Implement Supreme Court directives on Police reforms in India

  • by: Syed Tanveeruddin
  • target: Hon'ble Supreme Court, President, PM, MHA, Guvs, CMs & Chief Secretaries

http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/ 
Video CNN-IBN: SC suggests police reforms, neta's still partial 
SC directives on police reforms stay on paper 
Video CNN-IBN - RELUCTANT REFORMER: States like Gujarat have ignored the Model Police Act, despite SC orders. 
Created: December 25, 2007 Last Updated: Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Supreme Court DIRECTIVES*
Separate law and order from investigation*
Set up Police Establishment Board or PEB for postings, transfers*
Two-year tenure for DGP, SP, SHO*
Set up National Security Commission  or NSC for posting of police chiefs*
Set up Police Complaints Authority or PCA*
Set up State Security Commissions or SSCs

Prakash Singh & Ors Vs. Union of India and Ors
Coram: Y.K. Sabharwal, C.K. Thakker, P.K. Balasubramanyan
22/09/2006
Case No.: Writ Petition (civil)  310 of 1996
Petitioner: Prakash Singh & Ors
Respondent: Union of India and Ors
Date of Judgement: 22/09/2006 or September 22, 2006
Bench: Y.K. Sabharwal, C.K. Thakker & P.K. Balasubramanyan
Judgement: Judgement
Y.K. Sabharwal, CJI (the then Chief Justice of India).

Kindly implement the following unambiguous directions issued by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India on September 22, 2006 to the Central Government, State Governments and Union Territories for compliance till framing of the appropriate legislations:

State Security Commission or SSC
(1) The State Governments are directed to constitute a State Security Commission (SSC) in every State to ensure that the State Government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the State police and for laying down the broad policy guidelines so that the State police always acts according to the laws of the land and the Constitution of the country.

This watchdog body shall be headed by the Chief Minister (CM) or Home Minister as Chairman and have the DGP of the State as its ex-officio Secretary.

The other members of the Commission shall be chosen in such a manner that it is able to function independent of Government control.

For this purpose, the State may choose any of the models recommended by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Ribeiro Committee or the Sorabjee Committee, which are as under:

NHRC
Ribeiro Committee
Sorabjee Committee

1. Chief Minister (CM) /HM as Chairman
1. Minister i/c Police as Chairman
1. Minister i/c Police (ex-officio Chairperson)

2. Lok Ayukta or, in his absence, a retired Judge of High Court (HC) to be nominated by Chief Justice (CJ) or a Member of State Human Rights Commission (SHRC).
2. Leader of Opposition.
2. Leader of Opposition.

3. A sitting or retired Judge nominated by Chief Justice (CJ) of High Court (HC).
3. Judge, sitting or retired, nominated by Chief Justice (CJ) of High Court (HC).
3. Chief Secretary (CS)

4. Chief Secretary (CS)
4. Chief Secretary (CS)
4. DGP (ex-officio Secretary)

5. Leader of Opposition in Lower House.
5. Three non-political citizens of proven merit and integrity.
5. Five independent Members.

6. DGP as ex-officio Secretary.
6. DG Police as Secretary.

The recommendations of this Commission shall be binding on the State Government.

The functions of the State Security Commission (SSC) would include laying down the broad policies and giving directions for the performance of the preventive tasks and service oriented functions of the police, evaluation of the performance of the State police and preparing a report thereon for being placed before the State legislature.

Selection and Minimum Tenure of DGP:
(2) The Director General of Police (DGP) of the State shall be selected by the State Government from amongst the three senior-most officers of the Department who have been empanelled for promotion to that rank by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on the basis of their length of service, very good record and range of experience for heading the police force.

And, once he has been selected for the job, he should have a minimum tenure of at least two years irrespective of his date of superannuation.

The DGP may, however, be relieved of his responsibilities by the State Government acting in consultation with the State Security Commission (SSC) consequent upon any action taken against him under the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules or following his conviction in a court of law in a criminal offence or in a case of corruption, or if he is otherwise incapacitated from discharging his duties.

Minimum Tenure of I.G. of Police & other officers:
(3) Police Officers on operational duties in the field like the Inspector General of Police in-charge Zone, Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge Range, Superintendent of Police in-charge district and Station House Officer in-charge of a Police Station shall also have a prescribed minimum tenure of two years unless it is found necessary to remove them prematurely following disciplinary proceedings against them or their conviction in a criminal offence or in a case of corruption or if the incumbent is otherwise incapacitated from discharging his responsibilities.
This would be subject to promotion and retirement of the officer.

Separation of Investigation:
(4) The investigating police shall be separated from the law and order police to ensure speedier investigation, better expertise and improved rapport with the people.

It must, however, be ensured that there is full coordination between the two wings.

The separation, to start with, may be effected in towns / urban areas which have a population of ten lakhs or more, and gradually extended to smaller towns / urban areas also.

Police Establishment Board or PEB:
(5) There shall be a Police Establishment Board in each State which shall decide all transfers, postings, promotions and other service related matters of officers of and below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

The Establishment Board shall be a departmental body comprising the Director General of Police and four other senior officers of the Department.

The State Government may interfere with decision of the Board in exceptional cases only after recording its reasons for doing so.

The Board shall also be authorized to make appropriate recommendations to the State Government regarding the posting and transfers of officers of and above the rank of Superintendent of Police, and the Government is expected to give due weight to these recommendations and shall normally accept it.

It shall also function as a forum of appeal for disposing of representations from officers of the rank of Superintendent of Police and above regarding their promotion / transfer / disciplinary proceedings or their being subjected to illegal or irregular orders and generally reviewing the functioning of the police in the State.

Police Complaints Authority or PCA:
(6) There shall be a Police Complaints Authority at the district level to look into complaints against police officers of and up to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Similarly, there should be another Police Complaints Authority at the State level to look into complaints against officers of the rank of Superintendent of Police and above.

The district level Authority may be headed by a retired District Judge while the State level Authority may be headed by a retired Judge of the High Court / Supreme Court.

The head of the State level Complaints Authority shall be chosen by the State Government out of a panel of names proposed by the Chief Justice; the head of the district level Complaints Authority may also be chosen out of a panel of names proposed by the Chief Justice or a Judge of the High Court nominated by him.

