Police Reform in IndiaMax Weber defined ‘State’ as an organisation that has amonopoly on the legitimate use of physical force.1.
Thepolice are the instrument of physical force of the State.2. Theyhave to bear the burden of failure of other instruments of governance as well.Due to Poor infrastructure and lack of trained officialsincidents like Dimapur lynching (where mob entered the prison) occur. TheSupreme Court has issued directives for police reforms in 2006 under PrakashSingh Badal Judgement, but the directives were not effectively implemented bythe respective state Governments.The Existing Policing System in India· ‘Public order’ and ‘Police’ figure in the Statelist in the VII schedule of our constitution.
· The Police Act, 1861 is still the basicinstrument governing the functioning of the Indian police.· The Director General and Inspector General ofPolice is the head of a state police.· States are divided into districts and aSuperintendent of Police heads the district police.Issues in Policing· NHRC has made it very clear that “with everypassing year, the evidence before the Commission mounts that there must bemajor police reforms in the country if the human rights situation is to beimproved”· Political authorities have a stronghold overpolice this nexus affects the credibility of the police too.· Most of the times the State Police TrainingSchools where a large majority of policemen undergo training are ill equipped,starved of funds and staffed by unwilling instructors.· It is general observation that the intelligencegathering efforts are devoted mainly to gathering information about major lawand order problems, while adequate attention is not paid to collection ofintelligence relating to commission of crimes.
· Since the police is the primary agency of thecriminal justice system which protects human rights, it is essential tosensitise police personnel to gender issues.· Gender disparity is another issue as in thecriminal justice system, the representation of women is low in all wings andespecially the police.Various expert Bodies on Police Reforms · National Police Commission (1977-81)· Ribeiro Committee (1988) · Padmanabhaiah Committee (2000) · Malimath Committee (2002-03) · Supreme Court Directives on Prakash Singh vsUnion of India (2006) · Second Administrative Reform Commissionrecommendation on Police ReformSupreme Court directives in Prakash Singh case· Set up a Police Establishment Board (PEB) todecide transfers, postings, promotions and other service related matters ofpolice officers of and below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police andmake recommendations on postings and transfers above the rank of DeputySuperintendent of Police.· Constitute a State Security Commission (SSC) toprovide policy guidelines and ensure that the state government does notexercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the police.· Ensure that the DGP is appointed through meritbased transparent process and secure a minimum tenure of two years.
· Ensure that other police officers on operationalduties (including Superintendents of Police in-charge of a district and StationHouse Officers in-charge of a police station) are also provided a minimumtenure of two years.· Separate the investigation and law and orderfunctions of the police.· Set up a Police Complaints Authority (PCA) atstate level to inquire into public complaints against police officers of andabove the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police in cases of seriousmisconduct, including custodial death, grievous hurt, or rape in police custodyand at district levels to inquire into public complaints against the policepersonnel below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police in cases of seriousmisconduct.· Set up a National Security Commission (NSC) atthe union level to prepare a panel for selection and placement of Chiefs of theCentral Police Organisations (CPO) with a minimum tenure of two years.Suggestions to improve Policing System in IndiaCommunity Policing can be promoted- “Community Policing isan area specific proactive process of working with the community for preventionand detection of crime, maintenance of public order and resolving localconflicts and with the objective of providing a better quality of life andsense of security”.SMART Policing should be focusedupon- SMART i.e. Strict and Sensitive, Modern and Mobile, Alert andAccountable, Reliable and responsive, Tech savvy and Trained.
Police Training- Training should focus on bringing inattitudinal change in police so that they become more responsive and sensitiveto citizens’ needs.Gender Parity in Police force- The 2nd Administrative ReformCommission recommended that the representation of women in police at all levelsshould be increased through affirmative action so that they constitute about33% of the police.Improvement in ForensicInfrastructure -There is need toexpand the forensic facilities and upgrade them technologically. Every districtor a group of districts having 30 to 40 lakhs population should have a forensiclaboratory.
Improvement in Intelligence gathering- The intelligence gathering machinery in the field needs to bestrengthened and at the same time, made more accountable. Human intelligenceshould be combined with information derived from diverse sources with the focuson increased use of technology.