POLICE REFORMS: ONLY ON PAPER


The Author of this blog is Ms. Rajshee Singh who is pursuing B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) 3rd year from Hidayatullah national law University, Raipur Chhattisgarh. 


In a welfare state, the police role is not only one of protection and social defense, but of social welfare as well. They have to function as a social service organization and deal with crime and public order in a manner so as to gain the goodwill and cooperation of the public.

Article 246 of the Constitution of India has demarcated the powers of union and state into three lists, namely, UNION LIST, STATE LIST, and CONCURRENT LIST. The article has designated POLICE as a STATE SUBJECT. Each state has framed its own police act, rules, and regulations which govern the Police force. It is almost 30 years since we are debating on the topic “POLICING AND REFORMS” we can only see these reforms on paper even in 2020.
Internal security is very much carte blanche of police and efficient policing is a must in order to tackle menaces. But for that police system needs to follow SMART POLICING, that is, SENSITIVE, MOBILE, ALERT, RELIABLE, TECHNO SAVVY POLICING.
A policeman acts as the first line of defense in regulating internal security, which may arise in the form of Terrorist, left-wing extremist, religious fundamentalism, ethnic violence, etc. 
Policing needs to be EFFICIENT, EFFECTIVE, AND TECHNOLOGICALLY SOUND. Equity is immersed in the constitution of India, under which all police officers are an oath to uphold. The working of police depends upon the relationship between four P’s which is POLICE, POLITICIANS, PRESS, and PUBLIC.
The bond between POLICE and PUBLIC is the strongest, although the public complains about being neglected by the police, however, they feel safe and secure in their presence. They share a very close and strong relationship as accused, victim, a complainant is from the public even police too are from public. Hence, we can say that POLICE is from the public, by the public and for the public.  Sadly, the public has its own methods of expressing disservice. They go to press or politicians and the other two exploit this relationship rather than constructive criticism. The police remain indifferent and work in seclusion.
For avoiding press and politicians from turning the public against police it is very important to have a public-friendly police system not only at ground level but at the global level too. And for that, we need STRUCTURAL REFORM in the department at ground level.
Division of police into various groups as per their expertise may help in a fair and fast investigation; this might also help in building stronger relations between police and public. The groups can be divided into- Investigation team, Law and order intelligence team, VIP security, the specialised group for combating problems of left-wing extremists, terrorism. It would help the department to function properly and systematically as all the manpower would not be focusing only on one case or one area. The division of power have always resulted in smooth functioning of the department if not exploited.
Welfare of policemen is equally important. After giving their 100% they do not even get a proper house to live in, proper vehicle to commute, even weapons authorized to them are obsolete and outdated. Another problem which is century old is the recruitment process. During training, more focus is on building physical strength instead of building their intelligence in the field of cyber-crime, forensic skill, financial fraud, crimes related to smuggling of drugs and other illegal items, etc. Proper Training programs should be organized so that force may be updated with all the technological advancement and weaponry advancement. There is a shortage of manpower in the police department currently there are 144 police per lakh population. UN suggested 222 police per lakh population is the ideal ratio. Because of this 90% of policemen work more than 12 hours a day and more than 3/4th policemen are not able to take weekly leave.
Union Home Minister AMIT SHAH said “I want to ensure all police forces that this government has made many plans for police welfare. I will not share the details but I would like to say that your health concern, your family concern, your house concern or atmosphere of work is our government's topmost priority,” [1]
Even after 14 years of famous SUPREME COURT JUDGMENT on POLICE REFORMS in the case of PRAKASH SINGH & ORS. V. UNION OF INDIA yet we cannot see any development in the police act neither state follows the guidelines provided by the Supreme Court. 
After 72 years of independence Police forces are regulated by colonial time act “INDIAN POLICE ACT, 1861”.The act was a result of the revolt of 1857. Previously during the colonial period, people used to fear the sound of the police.
Despite various reports submitted by NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION (1979-1981), yet police reforms are only on paper. The Honourable Supreme Court of India in PRAKASH SINGH & ORS. Vs. UNION OF INDIA instructed the central and the state governments to comply with the set of directives which may help in police reforms those were:-
·         Constitute a STATE SECURITY COMMISSION (SSC).
·         Appointment of DIRECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE on MERIT BASES. Minimum Tenure for 2 years.
·         Police officers on operational duties (including SP in charge of district and station house officer in charge of the police station) Minimum tenure must be 2 years.
·         Separation of investigation and law and order functions of the police.
·         POLICE ESTABLISHMENT BOARD (PEB) to look into the matter of Transfer, posting, promotion, etc.
·         Establishment of POLICE COMPLAINT AUTHORITY (PCA). To look into the matter of complaints against police officers.
·         Set up NATIONAL SECURITY COMMISSION (NSC) at the union level.
After the judgment still we cannot see any reform concerned with police, the sole reason being POLITICIANS, how can they lose such power? Several review petitions were filed however all were dismissed by the court. These politicians have made police more of RULER CENTRIC than PEOPLE CENTRIC.
All these demands are not new since the independence and division of power various commissions like NPC, RIBERO COMMITTEE, etc. Have submitted various reports and they are just collecting specks of dust. There was a comment made by a politician that the judiciary is acting beyond its power well we should not forget that legislative and executive have failed us for 72 years and hence judiciary has to act in that manner.
Given below are a few steps that might improve the standard of maintaining internal security.
                     INTELLIGENCE REFORM:
All the instability occurring in a state or any law and order situation can be brought into control through intelligence, knows that certain situations may arise and preparing the force beforehand for the same. Intelligence is not just by the IB or R&AW or DIA; in case of internal security, it is the force of the state, that is, POLICE FORCE.
                     PREVENTION OF LAW AND ORDER SITUATION THROUGH SURVEILLANCE:
Physical surveillance finding the key person related to the act which has to take place. Technical surveillance/electronic surveillance may help find the networks or other members connected to the suspected person and the act. Investigation of the key person who is related to any riot or any other criminal activity may result in abortion of their plan which may have harmed the society. 
                     PREVENTIVE DETENTION OF THE INSTIGATOR
Police have the power to detain a person on the ground of suspicion that some wrong act is done by the concerned person and if the allegations or evidence found are true then further legal proceedings may be brought against him.



