State of Law & Order

  • IASbaba
  • November 12, 2022
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In News: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) convened a conference in Delhi aimed at improving the quality of policing in the country through an exchange of ideas, which saw the participation of the union home minister, a few State Home Ministers and police chiefs.


  • West Bengal gave it a miss, and it was an unfortunate development and a reflection of the lack of seriousness in matters of governance affecting public order and crime.
  • Further, Tamil Nadu police has been accused of being slothful and delayed handing over investigation of the incident to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) regarding a case of a blast in Coimbatore, and a possible terror-related plot, the State government.
  • Hence, it is important to conduct an examination of the standard operating procedures in place, the identification of lacunae and the initiation of corrective measures.
  • ‘Police’ is a State subject under schedule VII of the Constitution of India.
  • However, the centre can have a say in the matter such as Training and technology are two areas where the Centre does greatly contribute to sharpening police ability to combat terrorism and other major public disturbances.
  • The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy in Hyderabad is a world-class institution that has resources and the professional excellence which are generously available to State police forces.

Historical reference:

  • The first Home Minister of independent India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel placed great value on professional policing, and insisted on an elitist and well-trained corps such as the Indian Police Service (IPS) which worked alongside the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
  • He was under immense pressure to disband both the Indian Civil Service and IP, but as a distinguished and astute visionary, he was steadfast in his belief.
  • Despite all their faults, the two all-India services have been a cementing force and have greatly contributed to establishing nationally accepted standards of governance, especially in the area of law and order.


  • Chief Ministers are often driven by political considerations and gives unprofessional instructions. Hence, It is futile to blame a DGP if he or she does not respond to a situation in a professional manner since the DGP looks up to the Chief Minister for directions.
  • Structural gaps: Despite all that the Supreme Court of India has done to insulate the chief of police from political caprice, the truth is that a DGP is perilously placed vis-à-vis the Chief Minister and his or her party men.
  • Petty squabbling reduces the exchange of ideas and goes to attenuating the police response to difficult situations that require police assistance.
  • Frequent spats between States and the Centre over the use or alleged misuse of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
  • To withdraw consent to the CBI is an insensitive action by a few States and smacks of politics and vindictiveness, which diminishes the fight against public servant graft.
  • Conflict over utilising talent in the IPS between the MHA and some States and on sharing of resources available in the States.
  • Petulance in personnel management has occasionally affected administration in the Centre and States.


  • It makes sense that the MHA and State Police stop squabbling but explore how best to forge a strong camaraderie.
  • New Delhi is the senior partner in a collaborative relationship that includes the State police as well as Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in situations that have demanded large numbers of well-trained policemen.
  • There have also been other outfits such as the Border Security Force (BSF), the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) which have also worked in tandem with the State Police.
  • September 22 is celebrated as “Police Reforms Day” because of the Supreme Court’s historic verdict in 2006 directed all states and Union Territories to bring in police reforms.

Way forward:

  • Crime and bureaucratic corruption have inter-State ramifications and only a national agency can bring in a much-needed and wide perspective.
  • We need a political leadership that does not get bogged down in petty differences but promotes a free exchange of talent and resources between New Delhi and the States.
  • The passage of 75 years in a free India has more than established that a country of our proportions and diversity will need objective policing by a highly trained police force.

Source: The Hindu

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