A Case For Police Reforms In India

The Police in India are regulated and administered by the colonial primitive “Police Act” implemented in 1861 which was the Act number 5 of the stated year. The Constitution of India marks the police regulation as a subject under the powers and jurisdiction of the States but somehow post-independence, most of the states adopted the said Act without any amendments and if not, then they are stand on the Police Act, 1861. The necessity for the reformation in the Police and Police Laws in India is far well recognized and the debates on the mentioned subject could be traced back to 3 decades but, somehow, the issue is not yet prioritized enough. Anyhow, it has been observed that numerous of the Expert bodies have examined the Police Reforms in India several times, i.e., National Police Commission from 1977 to 1981, Ribeiro Committee in 1998, Padmanabhaiah Committee in 2000, Malimath Committee from 2002 to 2003, Police Act Drafting Committee in 2005, Supreme Court directions in Prakash Singh Vs. Union of India[1]in 2006, Second Administrative Reforms Commission in 2007 and Police Act Drafting Committee II in 2015.

  1. Issues faced by Police:
  2. Police existing as a segment of the Executive in India but is not immune from Political Interference or it can be said that the Police is Politicized and taken advantage of.
  3. The Police inside Administration Systems are not fairly independent and pellucid in nature.
  4. Policing efficiencies have diminished as far as their center capacities.
  5. There is a communication gap between the Police and common citizens.
  6. The nature of investigation norms is weakening day by day.
  7. Investigations are delayed due to internal mis coordination.
  8. The supplied weaponry is often obsolete.
  9. Low training standards and use of anarchic technology leaves them less effective and inefficient.
  10. Greater workload is also a significant factor behind the shortcoming of Police.
  • Police as a Federal setup:

As stated under the Entry 2 of the List 2 (State List) mentioned under the Schedule 7 (Article 246)[2], the Police (including railway and village police) are governed by the various States under their respective Police Act(s) but are subject to the provisions of Entry 2A in the List I[3]. As exceptions, the Delhi Police can be taken, which is governed by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India and the Police Forces in the Union Territories also are primarily held by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India and secondarily by the Administrator/Lieutenant Governor (an Indian Administrative Service/Indian Police Service officer) of the particular Union Territory. Some more of the Central Police Forces which are governed by the Govt. of India instead of the States, they are:

  1. Assam Rifles (AR): Guards India’s borders with Myanmar.
  2. Border Security Force (BSF): Guards India’s borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  3. Indo Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP): Guards the India’s borders with China.
  4. Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB): Guards India’s borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
  5. Central Industrial Security Force (CISF): Security in Airports, Defense Production Units, Atomic Power Plants, Oil Fields, etc.
  6. Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF): Implemented for law and order, counter terrorism, counter insurgency, anti-Naxal and communal aggression operations.
  7. National Security Guards (NSG): Expert in executing counter terrorism, counter hijacking, and hostage-rescue operations. Furthermore, the said force provides security to the VIPs and security for important events.

Hierarchy of the State Police in India:

  • Officers’ Ranks:
    • Director General of Police (DGP)- heads the State Police Force
    • Additional DGP
    • Inspector General of Police (IGP)- heads Zone
    • Deputy IGP –heads Range
    • Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP)- heads larger Police Districts
    • Superintendent of Police (SP)- heads Police Districts
    • Additional SP
    • Assistant/Deputy SP- heads Sub-Division
  • Upper Subordinates:
    • Inspector- heads Police Stations in urban areas
    • Sub-Inspector (SI)- heads Police Stations in rural areas
    • Assistant SI
  • Lower Subordinates/constabulary:
    • Head Constable
    • Constable
  • Various Commissions:

Some of the concerned commissions are mentioned below:

  1. National Police Commission: The National Police Commission (NPC) was founded in 1977 by the Government of India. It was given wide terms of reference that incorporated the association, job, and elements of the police, police-citizens associations, political impedance with police work, abuse of police force, and police responsibility and execution assessment. The NPC created a total of eight reports somewhere in the range of 1979 and 1981, setting out wide arriving at suggestions for change.
  2. Ribeiro Committee: In 1996, two previous senior cops (the petitioners) documented a public interest case in the Supreme Court mentioning the Court to guide the Govt. of India to execute the proposals of the National Police Commission. In May1998, the public authority set up the Ribeiro Committee in consistence with the bearings of the Court. The Committee’s expressions of reference were to audit activity taken to execute the proposals of the National Police Commission, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and the Vohra Committee, to recommend available resources actualizing the forthcoming suggestions and to make whatever other proposals which it thought about to be important.

