pressure on subordinate officers from their superiors and other quarters.

Now, if the Supreme Court has its way, the police would undergo a meaningful makeover by early January next year. While hearing a public interest litigation, the three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of India has issued instructions to the concerned authorities to take necessary action in line with detailed directives given by the court, which recommends sweeping reforms, ranging from restructuring of the force to its modernization and other qualitative changes.

According to its recommendations, all states must constitute a State Security Commission (SSC), a Police Establishment Board and a Police Complaints Authority. States are expected to ensure that all officers, ranging from the rank of SP to DGP hold office, wherever they are posted, for at least two years. The UPSC would recommend a panel of three nominees for the DGP in each state from which one will be selected by the SSC. Similarly, there will be a National Security Commission to select the heads of the BSF, CISF, CRPF and the ITBP.

The Bench has also ordered the setting up of a Commission to decide on selections and appointments to insulate the police force from interference in matters like selection, posting and transfer of the officers. Its two other striking recommendations are the creation of a State Security Commission to supervise the entire police force and a complaints authority to probe complaints of misconduct against police officials. These directives should streamline police functioning in an effective and non-partisan manner.

The Home Ministry is believed to be keen on the creation of a federal agency that can investigate cases that have inter-state and international ramifications. Cases with cross-border implications like narcotics, trafficking of women and smuggling of arms would be handled by a Central Intelligence and Investigating Agency. The Central Government could ask it to investigate cases without the consent of the states, which has far-reaching consequences for the federal structure of the Indian State, but is in keeping with the global centralizing tendencies seen in all other federal states.

Another special committee, constituted in December 2004, has made 49 recommendations taken from the several reports of different police commissions to bring about radical changes in the police and policing. It has confined itself to drawing up recommendations that are crucial for improvement in police functioning, the implementation of which would make an immediate impact on the reform process. Among the short listed recommendations are those on which the Supreme Court has issued directives. The other recommendations include the creation of a Federal Police for internal security, modernization of police forces, improvement in forensic science and infrastructure, tackling organized crime, tackling economic offences, amending the Identification of Prisoners Act, and measures to improve accountability and efficiency at all levels of the police hierarchy.

Although this judicial activism has raised hackles and ruffled feathers, the impetus for police reforms has been started. Implementation may take time due to fierce opposition from affected quarters, but a beginning has been made for transforming our police force into a more people-friendly and modern force. With the Prime Minister and Home Minister committed to implementing these reforms, one can be optimistic that that, this time around, police reforms will receive proper attention. One should therefore be more positive and hopeful because this time judicial activism is matched by the government's anxiety to reform the police organization.

Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
IPCS Columnists
Af-Pak Diary
D Suba Chandran
Resetting Kabul-Islamabad Relations: Three Key Issues
Can Pakistan Reset its Relations with Afghanistan?
The New Afghanistan: Four Major Challenges for President Ghani
Big Picture
Prof Varun Sahni
Understanding Democracy and Diversity in J&K
When Xi Met Modi: Juxtaposing China and India
Pakistan’s Tactical Nuclear Weapons: The Inevitability of Instability

Dateline Colombo

Asanga Abeyagoonasekera.
Sri Lanka: Stability in 2015
Sri Lanka: Making a Case for Change
Connecting Sri Lanka: Train to Jaffna
Dateline Islamabad
Salma Malik
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
India-Pakistan Relations in 2015: Through a Looking Glass
Burying the Past: A New Beginning for Pakistan and Afghanistan
 
Dhaka Discourse
Prof Delwar Hossain
18th SAARC Summit: A Perspective from Bangladesh
Bangladesh in Global Forums: Diplomacy vs. Domestic Politics
Bangladesh: Diplomatic Manoeuvres at the UNGA
Eagle Eye
Prof Chintamani Mahapatra
India-US: Significance of the Second Modi-Obama Meet
Has President Obama Turned Lame Duck?
Modi-Obama Summit: Criticism for Criticism’s Sake?

East Asia Compass
Dr Sandip Mishra
IPCS Forecast: East Asia in 2015
China-North Korea: Reasons for Reconciliation
Abe-Jinping Summit Meet: A Thaw in China-Japan Relations?
Himalayan Frontier
Pramod Jaiswal
IPCS Forecast: Nepal in 2015
Constitution-making: Will Nepal Miss its Second Deadline?
The Future of SAARC is Now

Indo-Pacific
Prof Shankari Sundararaman
IPCS Forecast: Southeast Asia in 2015
Indonesia's Pacific Identity: What Jakarta Must Do in West Papua
Modi in Myanmar: From ‘Look East’ to ‘Act East’
Indus-tan
Sushant Sareen
IPCS Forecast: Pakistan in 2015
Islamic State: Prospects in Pakistan
Pakistan: The Futility of Internationalising Kashmir

Looking East
Wasbir Hussain
India’s Northeast: Need for a New Anti-Terror Policy
India-China: Securitising Water
Maritime Matters
Vijay Sakhuja
IPCS Forecast: The Indian Ocean in 2015
India and Maritime Security: Do More
Indian Ocean and the IORA: Search and Rescue Operations

