Police clear that “with every passing year, the evidence

Police Reform in India

Max Weber defined ‘State’ as an organisation that has a
monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force.

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1.     The
police are the instrument of physical force of the State.

2.     They
have to bear the burden of failure of other instruments of governance as well.

Due to Poor infrastructure and lack of trained officials
incidents like Dimapur lynching (where mob entered the prison) occur. The
Supreme Court has issued directives for police reforms in 2006 under Prakash
Singh Badal Judgement, but the directives were not effectively implemented by
the respective state Governments.

The Existing Policing System in India

‘Public order’ and ‘Police’ figure in the State
list in the VII schedule of our constitution.

The Police Act, 1861 is still the basic
instrument governing the functioning of the Indian police.

The Director General and Inspector General of
Police is the head of a state police.

States are divided into districts and a
Superintendent of Police heads the district police.

Issues in Policing

NHRC has made it very clear that “with every
passing year, the evidence before the Commission mounts that there must be
major police reforms in the country if the human rights situation is to be

Political authorities have a stronghold over
police this nexus affects the credibility of the police too.

Most of the times the State Police Training
Schools 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 intelligence
gathering efforts are devoted mainly to gathering information about major law
and order problems, while adequate attention is not paid to collection of
intelligence relating to commission of crimes.

Since the police is the primary agency of the
criminal justice system which protects human rights, it is essential to
sensitise police personnel to gender issues.

Gender disparity is another issue as in the
criminal justice system, the representation of women is low in all wings and
especially 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 vs
Union of India (2006)

Second Administrative Reform Commission
recommendation on Police Reform

Supreme Court directives in Prakash Singh case

Set up a Police Establishment Board (PEB) to
decide transfers, postings, promotions and other service related matters of
police officers of and below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police and
make recommendations on postings and transfers above the rank of Deputy
Superintendent of Police.

Constitute a State Security Commission (SSC) to
provide policy guidelines and ensure that the state government does not
exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the police.

Ensure that the DGP is appointed through merit
based transparent process and secure a minimum tenure of two years.

Ensure that other police officers on operational
duties (including Superintendents of Police in-charge of a district and Station
House Officers in-charge of a police station) are also provided a minimum
tenure of two years.

Separate the investigation and law and order
functions of the police.

Set up a Police Complaints Authority (PCA) at
state level to inquire into public complaints against police officers of and
above the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police in cases of serious
misconduct, including custodial death, grievous hurt, or rape in police custody
and at district levels to inquire into public complaints against the police
personnel below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police in cases of serious

Set up a National Security Commission (NSC) at
the union level to prepare a panel for selection and placement of Chiefs of the
Central Police Organisations (CPO) with a minimum tenure of two years.

Suggestions to improve Policing System in India

Community Policing can be promoted- “Community Policing is
an area specific proactive process of working with the community for prevention
and detection of crime, maintenance of public order and resolving local
conflicts and with the objective of providing a better quality of life and
sense of security”.

SMART Policing should be focused
upon- SMART i.e. Strict and Sensitive, Modern and Mobile, Alert and
Accountable, Reliable and responsive, Tech savvy and Trained.

Police Training- Training should focus on bringing in
attitudinal change in police so that they become more responsive and sensitive
to citizens’ needs.

Gender Parity in Police force- The 2nd Administrative Reform
Commission recommended that the representation of women in police at all levels
should be increased through affirmative action so that they constitute about
33% of the police.

Improvement in Forensic
Infrastructure -There is need to
expand the forensic facilities and upgrade them technologically. Every district
or a group of districts having 30 to 40 lakhs population should have a forensic

Improvement in Intelligence gathering- The intelligence gathering machinery in the field needs to be
strengthened and at the same time, made more accountable. Human intelligence
should be combined with information derived from diverse sources with the focus
on increased use of technology.