Monday, September 24, 2012

Police is an exclusive subject under the State List ( List II, Schedule 7 of the Indian Constitution). States can enact any law regarding the subject of police. But most of the states are following the archaic Indian Police Act 1861 with few modifications. Police have become the ‘subjects’ of Parliamentarians and legislators – with high degree of politicization and allegiance towards ruling party.

Starting from the second Police Commission in 1902 headed by A.H.L. Fraser, there have been many commissions and committees formed to look into reforming the police in India.
Prominent among them are: 

·        Gore Committee on Police Training
·        National Police Commission
·        The Ribeiro Committee on Police Reforms
·        The Padmanabhaiah Committee on Police Reforms 
·         Prakash Singh Vs Union of India – SC directives for Police Reforms
·        Soli Sorabjee Committee.

The 22 September, 2006 verdict of the Supreme Court in the Prakash Singh vs Union of India case was the landmark in the fight for police reforms in India. Unfortunately, even the directions of SC have not been implemented by the states.
Courting the Court

In 2006 the SC gave 7 binding directions to the states and Union Territories. The court ordered the states and UTs to implement the directions immediately either through legislation or executive order. But, the police – politician nexus is so much deep-rooted that states are reluctant to implement any of the directions. Last year (November 2010), the SC asked for the personal presence of Chief Secretaries of 4 major states (Karnataka, WB, Maharashtra and  UP) to learn the progress and give stern directions.



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