Nuke Street
Amb Sheelkant Sharma
US-Russia and Global Nuclear Security: Under a Frosty Spell?
India's Nuclear Capable Cruise Missile: The Nirbhay Test
India-Australia Nuclear Agreement: Bespeaking of a New Age
Red Affairs
Bibhu Prasad
IPCS Forecast: Left-wing Extremism in 2015
Maoist Attack on the CRPF: Time for New Counter-strategies
Naxal Violence: Challenges to Jharkhand Polls

Regional Economy
Amita Batra
IPCS Forecast: South Asian Regional Integration
South Asia: Rupee Regionalisation and Intra-regional Trade Enhancement
18th SAARC Summit: An Economic Agenda
South Asian Dialectic
PR Chari
Defence Management in India: An Agenda for Parrikar
Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan: Implications for Asian Security
Obama’s New Strategy towards the Islamic State: Implications for India

Spotlight West Asia
Amb Ranjit Gupta
IPCS Forecast: West Asia in 2015
Rise of the Islamic State: Implications for the Arab World
Islamic State: The Efficacy of Counter-strategies
Strategic Space
Manpreet Sethi
India-Russia Nuclear Vision Statement: See that it Delivers
Global Nuclear Disarmament: The Humanitarian Consequences Route
Nasr: Dangers of Pakistan's Short Range Ballistic Missile

The Strategist
Vice Admiral Vijay Shankar
The Af-Pak Entity: Seduction to Armageddon?
Maritime Combat Power in the Indo-Pacific
Of Lawrence, Sykes-Picot and al-Baghdadi
Voice from America
Amit Gupta
Obama’s Rapprochement with Cuba
China's Global Ambition: Need to Emulate Germany
Mid-Term Elections: So What If the US Swings Hard Right?


OTHER REGULAR contributors
Gurmeet Kanwal
Harun ur Rashid
N Manoharan
Wasbir Hussain
Rana Banerji
N Manoharan

Ruhee Neog
Teshu Singh
Aparupa Bhattacherjee
Roomana Hukil
Aparupa Bhattacherjee


 

Browse by Publications

Commentaries 
Issue Briefs 
Special Reports 
Research Papers 
Seminar Reports 
Conference Reports 

Browse by Region/Countries

East Asia 
South Asia 
Southeast Asia 
US & South Asia 
China 
Myanmar 
Afghanistan 
Iran 
Pakistan 
India 
J&K  

Browse by Issues

India & the world  
Indo-Pak 
Military 
Terrorism 
Naxalite Violence 
Nuclear 
Suicide Terrorism 
Peace & Conflict Database 
Article by same Author
India’s Defence Procurement: The Indigenisation Challenge

India-Bangladesh: Land Boundary Agreement and Enclave Populations

India-Bangladesh LBA: Setting the Right Tone

Development Initiatives in Naxal Affected Areas

Anachronistic Naxalism: Need for Reinvention

Guarding against Police Brutality

Reforming the Prison Administration in India

100 per cent FIR: Jalpaiguri Shows the Way

Growing Naxalism: Need for a Unified Command

A New Gorkhaland State: How Justified is the Demand?

Strengthening Indo-Bangla Relations

Debating the Idea of a Federal Police Agency

Bird Flu: A Threat to Economic Security

Securing Indian Jails against Naxal Threats

Strengthening the Right to Information

Growing Naxal Threat in West Bengal

Policing an Anomic Society: Need for Phase-II Reforms

Rehabilitating the Socially Alienated under RSVY

Indo-Bangladesh Relations: Unleashing the Potential

Naxalism: The Enemy Within

Enforcing the Right to Information

Tackling Terrorism

Lessons from Singur

Debating the Nuclear Deal

Debating Police Reforms

ADD TO:
Blink
Del.icio.us
Digg
Furl
Google
Simpy
Spurl
Y! MyWeb
Facebook
 
Print Bookmark Email Facebook Subscribe
Year 2015
 January  February  March
 2014  2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007
 2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1999
 1998  1997
 
 

The Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is the premier South Asian think tank which conducts independent research on and provides an in depth analysis of conventional and non-conventional issues related to national and South Asian security including nuclear issues, disarmament, non-proliferation, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, counter terrorism , strategies security sector reforms, and armed conflict and peace processes in the region.

For those in South Asia and elsewhere, the IPCS website provides a comprehensive analysis of the happenings within India with a special focus on Jammu and Kashmir and Naxalite Violence. Our research promotes greater understanding of India's foreign policy especially India-China relations, India's relations with SAARC countries and South East Asia.

Through close interaction with leading strategic thinkers, former members of the Indian Administrative Service, the Foreign Service and the three wings of the Armed Forces - the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air Force, - the academic community as well as the media, the IPCS has contributed considerably to the strategic discourse in India.

 
Subscribe to Newswire | Site Map | IPCS Email
B 7/3 Lower Ground Floor, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110029, INDIA.

Tel: 91-11-4100-1900, Tel: 91-11-4100-1901, Tel/Fax: 91-11-4100-1902

Email:
© Copyright 2015, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.
        Web Design by http://www.indiainternets.com