These Authorities may be assisted by three to five members depending upon the volume of complaints in different States / districts, and they shall be selected by the State Government from a panel prepared by the State Human Rights Commission / Lok Ayukta / State Public Service Commission.

The panel may include members from amongst retired civil servants, police officers or officers from any other department, or from the civil society.

They would work whole time for the Authority and would have to be suitably remunerated for the services rendered by them.

The Authority may also need the services of regular staff to conduct field inquiries.

For this purpose, they may utilize the services of retired investigators from the CID, Intelligence, Vigilance or any other organization.

The State level Complaints Authority would take cognizance of only allegations of serious misconduct by the police personnel, which would include incidents involving death, grievous hurt or rape in police custody.

The district level Complaints Authority would, apart from above cases, may also inquire into allegations of extortion, land / house grabbing or any incident involving serious abuse of authority.

The recommendations of the Complaints Authority, both at the district and State levels, for any action, departmental or criminal, against a delinquent police officer shall be binding on the concerned authority.

National Security Commission or NSC:
(7) The Central Government shall also set up a National Security Commission at the Union level to prepare a panel for being placed before the appropriate Appointing Authority, for selection and placement of Chiefs of the Central Police Organisations (CPO), who should also be given a minimum tenure of two years.

The Commission would also review from time to time measures to upgrade the effectiveness of these forces, improve the service conditions of its personnel, ensure that there is proper coordination between them and that the forces are generally utilized for the purposes they were raised and make recommendations in that behalf.

The National Security Commission could be headed by the Union Home Minister and comprise heads of the CPOs and a couple of security experts as members with the Union Home Secretary as its Secretary.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LEADER ARTICLE: Danda Raj June 08, 2007, 0154 hrs IST, PRAKASH SINGH - The writer is a retired IPS (Indian Police Service) officer 

Have police reforms hit a roadblock? Perhaps, yes. The landmark Supreme Court judgment of September 22, 2006 had ordered comprehensive restructuring of the police force all over the country.

The order came like a bolt from the blue to the establishment. Caught unawares, state governments have been pursuing reforms in a lackadaisical manner.

Once the implications of the judgment were understood, vested interests comprising the ruling parties and bureaucracy, which felt that their power over the police would be eroded, marshalled all their forces to oppose and seek a review of the judgment. The top lawyers of the country were engaged by them.

Initially, the Supreme Court held its own and the lawyers were rebuffed. The political class and the bureaucracy were, however, not prepared to give up.

They continued to mount pressure on the judiciary. They have not achieved their objective, but they have definitely been able to stall the momentum of police reforms.

The Supreme Court had wanted the reforms to be put in place by the end of 2006. Subsequently, on January 11, 2007, in the light of indifferent response by the states, it extended the deadline.

The states were asked to implement the "self-executory" directions - those relating to the selection process of director-general of police and a fixed tenure for the DGP, a minimum tenure for police officers in the field and the setting up of the Police Establishment Board.

The court also said that the remaining directions which involved administrative and financial implications - those relating to the setting up of the State Security Commission, Police Complaints Authorities and separation of investigative and law and order functions of the police - be complied with by March 31, 2007.

The chief secretaries of state governments and Union Territories and the cabinet secretary were asked to file fresh affidavits of compliance by April 10, 2007.

The Centre was chided for not having constituted the National Security Commission as per the directions of the court.

The unambiguous judgment of September 2006 and its reiteration in January 2007 had an impact on some states and UTs.

Surprisingly, the north-eastern states, which are witnessing separatist movements of different shades, were the first to comply with the directions.

Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Goa reported full compliance. Manipur and the newly carved out states of Uttarakhand and Jharkhand also almost fully complied with the court's directions.

A number of states fall in the category of partially compliant states. These include Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Some states have, however, drafted laws or passed ordinances in great hurry with a view to circumventing the implementation of the Supreme Court directions. In this category are Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka and Kerala.

The Bihar Police Bill, 2007, is perhaps the most regressive legislation. It reinforces bureaucratic control over the police and is worse than the Police Act of 1861.

The constitutionality of the laws passed by these states is open to question insofar as the enactments are in flagrant violation of the Supreme Court directions.

Had the states passed these Acts on their own in the normal course, they could perhaps have justified their initiative. However, coming as these laws have been in the wake of Supreme Court directions, their objective is suspect.

In the last category are states which remain defiant and have not taken any measures to comply with the SC order. These include Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The Gujarat government has taken the stand that the judgment impinges on the federal character of the Constitution and undermines its basic structure.

Maharashtra's stand is that the directions are "inconsistent with statutory provisions in existence".

UP has expressed its reservations on all the points charted out by the apex court.

Rajasthan has had the temerity to say that the structure of the Model Police Act drafted by the Sorabjee committee is "faulty".

A contempt application was accordingly moved against the four states. The Supreme Court, however, decided on May 18, 2007 that the application would be heard after the summer vacation in August 2007.

This could embolden the recalcitrant states. The partially compliant states may also not push forward the reforms agenda.

What needs to be understood is that the projected reforms are meant essentially to have a police which would be accountable to laws of the land and the Constitution.

An effete and fragile police would not be able to ensure a healthy political democracy.

Besides, the country's economic growth would be hampered if the police are not able to ensure law and order and safety of corporate investors.

t is high time that public opinion asserts itself and conveys to the powers that be that police reforms are in the larger interests of the country and that there cannot be any compromise on that count.

The safety and well-being of more than one billion people of the country, which only a progressive and reformed police force can ensure, are far more important than vested interests of entrenched classes.

The writer is a retired IPS officer who has/had petitioned the Hon'ble Supreme Court which in turn has issued the directives on Police reforms in India.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




Supreme Court creates a Monitoring Committee in Prakash Singh Police Reforms Case - Press Release from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative - Wednesday 16 July 2008- New Delhi 

CHRI received the Supreme Court order dated 16 May 2008, to set up a Monitoring Committee in the Prakash Singh case to look into compliance by the States and Union Territories.

Former Supreme Court Judge K.T. Thomas has been suggested as a chairperson of the three-member Monitoring Committee.

The Chairperson has the power to choose one member while the other member will be recommended by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The names of the other members have yet to be disclosed.

The Monitoring Committee is mandated to examine the affidavits filed by the States and Union Territories, taking into account reported difficulties in implementation and unnecessary objections.

Further the Court will examine the new police legislations passed after the judgment in 2006, to examine if the legislations are in compliance with the letter and spirit of the Apex Court.s directions.

