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Delhi police did not responded well during riots and it allowed riots to become bigger.

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In Criminal Justice System Law enforcement agency plays a critical role in securing the safety of society. The policing system has been designed as the primary enforcement agency that looks after the maintenance of Law and order in the country. A brief analysis of current scenario and prospects of Police Governance is covered by the article.

Why do we need Police Reform in India?

  • The basic working principle of policing is still colonial in India which is a repressive force. An independent country needs a democratic police system that is service oriented that instils faith among its citizen.
  • Politicization of Police system due to the interference of political leaders and party workers has lead to loss of its autonomy and degraded its respect among citizen.
  • The poor quality of investigation which leads to a lower conviction
  • The advancement in technology which has opened new dimensions of crime which can not be tackled by the current system
  • To prevent the highhandedness of police in the form of extra-judicial killings. Recently NHRC noted that 206 cases of encounters occurred in the last 12 months
  • To improve the Police to Population ratio
  • To improve people’s trust in policing system
  • To improve rotten criminal justice system

Both pre and post-independence, a number of committees and commissions have been appointed to give recommendation for Police reform.

Before Independence:

  • First Police Commission was set up in 1860, the recommendations of this Commission resulted in the enactment of the Police Act of 1861-a law that still governs police.
  •  Second Police Commission came out with a detailed report covering various aspects relating to the organization of police force, adequacy of training, strength, pay, investigating offences, etc. as we as review of  implementation of the Police Act of 1861

After Independence:

  • Gore Committee on Police Training in 1971
  • National Police Commission which, between 1977-1981, submitted 8 reports suggesting wide ranging reforms in the existing police set-up and also a Model Police Act.
  • Ribeiro Committee to review action taken to implement the recommendations of the NPC.
  • Padmanabhaiah Committee to examine the requirements of policing in the new millennium.
  • Malimath Committee on reforms of Criminal Justice Systemin India was set up in 2003.

Directions of the Supreme Court in Prakash Singh vs Union of India

  • Constitute a State Security Commission in every state that will lay down policy for police functioning, evaluate police performance, and ensure that state governments do not exercise unwarranted influence on the police.
  • Constitute a Police Establishment Board in every state that will decide postings, transfers and promotions for officers below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, and make recommendations to the state government for officers of higher ranks.
  • Constitute Police Complaints Authorities at the state and district levels to inquire into allegations of serious misconduct and abuse of power by police personnel.
  • Provide a minimum tenure of at least two years for the DGP and other key police officers (e.g., officers in charge of a police station and district) within the state forces, and the Chiefs of the central forces to protect them against arbitrary transfers and postings.
  • Ensure that the DGP of state police is appointed from amongst three senior-most officers who have been empanelled for the promotion by the Union Public Service Commission on the basis of length of service, good record and experience.
  • Separate the investigating police from the law and order police to ensure speedier investigation, better expertise and improved rapport with the people.
  • Constitute a National Security Commission to shortlist the candidates for appointment as Chiefs of the central armed police forces.
December 2023