CONCLUSION
There is always something on the news about a police officer shooting an innocent or police brutality, but even a single person would have stopped and thought what police go through every day? Every day they go to work knowing they are going to get called by names, even get beaten, they have life threat. In spite of all this, they give their 100%. Independence of police force from the influence of politicians is a must. They should not fear Transfers and Punishment postings
In spite of repetitive reports request still no development or positive step has been taken to the reform of the police system. It shows the stubbornness of the bureaucracy and lack of political will to implement the order as stated by the Supreme Court. This behaviour of bureaucrats and politicians also shows that Police is merely a tool which they use to fulfil their beneficial interest.
Keeping aside all the articles, news, etc. Published against police officers because of some corrupt element, here is a small token of respect for each and every police officer who is working 24*7 in order to protect citizens, I salute you sir for your determination, truthfulness. I salute to these unsung heroes.
REFERENCE
[1] Welfare of police personnel is central govt's top priority: Amit Shah, Business standard available at https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/welfare-of-police-personnel-is-central-govt-s-top-priority-amit-shah-119102100586_1.html as last visited on June 5, 2020.



Comments

  1. Whoa, you have made a lot of criticism about politicians up there and started that legislative and executive body has failed us,they have failed in performing their task, that's hell of a criticism,Rajshee.
    But isn't that we all are doing ..... one side you have said that Media and news channels are exploiting the relationship between police and people with constructive news and on the other side you have criticized our legislative body solely without any concrete evidence we all are alleging each other, it feels like we are playing "blame game" , but the thing is we all are trying to find our worth by criticising others. I am not saying this is wrong after all democracy has given us such power to criticize anyone , anywhere, on any social networking paltform and you have all the right to do that but don't do it like every other news personals and I am really glad that you didn't denounce our judiciary for browbeating or being biased like alot of people now a days believes that judiciary is also in politicians control.
    Apart from all that I would like to give a admiration to all the police personal who had done and are doing their jobs fiercely always even after being criticized by all the media and people to whom they are protecting. They deserve tons of appreciation for being so brave and for being our first line of defense for giving us protection and giving their 100% every single day.
    They indeed play a crucial role in our society and they are doing their part genuinely not like our hypocrite politicians.
    And I feel like welfare of police should be one of the government's top priority and I hope government will give a glance to this issue.
    Till then let's be little optimistic...
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    Replies
    1. first of all, thank you for your feedback. No one is playing the blame game here there is concrete evidence but due to word limit, I could not include them I can mail you if you want. we all know how politicians and media influence people and how politicians use their power to exploit police officer there are many instances where a police officer has been transferred or suspended or punishment posting (in cases where they go against ideologies of politicians) is done, yes legislative and executive have failed to do their work as a result of it we lack reforms in the police force and I can say this confidently. Also, stating the truth is not criticizing and finding ones own worth.

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