The Committee has been allocated infrastructure and financial assistance by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD).

It will report to the Court after the first three months and subsequently every six months so that appropriate follow up action can be taken against the Respondents.

The term of the Monitoring Committee is two years, which can be extended if necessary.

In the SC hearing on 28 April, Prakash Singh and the Government of India submitted names and terms of reference for the monitoring committee.

Prakash Singh's lawyer had raised concerns about creating a Committee dominated by the Government's nominees, because such a Committee would not be neutral.

CHRI and Prakash Singh had recommended Mr. G.P. Joshi (retd Senior IPS officer and former Director of BPR&D) as a possible Committee member.

Effective oversight will be maximised if the Monitoring Committee includes a diverse group of members to accurately represent the country, where emphasis ought to be on different experiences and backgrounds including suitable gender and minority representation.

Background:
Since January 2007 the Supreme Court has held eight hearings on this matter. On 11 January 2007 the Court ordered States to comply with the directives by 31 March 2007.

Despite a series of deadlines set by the Court, many States filed for an extension of time to implement the directives or tabled their strong objections to the directives.

On 23 August 2007, the Court dismissed the review petitions filed by Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka as having no merit.

Shockingly, the review petition of the Government of India is still pending, despite the Union's consent to the original Order in September 2006!

To date (July 16, 2008) only a handful of States are compliant or almost fully compliant with the directives handed down by the Court on 22 September 2006. These states include Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland.

The majority of States are still only partially compliant despite 20-22 months (September 2006 to July 2008) having passed since the original judgment. Most states are dragging their feet on making Police Reform a reality in India.

In addition to implementing the Supreme Court's directives on Police Reform, some States have drafted new police laws, but in the complete absence of public consultation.

Disturbingly, many provisions in these new Police Acts dilute the directives of the Supreme Court, to the point where the letter and spirit of the decision has been completely undermined.

Meanwhile the public still awaits news of the Model Police Act 2006, which was submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs in October 2006.

If enacted, this Act would replace the archaic and colonial Police Act of 1861, which continues to govern policing in India.

Barriers to police reforms Barriers to police reforms By Prakash Singh
Bureaucrats and politicians are reluctant to implement police reforms

The Supreme Court, in September, 2006, directed three institutions to be set up in the states to insulate the police from extraneous influences, giving it functional autonomy and ensuring its accountability.

These institutions are: State Security Commission to lay down the broad policies and give directions for the performance of the preventive tasks and service oriented functions of the police; Police Establishment Board comprising the Director General of Police and four other senior officers of the department which shall decide all transfers, postings, promotions and other service related matters of officers of and below the rank of deputy
superintendent of police; and Police Complaints Authority at the district / state levels aimed to inquire into allegations of serious misconduct by the police personnel.

Besides, the Apex court ordered that the DGP shall be selected by the state government from among the three senior-most officers empanelled for promotion to that rank by the UPSC, and that he shall have a prescribed minimum tenure of two years.

The Court also ordered the separation of investigating police from the law and order police to ensure speedier investigation, better expertise and improved rapport with the people.

The Union government was asked to set up a National Security Commission for the selection and placement of heads of central police organisations, upgrading the effectiveness of these forces and improving the service conditions of its personnel.

These orders were to be implemented by March 31, 2007.

Ten/10 states have agreed to comply with the directions of the Supreme Court, though most of them have yet to set up the institutional mechanisms.

Seven/07 states have issued notifications which amount to partial compliance of the court's directions.

Twelve/12 states have passed police Bills/Acts to circumvent the implementation of the court's directions.

The Bihar Police Bill is particularly regressive.

The SC was urged to issue contempt notices to states which were defiant or partially compliant.

The court however appeared disinclined to crack the whip.

It has now appointed a Monitoring Committee headed by Justice K T Thomas to oversee the implementation of its directions.

The Committee has so far, with the assistance of the petitioner and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, reviewed the compliance in four states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.

The committee has sent letters to the chief ministers of these states, giving them one last opportunity to apprise the committee on the follow up action taken.

Review of four other states is proposed to be undertaken on January 7, 2009.

It is over two years since the SC gave directions for police reforms.

While some headway has been made, it is obvious that the political class and the bureaucracy are throwing every spanner in the scheme.

There is an attempt to dilute, if not subvert, the court's directions and in any case delay the implementation as much as possible.

The recent terror attack in Mumbai,  has focussed on the urgent need to revamp and reinforce the police and the intelligence machinery.

The police must also be insulated from political influences.

The public opinion is quite agitated.

They want the police to be given the additional muscle and firepower to combat the emerging challenges.

People must pressurise the government to carry out the police reforms without any further delay.

The NGOs should come forward to support the campaign for police reforms.

The media should also articulate its views on the subject.

It is not a question of empowering the police but of strengthening it so that they can secure the citizen and country against terrorists and organised criminal syndicates. The stakes are high.

The political structure is threatened; economic progress is in jeopardy. The police must be reformed, reinforced and motivated.

Any obstacles in the process will have to be removed in the larger interests of the country.

(The writer is former Director General, BSF and also petitioner in the police reforms case)

http://www.bprd.gov.in/writereaddata/linkimages/article29701918000.jpg

Police Reforms: Too Important to Neglect, Too Urgent to Delay

http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/programs/aj/police/police.htm 
The existing police systems in most Indian states are a legacy of colonial rule that have been shaped by post-colonial history.

The consequences of poor policing include brutality and torture, extra-judicial executions, a lack of due process, impunity, corruption, bias and discrimination and public fear, anger and resentment.

A democratic police organisation is one that is

accountable to the law and not a law unto itself
is accountable to democratic government structures and the community
is transparent in its activities
gives top operational priority to protecting the safety and rights of individuals and private groups
protects human rights
provides society with professional services
is representative of the community it serves


CHRI 2005 REPORT: POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY
The Law Commission of India's observation that "complaints of abuse of power of arrest is continuing unabated in the country and very often it is the poor and persons without official or political clout who become the victims of police excesses'' could be true of many jurisdictions where supervision and control over policing is lax.

Women in custody are often vulnerable to sexual abuse - and increasing occurrences of such incidents prompted India to pass legislation that creates a presumption that where a woman is in custody, any sexual intercourse amounts to rape unless proven otherwise by the custodian.

