Police reforms aim to transform the values, culture, policies and practices of police organizations.
- Police is an exclusive subject under the State List (List II, Schedule 7 of the Constitution).
- The present Indian police system is largely based on the Police Act of 1861.
- After independence, some states came out with their own police acts, for example, the Kerala police act 1960, Delhi police act 1978.
Issues with Police System in India
- The Police Act of 1861 was legislated by the British right after the revolt of 1857 to bring in efficient administration of police in the country and to prevent any future revolts
- While the sanctioned police strength was 181 police per lakh persons in 2016, the actual strength was 137police.
- This is way too low when compared with the United Nations’ recommended standard of 222 police per lakh persons.
- Modern policing requires strong communication support, state-of the-art or modern weapons, and a high degree of mobility.
- CAG audit reports of year 2015-16, have found shortages in weaponry with state police forces.
Accountability to the Political Executives vs. Operational Freedom
- The Second ARC has noted that political control has been abused in the past by the political executive to unduly influence police personnel
- Abused by their superiors
- Inhuman work conditions
- Worries about pay scale, promotions etc
- Constabulary Related Issues: The constabulary constitutes 86% of the State police forces and has wide-ranging responsibilities
- Constables hired in the class 4 category are expected to use modern scientific technology without proper administration of training.
Reforms – Taken and suggested
- The police reforms were introduced in the pre-independence era by the British government in 1902-1903.
- After independence, in 1977, the Indian government set up a committee “National Police Commission”. This was the first committee at the national level set up by the Indian government to report on policing.
- The NPC suggested wide range of reforms like Model Police Act etc
- In a landmark judgment, Prakash Singh Case, the Supreme Court in 2006 had directed all States and Union Territories to bring in police reforms.
- In this judgment, the Supreme Court directed States and Union Territories to comply with seven binding directives which would kick-start the reforms.
- Post-2006: Supreme Court created Justice Thomas Committee to review the seven directives.
- Justice J.S. Verma committee was constituted to recommend amendments to the criminal law also recommended certain steps to reform the police, which include the establishment of the State Security Commission to ensure that the state government does not influence the state police
- NITI Aayog suggested – States should be encouraged, with fiscal incentives, to introduce ‘The Model Police Act of 2015’ as it modernizes the mandate of the police.
- NITI Aayog also suggested administrative and operational reform outsourcing non core functions etc
- Modernization of Police Forces like – procurement of modern weapons, providing logistics support, up gradation of police wireless etc
- Implementation of SC directives given in Prakash Singh case (2006)
- Revamping Criminal Justice System by implementation recommendations of Menon and Malimath Committees
Previous Year Questions (PYQs)
Q.1) With reference to the Union Government, consider the following statements: (2021)
- Gopalaswamy Iyengar Committee suggested that a minister and a secretary be designated solely for pursuing the subject of administrative reform and promoting it.
- In 1970, the Department of Personnel was constituted on the recommendation of the Administrative Reforms Commission, 1966, and this was placed under the Prime Minister’s charge.
Select the correct code:
- 1 Only
- 2 Only
- Both 1 and 2
- Neither 1 nor 2
Q.2) Which one of the following suggested that the Governor should be an eminent person from outside the State and should be a detached figure without intense political links or should not have taken part in politics in the recent past?
- First Administrative Reforms Commission (1966)
- Rajamannar Committee(1969)
- Sarkaria Commission (1983)
- National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution(2000)
Source: Indian Express