At the petitioner’s solicitation, the Supreme Court guided the Committee to survey the activity taken to execute the National Police Commission’s suggestions. The Supreme Court explicitly requested proposals on State Security Commissions (or Police Authorities), techniques for the appointment of Police Chiefs, and isolating the examination and peace elements (law and order) of the police.

The Committee delivered two reports. The first one, delivered in October 1998, managed the Supreme Court’s particular concerns. The second, more broad report, was delivered in March 1999.

  • Padmanabhaiah Committee: In January 2000, the Govt. of India set up one more council to see Police Reform, ordinarily known as the Padmanabhaiah Committee on Police Reforms. The Committee finished its report in August 2000. The Committee’s expressions of reference were wide and required the Committee to inspect difficulties that the police would look in the following years; to imagine a power that would be individuals amicable but then ready to successfully handle issues of coordinated wrongdoing, aggressiveness, and terrorism; recommend approaches to change the police into an expert and skillful power; distinguish instruments to protect police from political obstruction; consider redressal of public complaints and of police complaints; devise methods of making sure about open trust and collaboration, and analyze the requirement for ‘federal crimes’ and the making of a Federal Law Enforcement Agency.
  • Police Act Drafting Committee: In 2005, the Government of India set up another commission known as the Police Act Drafting Committee, led by Soli Sorabjee. The Committee started working in September 2005 and presented a Model Police Act to the Govt. of India in October 2006. The Committee’s expressions of reference were to draft another Police Act considering the changing job and duties of the police, just as the difficulties introduced by the expansion in rebellion, aggressiveness, and Naxalism in India. The terms of reference required the new Act to incorporate measures to change the police demeanor and mirror the society’s assumptions for present-day police administration. When drafting the law, the Committee was likewise needed to think about criminological strategies for policing. The terms of reference likewise ordered that the new Police Act should address the issues of human rights, concerns for women, and individuals belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Supreme Court Judgment in Prakash Singh Vs. Union of India[4]:

In 1996, a petition was documented before the Supreme which expressed that the police misuse and abuse their forces. It asserted non-authorization and oppressive utilization of laws for people with clout, and furthermore raised occurrences of unapproved detainments, torment, badgering, and so forth against common residents. The petition requested the Court to give recommendations for the usage from proposals of specialist panels.

The directions from the Court in September 2006 were as follows:

  • Comprise a State Security Commission in each state that will set down arrangements for police working, assess police execution, and guarantee that state governments do not practice unwarranted influence on the police.
  • Comprise a Police Establishment Board in each state that will choose postings, transfers, and advancements for officials underneath the position of Deputy Superintendent of Police and make proposals to the state government for officials of higher positions.
  • Establish Police Complaints Authorities at the state and area levels to ask into charges of genuine unfortunate behavior and maltreatment of force by police officers.
  • Give a base residency of in any event two years for the DGP and other key police officers inside the state powers, and the Chiefs of the central forces to secure them against arbitrary transfers and postings.
  • Guarantee that the DGP of state police is delegated from among three senior-most officials who have been impaneled for the advancement by the Union Public Service Commission based on length of service, good record, and experience.
  • Separate the investigating police from the law-and-order police to guarantee speedier investigation, better aptitude, and improved affinity with the individuals.
  • Establish a National Security Commission to waitlist the possibility for arrangement as Chiefs of the focal outfitted police powers.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are personal

Youkteshwari Prasad

Fourth Semester, B.A., LL.B (H)

Amity Law School, NOIDA


[1](2006) 8 SCC 1.

[2]The Constitution of India.

[3]Constitution of India.

[4](2006) 8 SCC 1.

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