India is another country where nepotism is a deciding factor in the appointment of Director Generals of Police.

The process has been reduced to state Chief Ministers handpicking their
preferred candidates for the role rather than basing the selection on seniority and merit, which is what the actual policy prescribes.

During riots in 2002 in the Indian state of Gujarat, Hindu fundamentalists with the backing of the state government targeted members of the Muslim minority121 and the Gujarat Police was indicted for failing to protect innocent citizens.

Subsequently, police officers who had tried to stop the attacks were punitively transferred.

One Police Superintendent had successfully thwarted an attack on a school and rescued 400 students.

He registered criminal cases against the attackers despite pressure from local leaders to turn a blind eye.

Instead of being rewarded for his correct actions, he was transferred five times in a year.

Government control over police is vested in state governments and merely referred to as "superintendence" - a term not defined in the legislation.

This has led to broad discretion in the appointment and removal of police chiefs, constant interference in recruitment, promotions, transfers, dismissals and disciplinary actions, and meddling in daily crime control and investigation. control and investigation.

The extent of illegitimate political interference has weakened the control and command structure of many forces, making them dysfunctional and vulnerable to malign influences.

The police are subject to the same law as the average citizen, but their unique role means that proven misconduct by an officer may be judged more harshly than that of other lawbreakers.

Concerned with the frequency of custodial violence in India, the Supreme
Court has evolved specific arrest guidelines for police officers who can be held in contempt for not abiding by them.

For instance, only female police personnel may arrest women suspects (except in exceptional cases) to ensure that women are not harassed.

The Court has also laid down guidelines for how the police should treat victims of sexual abuse.

The oversight credibility of parliament and the state legislatures is undermined by the fact that so many Members of Parliament stand accused of criminal offences.

India has a National Human Rights Commission as well as separate state human rights commissions but does not have a single dedicated civilian
oversight mechanism for its 35 police forces, many of which are frequently cited for excessive violence and abuse of power.

After police had been strongly indicted for complicity in anti-Muslim violence in the state of Gujarat in 2002, the Indian National Human Rights Commission recommended that the police organisation and state government properly investigate cases, but the state government failed to do so.

The Commission approached the Supreme Court in a particularly grave case where eye-witnesses had been threatened and so changed their testimony, resulting in the acquittal of the accused.

On the basis of statements and investigations of the Commission, the Court ordered the state government and the police to review around 2,000 cases that had been closed by the police.

In Mumbai, India, a lone advocate used access to information laws to
substantiate widely held suspicions of illegitimate political interference in police transfers.

It was revealed that in a single year, the Police Chief had received no
less than 143 requests from politicians recommending favourites to different posts.

Many came from the offices of Chief Minister or the Deputy Chief Minister of the state.

An analysis showed that the transfers were nearly always away from conflict zones, or into areas where there were better chances to make money from bribes.

This led to 135 police officers being issued warning letters for trying, against regulations, to bring pressure from outside the department for personal gain.

Despite strong evidence that poor policing contributes to the notable sense of lawlessness and insecurity felt by citizens, resistance to change has been stubborn and persistent. The main obstacle to reform is the lack
of political will.

"In a democratic society, the police serve to protect,rather than impede, freedoms. The very purpose of the police is to provide a safe, orderly environment in which these freedoms can be exercised. A democratic police force is not concerned with people's beliefs or associates, their movements or conformity to state ideology. It is not even primarily concerned with the enforcement of regulations or bureaucratic regimens. Instead, the police force of a democracy is concerned strictly with the preservation of safe communities and the application of criminal law equally to all people, without fear or favour"
- United Nations International Police Task Force, 1996.

A democratic approach to policing benefits the community, police officers, and governance alike. Responsibility for safety then becomes a shared objective and the police become allies in keeping the peace rather than instruments of government oppression.

The prohibition of torture is absolute, no matter what the circumstances.

Each branch of government has a responsibility to contribute to democratic oversight and police reform.

The challenge for legislators at all levels of government is to bring the
values of accountability, transparency and participation firmly to bear
on policing. Effective accountability must be one of the hallmarks of truly
democratic policing.

Jurists call for quick implementation of police reforms 
SC directives on police reforms stay on paper 
The Centre may be coming out with steps to tackle terror attacks, but one of its most glaring failures has been the non-enforcement of Supreme Court directives on police reforms.

There is no word from either the Centre or its new home minister or any of the states on plans to implement these directives, which will ensure that the police meant for law and order duties and that meant for investigation are not the same.

The reform would have ensured that the police investigating the Malegaon blasts were not pressed in to fight the terrorists holed up at the Hotel Taj Mahal in Mumbai.

What the Centre and the home ministry have done so far is to set up a law drafting committee under Soli Sorabjee which submitted a draft Model Police Act to the ministry.

Things have not moved forward from there.

In the states, just 10 states have assured the court that they would implement the directives in their new police legislation.

The country still follows police laws drafted in colonial times, viz the Police Act, 1861.

Prakash Singh said: "Just 10 states have given an assurance on paper but are yet to set up any mechanism to implement these. These are all tiny states, mostly in the North-East, while the bigger states have ignored them so far." He added that even the Centre had failed to enforce the directives.

"Had the Centre enforced these directives, at least the Union Territories including Delhi would have got a reformed set-up. But it has not be done so far. Former home minister Shivraj Patil and his deputy made countless assurances in Parliament on the Model Police Act but it is yet to see the light of day," Singh said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati recently announced some steps to strengthen the state police. But she was silent on the police reforms that are pending and for which the state has to face the court.

Singh, who was a former DGP of Uttar Pradesh, said: "UP is one of the biggest offenders as it has not done anything to implement the court directives. It is followed by Bihar, which has got a new police Act but is so regressive that it takes it back to the days of East India Company."

According to Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative director Maja Daruwala: "This time it was Taj and terrorists. But on a daily basis, how many people in Delhi alone get murdered, maimed, robbed and raped? Is the police able to prevent and investigate such cases and come to a quick solution? The fact is that ordinary security is not available. Had Supreme Court directives been obeyed, they would have removed police from political control, giving it operational responsibility."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
This petition's been addressed to: The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, President, Prime Minister (PM), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Governors, Chief Ministers (CMs), Chief Secretaries (CSs), Director Generals of Police (DGPs), IGPs & Commissioners of Police (CPs) & SPs.

http://supremecourtofindia.nic.in/ 
Video CNN-IBN: SC suggests police reforms, neta's still partial 
SC directives on police reforms stay on paper 
Video CNN-IBN - RELUCTANT REFORMER: States like Gujarat have ignored the Model Police Act, despite SC orders. 
Created: December 25, 2007 Last Updated: Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Supreme Court DIRECTIVES*
Separate law and order from investigation*
Set up Police Establishment Board or PEB for postings, transfers*
Two-year tenure for DGP, SP, SHO*
Set up National Security Commission  or NSC for posting of police chiefs*
Set up Police Complaints Authority or PCA*
Set up State Security Commissions or SSCs

Prakash Singh & Ors Vs. Union of India and Ors
Coram: Y.K. Sabharwal, C.K. Thakker, P.K. Balasubramanyan
22/09/2006
Case No.: Writ Petition (civil)  310 of 1996
Petitioner: Prakash Singh & Ors
Respondent: Union of India and Ors
Date of Judgement: 22/09/2006 or September 22, 2006
Bench: Y.K. Sabharwal, C.K. Thakker & P.K. Balasubramanyan
Judgement: Judgement
Y.K. Sabharwal, CJI (the then Chief Justice of India).

Kindly implement the following unambiguous directions issued by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India on September 22, 2006 to the Central Government, State Governments and Union Territories for compliance till framing of the appropriate legislations:

State Security Commission or SSC
(1) The State Governments are directed to constitute a State Security Commission (SSC) in every State to ensure that the State Government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the State police and for laying down the broad policy guidelines so that the State police always acts according to the laws of the land and the Constitution of the country.

This watchdog body shall be headed by the Chief Minister (CM) or Home Minister as Chairman and have the DGP of the State as its ex-officio Secretary.

The other members of the Commission shall be chosen in such a manner that it is able to function independent of Government control.

For this purpose, the State may choose any of the models recommended by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Ribeiro Committee or the Sorabjee Committee, which are as under:

NHRC
Ribeiro Committee
Sorabjee Committee

1. Chief Minister (CM) /HM as Chairman
1. Minister i/c Police as Chairman
1. Minister i/c Police (ex-officio Chairperson)

2. Lok Ayukta or, in his absence, a retired Judge of High Court (HC) to be nominated by Chief Justice (CJ) or a Member of State Human Rights Commission (SHRC).
2. Leader of Opposition.
2. Leader of Opposition.

3. A sitting or retired Judge nominated by Chief Justice (CJ) of High Court (HC).
3. Judge, sitting or retired, nominated by Chief Justice (CJ) of High Court (HC).
3. Chief Secretary (CS)

4. Chief Secretary (CS)
4. Chief Secretary (CS)
4. DGP (ex-officio Secretary)

5. Leader of Opposition in Lower House.
5. Three non-political citizens of proven merit and integrity.
5. Five independent Members.

6. DGP as ex-officio Secretary.
6. DG Police as Secretary.

The recommendations of this Commission shall be binding on the State Government.

The functions of the State Security Commission (SSC) would include laying down the broad policies and giving directions for the performance of the preventive tasks and service oriented functions of the police, evaluation of the performance of the State police and preparing a report thereon for being placed before the State legislature.

Selection and Minimum Tenure of DGP:
(2) The Director General of Police (DGP) of the State shall be selected by the State Government from amongst the three senior-most officers of the Department who have been empanelled for promotion to that rank by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) on the basis of their length of service, very good record and range of experience for heading the police force.

And, once he has been selected for the job, he should have a minimum tenure of at least two years irrespective of his date of superannuation.

The DGP may, however, be relieved of his responsibilities by the State Government acting in consultation with the State Security Commission (SSC) consequent upon any action taken against him under the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules or following his conviction in a court of law in a criminal offence or in a case of corruption, or if he is otherwise incapacitated from discharging his duties.

Minimum Tenure of I.G. of Police & other officers:
(3) Police Officers on operational duties in the field like the Inspector General of Police in-charge Zone, Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge Range, Superintendent of Police in-charge district and Station House Officer in-charge of a Police Station shall also have a prescribed minimum tenure of two years unless it is found necessary to remove them prematurely following disciplinary proceedings against them or their conviction in a criminal offence or in a case of corruption or if the incumbent is otherwise incapacitated from discharging his responsibilities.
This would be subject to promotion and retirement of the officer.

Separation of Investigation:
(4) The investigating police shall be separated from the law and order police to ensure speedier investigation, better expertise and improved rapport with the people.

It must, however, be ensured that there is full coordination between the two wings.

The separation, to start with, may be effected in towns / urban areas which have a population of ten lakhs or more, and gradually extended to smaller towns / urban areas also.

Police Establishment Board or PEB:
(5) There shall be a Police Establishment Board in each State which shall decide all transfers, postings, promotions and other service related matters of officers of and below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

The Establishment Board shall be a departmental body comprising the Director General of Police and four other senior officers of the Department.

The State Government may interfere with decision of the Board in exceptional cases only after recording its reasons for doing so.

The Board shall also be authorized to make appropriate recommendations to the State Government regarding the posting and transfers of officers of and above the rank of Superintendent of Police, and the Government is expected to give due weight to these recommendations and shall normally accept it.

It shall also function as a forum of appeal for disposing of representations from officers of the rank of Superintendent of Police and above regarding their promotion / transfer / disciplinary proceedings or their being subjected to illegal or irregular orders and generally reviewing the functioning of the police in the State.

Police Complaints Authority or PCA:
(6) There shall be a Police Complaints Authority at the district level to look into complaints against police officers of and up to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

Similarly, there should be another Police Complaints Authority at the State level to look into complaints against officers of the rank of Superintendent of Police and above.

The district level Authority may be headed by a retired District Judge while the State level Authority may be headed by a retired Judge of the High Court / Supreme Court.

The head of the State level Complaints Authority shall be chosen by the State Government out of a panel of names proposed by the Chief Justice; the head of the district level Complaints Authority may also be chosen out of a panel of names proposed by the Chief Justice or a Judge of the High Court nominated by him.

These Authorities may be assisted by three to five members depending upon the volume of complaints in different States / districts, and they shall be selected by the State Government from a panel prepared by the State Human Rights Commission / Lok Ayukta / State Public Service Commission.

The panel may include members from amongst retired civil servants, police officers or officers from any other department, or from the civil society.

They would work whole time for the Authority and would have to be suitably remunerated for the services rendered by them.

The Authority may also need the services of regular staff to conduct field inquiries.

For this purpose, they may utilize the services of retired investigators from the CID, Intelligence, Vigilance or any other organization.

The State level Complaints Authority would take cognizance of only allegations of serious misconduct by the police personnel, which would include incidents involving death, grievous hurt or rape in police custody.

The district level Complaints Authority would, apart from above cases, may also inquire into allegations of extortion, land / house grabbing or any incident involving serious abuse of authority.

The recommendations of the Complaints Authority, both at the district and State levels, for any action, departmental or criminal, against a delinquent police officer shall be binding on the concerned authority.

National Security Commission or NSC:
(7) The Central Government shall also set up a National Security Commission at the Union level to prepare a panel for being placed before the appropriate Appointing Authority, for selection and placement of Chiefs of the Central Police Organisations (CPO), who should also be given a minimum tenure of two years.

The Commission would also review from time to time measures to upgrade the effectiveness of these forces, improve the service conditions of its personnel, ensure that there is proper coordination between them and that the forces are generally utilized for the purposes they were raised and make recommendations in that behalf.

The National Security Commission could be headed by the Union Home Minister and comprise heads of the CPOs and a couple of security experts as members with the Union Home Secretary as its Secretary.

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LEADER ARTICLE: Danda Raj June 08, 2007, 0154 hrs IST, PRAKASH SINGH - The writer is a retired IPS (Indian Police Service) officer 

Have police reforms hit a roadblock? Perhaps, yes. The landmark Supreme Court judgment of September 22, 2006 had ordered comprehensive restructuring of the police force all over the country.

The order came like a bolt from the blue to the establishment. Caught unawares, state governments have been pursuing reforms in a lackadaisical manner.

Once the implications of the judgment were understood, vested interests comprising the ruling parties and bureaucracy, which felt that their power over the police would be eroded, marshalled all their forces to oppose and seek a review of the judgment. The top lawyers of the country were engaged by them.

Initially, the Supreme Court held its own and the lawyers were rebuffed. The political class and the bureaucracy were, however, not prepared to give up.

They continued to mount pressure on the judiciary. They have not achieved their objective, but they have definitely been able to stall the momentum of police reforms.

The Supreme Court had wanted the reforms to be put in place by the end of 2006. Subsequently, on January 11, 2007, in the light of indifferent response by the states, it extended the deadline.

The states were asked to implement the "self-executory" directions - those relating to the selection process of director-general of police and a fixed tenure for the DGP, a minimum tenure for police officers in the field and the setting up of the Police Establishment Board.

The court also said that the remaining directions which involved administrative and financial implications - those relating to the setting up of the State Security Commission, Police Complaints Authorities and separation of investigative and law and order functions of the police - be complied with by March 31, 2007.

The chief secretaries of state governments and Union Territories and the cabinet secretary were asked to file fresh affidavits of compliance by April 10, 2007.

The Centre was chided for not having constituted the National Security Commission as per the directions of the court.

The unambiguous judgment of September 2006 and its reiteration in January 2007 had an impact on some states and UTs.

Surprisingly, the north-eastern states, which are witnessing separatist movements of different shades, were the first to comply with the directions.

Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Goa reported full compliance. Manipur and the newly carved out states of Uttarakhand and Jharkhand also almost fully complied with the court's directions.

A number of states fall in the category of partially compliant states. These include Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Tripura, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Some states have, however, drafted laws or passed ordinances in great hurry with a view to circumventing the implementation of the Supreme Court directions. In this category are Bihar, Haryana, Karnataka and Kerala.

The Bihar Police Bill, 2007, is perhaps the most regressive legislation. It reinforces bureaucratic control over the police and is worse than the Police Act of 1861.

The constitutionality of the laws passed by these states is open to question insofar as the enactments are in flagrant violation of the Supreme Court directions.

Had the states passed these Acts on their own in the normal course, they could perhaps have justified their initiative. However, coming as these laws have been in the wake of Supreme Court directions, their objective is suspect.

In the last category are states which remain defiant and have not taken any measures to comply with the SC order. These include Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The Gujarat government has taken the stand that the judgment impinges on the federal character of the Constitution and undermines its basic structure.

Maharashtra's stand is that the directions are "inconsistent with statutory provisions in existence".

UP has expressed its reservations on all the points charted out by the apex court.

Rajasthan has had the temerity to say that the structure of the Model Police Act drafted by the Sorabjee committee is "faulty".

A contempt application was accordingly moved against the four states. The Supreme Court, however, decided on May 18, 2007 that the application would be heard after the summer vacation in August 2007.

This could embolden the recalcitrant states. The partially compliant states may also not push forward the reforms agenda.

What needs to be understood is that the projected reforms are meant essentially to have a police which would be accountable to laws of the land and the Constitution.

An effete and fragile police would not be able to ensure a healthy political democracy.

Besides, the country's economic growth would be hampered if the police are not able to ensure law and order and safety of corporate investors.

t is high time that public opinion asserts itself and conveys to the powers that be that police reforms are in the larger interests of the country and that there cannot be any compromise on that count.

The safety and well-being of more than one billion people of the country, which only a progressive and reformed police force can ensure, are far more important than vested interests of entrenched classes.

The writer is a retired IPS officer who has/had petitioned the Hon'ble Supreme Court which in turn has issued the directives on Police reforms in India.
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Supreme Court creates a Monitoring Committee in Prakash Singh Police Reforms Case - Press Release from the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative - Wednesday 16 July 2008- New Delhi 

CHRI received the Supreme Court order dated 16 May 2008, to set up a Monitoring Committee in the Prakash Singh case to look into compliance by the States and Union Territories.

Former Supreme Court Judge K.T. Thomas has been suggested as a chairperson of the three-member Monitoring Committee.

The Chairperson has the power to choose one member while the other member will be recommended by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The names of the other members have yet to be disclosed.

The Monitoring Committee is mandated to examine the affidavits filed by the States and Union Territories, taking into account reported difficulties in implementation and unnecessary objections.

Further the Court will examine the new police legislations passed after the judgment in 2006, to examine if the legislations are in compliance with the letter and spirit of the Apex Court.s directions.

The Committee has been allocated infrastructure and financial assistance by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD).

It will report to the Court after the first three months and subsequently every six months so that appropriate follow up action can be taken against the Respondents.

The term of the Monitoring Committee is two years, which can be extended if necessary.

In the SC hearing on 28 April, Prakash Singh and the Government of India submitted names and terms of reference for the monitoring committee.

Prakash Singh's lawyer had raised concerns about creating a Committee dominated by the Government's nominees, because such a Committee would not be neutral.

CHRI and Prakash Singh had recommended Mr. G.P. Joshi (retd Senior IPS officer and former Director of BPR&D) as a possible Committee member.

Effective oversight will be maximised if the Monitoring Committee includes a diverse group of members to accurately represent the country, where emphasis ought to be on different experiences and backgrounds including suitable gender and minority representation.

Background:
Since January 2007 the Supreme Court has held eight hearings on this matter. On 11 January 2007 the Court ordered States to comply with the directives by 31 March 2007.

Despite a series of deadlines set by the Court, many States filed for an extension of time to implement the directives or tabled their strong objections to the directives.

On 23 August 2007, the Court dismissed the review petitions filed by Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka as having no merit.

Shockingly, the review petition of the Government of India is still pending, despite the Union's consent to the original Order in September 2006!

To date (July 16, 2008) only a handful of States are compliant or almost fully compliant with the directives handed down by the Court on 22 September 2006. These states include Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland.

The majority of States are still only partially compliant despite 20-22 months (September 2006 to July 2008) having passed since the original judgment. Most states are dragging their feet on making Police Reform a reality in India.

In addition to implementing the Supreme Court's directives on Police Reform, some States have drafted new police laws, but in the complete absence of public consultation.

Disturbingly, many provisions in these new Police Acts dilute the directives of the Supreme Court, to the point where the letter and spirit of the decision has been completely undermined.

Meanwhile the public still awaits news of the Model Police Act 2006, which was submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs in October 2006.

If enacted, this Act would replace the archaic and colonial Police Act of 1861, which continues to govern policing in India.

Barriers to police reforms Barriers to police reforms By Prakash Singh
Bureaucrats and politicians are reluctant to implement police reforms

The Supreme Court, in September, 2006, directed three institutions to be set up in the states to insulate the police from extraneous influences, giving it functional autonomy and ensuring its accountability.

These institutions are: State Security Commission to lay down the broad policies and give directions for the performance of the preventive tasks and service oriented functions of the police; Police Establishment Board comprising the Director General of Police and four other senior officers of the department which shall decide all transfers, postings, promotions and other service related matters of officers of and below the rank of deputy
superintendent of police; and Police Complaints Authority at the district / state levels aimed to inquire into allegations of serious misconduct by the police personnel.

Besides, the Apex court ordered that the DGP shall be selected by the state government from among the three senior-most officers empanelled for promotion to that rank by the UPSC, and that he shall have a prescribed minimum tenure of two years.

The Court also ordered the separation of investigating police from the law and order police to ensure speedier investigation, better expertise and improved rapport with the people.

The Union government was asked to set up a National Security Commission for the selection and placement of heads of central police organisations, upgrading the effectiveness of these forces and improving the service conditions of its personnel.

These orders were to be implemented by March 31, 2007.

Ten/10 states have agreed to comply with the directions of the Supreme Court, though most of them have yet to set up the institutional mechanisms.

Seven/07 states have issued notifications which amount to partial compliance of the court's directions.

Twelve/12 states have passed police Bills/Acts to circumvent the implementation of the court's directions.

The Bihar Police Bill is particularly regressive.

The SC was urged to issue contempt notices to states which were defiant or partially compliant.

The court however appeared disinclined to crack the whip.

It has now appointed a Monitoring Committee headed by Justice K T Thomas to oversee the implementation of its directions.

The Committee has so far, with the assistance of the petitioner and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, reviewed the compliance in four states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa and Uttar Pradesh.

The committee has sent letters to the chief ministers of these states, giving them one last opportunity to apprise the committee on the follow up action taken.

Review of four other states is proposed to be undertaken on January 7, 2009.

It is over two years since the SC gave directions for police reforms.

While some headway has been made, it is obvious that the political class and the bureaucracy are throwing every spanner in the scheme.

There is an attempt to dilute, if not subvert, the court's directions and in any case delay the implementation as much as possible.

The recent terror attack in Mumbai,  has focussed on the urgent need to revamp and reinforce the police and the intelligence machinery.

The police must also be insulated from political influences.

The public opinion is quite agitated.

They want the police to be given the additional muscle and firepower to combat the emerging challenges.

People must pressurise the government to carry out the police reforms without any further delay.

The NGOs should come forward to support the campaign for police reforms.

The media should also articulate its views on the subject.

It is not a question of empowering the police but of strengthening it so that they can secure the citizen and country against terrorists and organised criminal syndicates. The stakes are high.

The political structure is threatened; economic progress is in jeopardy. The police must be reformed, reinforced and motivated.

Any obstacles in the process will have to be removed in the larger interests of the country.

(The writer is former Director General, BSF and also petitioner in the police reforms case)

http://www.bprd.gov.in/writereaddata/linkimages/article29701918000.jpg

Police Reforms: Too Important to Neglect, Too Urgent to Delay

http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/programs/aj/police/police.htm 
The existing police systems in most Indian states are a legacy of colonial rule that have been shaped by post-colonial history.

The consequences of poor policing include brutality and torture, extra-judicial executions, a lack of due process, impunity, corruption, bias and discrimination and public fear, anger and resentment.

A democratic police organisation is one that is

accountable to the law and not a law unto itself
is accountable to democratic government structures and the community
is transparent in its activities
gives top operational priority to protecting the safety and rights of individuals and private groups
protects human rights
provides society with professional services
is representative of the community it serves


CHRI 2005 REPORT: POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY
The Law Commission of India's observation that "complaints of abuse of power of arrest is continuing unabated in the country and very often it is the poor and persons without official or political clout who become the victims of police excesses'' could be true of many jurisdictions where supervision and control over policing is lax.

Women in custody are often vulnerable to sexual abuse - and increasing occurrences of such incidents prompted India to pass legislation that creates a presumption that where a woman is in custody, any sexual intercourse amounts to rape unless proven otherwise by the custodian.

India is another country where nepotism is a deciding factor in the appointment of Director Generals of Police.

The process has been reduced to state Chief Ministers handpicking their
preferred candidates for the role rather than basing the selection on seniority and merit, which is what the actual policy prescribes.

During riots in 2002 in the Indian state of Gujarat, Hindu fundamentalists with the backing of the state government targeted members of the Muslim minority121 and the Gujarat Police was indicted for failing to protect innocent citizens.

Subsequently, police officers who had tried to stop the attacks were punitively transferred.

One Police Superintendent had successfully thwarted an attack on a school and rescued 400 students.

He registered criminal cases against the attackers despite pressure from local leaders to turn a blind eye.

Instead of being rewarded for his correct actions, he was transferred five times in a year.

Government control over police is vested in state governments and merely referred to as "superintendence" - a term not defined in the legislation.

This has led to broad discretion in the appointment and removal of police chiefs, constant interference in recruitment, promotions, transfers, dismissals and disciplinary actions, and meddling in daily crime control and investigation. control and investigation.

The extent of illegitimate political interference has weakened the control and command structure of many forces, making them dysfunctional and vulnerable to malign influences.

The police are subject to the same law as the average citizen, but their unique role means that proven misconduct by an officer may be judged more harshly than that of other lawbreakers.

Concerned with the frequency of custodial violence in India, the Supreme
Court has evolved specific arrest guidelines for police officers who can be held in contempt for not abiding by them.

For instance, only female police personnel may arrest women suspects (except in exceptional cases) to ensure that women are not harassed.

The Court has also laid down guidelines for how the police should treat victims of sexual abuse.

The oversight credibility of parliament and the state legislatures is undermined by the fact that so many Members of Parliament stand accused of criminal offences.

India has a National Human Rights Commission as well as separate state human rights commissions but does not have a single dedicated civilian
oversight mechanism for its 35 police forces, many of which are frequently cited for excessive violence and abuse of power.

After police had been strongly indicted for complicity in anti-Muslim violence in the state of Gujarat in 2002, the Indian National Human Rights Commission recommended that the police organisation and state government properly investigate cases, but the state government failed to do so.

The Commission approached the Supreme Court in a particularly grave case where eye-witnesses had been threatened and so changed their testimony, resulting in the acquittal of the accused.

On the basis of statements and investigations of the Commission, the Court ordered the state government and the police to review around 2,000 cases that had been closed by the police.

In Mumbai, India, a lone advocate used access to information laws to
substantiate widely held suspicions of illegitimate political interference in police transfers.

It was revealed that in a single year, the Police Chief had received no
less than 143 requests from politicians recommending favourites to different posts.

Many came from the offices of Chief Minister or the Deputy Chief Minister of the state.

An analysis showed that the transfers were nearly always away from conflict zones, or into areas where there were better chances to make money from bribes.

This led to 135 police officers being issued warning letters for trying, against regulations, to bring pressure from outside the department for personal gain.

Despite strong evidence that poor policing contributes to the notable sense of lawlessness and insecurity felt by citizens, resistance to change has been stubborn and persistent. The main obstacle to reform is the lack
of political will.

"In a democratic society, the police serve to protect,rather than impede, freedoms. The very purpose of the police is to provide a safe, orderly environment in which these freedoms can be exercised. A democratic police force is not concerned with people's beliefs or associates, their movements or conformity to state ideology. It is not even primarily concerned with the enforcement of regulations or bureaucratic regimens. Instead, the police force of a democracy is concerned strictly with the preservation of safe communities and the application of criminal law equally to all people, without fear or favour"
- United Nations International Police Task Force, 1996.

A democratic approach to policing benefits the community, police officers, and governance alike. Responsibility for safety then becomes a shared objective and the police become allies in keeping the peace rather than instruments of government oppression.

The prohibition of torture is absolute, no matter what the circumstances.

Each branch of government has a responsibility to contribute to democratic oversight and police reform.

The challenge for legislators at all levels of government is to bring the
values of accountability, transparency and participation firmly to bear
on policing. Effective accountability must be one of the hallmarks of truly
democratic policing.

Jurists call for quick implementation of police reforms 
SC directives on police reforms stay on paper 
The Centre may be coming out with steps to tackle terror attacks, but one of its most glaring failures has been the non-enforcement of Supreme Court directives on police reforms.

There is no word from either the Centre or its new home minister or any of the states on plans to implement these directives, which will ensure that the police meant for law and order duties and that meant for investigation are not the same.

The reform would have ensured that the police investigating the Malegaon blasts were not pressed in to fight the terrorists holed up at the Hotel Taj Mahal in Mumbai.

What the Centre and the home ministry have done so far is to set up a law drafting committee under Soli Sorabjee which submitted a draft Model Police Act to the ministry.

Things have not moved forward from there.

In the states, just 10 states have assured the court that they would implement the directives in their new police legislation.

The country still follows police laws drafted in colonial times, viz the Police Act, 1861.

Prakash Singh said: "Just 10 states have given an assurance on paper but are yet to set up any mechanism to implement these. These are all tiny states, mostly in the North-East, while the bigger states have ignored them so far." He added that even the Centre had failed to enforce the directives.

"Had the Centre enforced these directives, at least the Union Territories including Delhi would have got a reformed set-up. But it has not be done so far. Former home minister Shivraj Patil and his deputy made countless assurances in Parliament on the Model Police Act but it is yet to see the light of day," Singh said.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati recently announced some steps to strengthen the state police. But she was silent on the police reforms that are pending and for which the state has to face the court.

Singh, who was a former DGP of Uttar Pradesh, said: "UP is one of the biggest offenders as it has not done anything to implement the court directives. It is followed by Bihar, which has got a new police Act but is so regressive that it takes it back to the days of East India Company."

According to Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative director Maja Daruwala: "This time it was Taj and terrorists. But on a daily basis, how many people in Delhi alone get murdered, maimed, robbed and raped? Is the police able to prevent and investigate such cases and come to a quick solution? The fact is that ordinary security is not available. Had Supreme Court directives been obeyed, they would have removed police from political control, giving it operational responsibility."
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This petition's been addressed to: The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, President, Prime Minister (PM), Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Governors, Chief Ministers (CMs), Chief Secretaries (CSs), Director Generals of Police (DGPs), IGPs & Commissioners of Police (CPs) & SPs.

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