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Police Reform A Need Of Society?

Reform Is A Process Of Change In The System, Usually With The Aims Of Socio Justice.-- Hinesh Rathod

Let's start with the First Question that What is Police reform?
Police reform aims to transforms the old cultures, policies and practices of police organization so that police can perform their duties with respect of democratic values, human rights and rule of law.

Police reform main aims to maintain law and order in state with more accountability and transparency in the work.

Police reform aims to break political nexuses with police and gain public trust.

There is need to upgrade the skills of our policeman to effectively tackle 21st century crime such as cyber-crime and economic offences.

Also, Indian Police is based on colonial law, In Indian police is not friendly with the public. Therefore, at this time we needed an act which make police friendly to the public.

Coming to second question that Why we need Police Reforms?
There are many reasons for Police reforms lets understand them in points:

The Police Colonial system:
Even at present Indian Police is based on colonial law, we all know that most of time British rule used police as their instrument to suppress the voice of freedom fighter and for their personal gain.

Police Accountability:
There are many grievances against the Police such as unlawful arrests, unlawful search, custodial death, torture in custody, corruption issue and misuse of law for personal or political gain.

Custodial Death:
A total 4,484 death in custody have been in the last two years and 233 in alleged in police encounter across India, Stated Minister of State for Home,

Custodial death is perhaps one of the worst crimes in a civilized society governed by the Rule of Law. It is a crime against humanity and violation of human rights, so there is need of reforms for much more accountability.

(In D.K. Basu Guidelines supreme court issued a guideline against custodial death in India)

Law on Custodial Torture:
India is a signatory of United Nations Convention against torture and other cruel activities since 1997 but it has not ratified it as India doe not have any comprehensive law on torture.

(Law Commission of India in 2017 has proposed anti-torture law still Government has not taken any action in this regards)

Political Interference:
Police officers are not able to do their work due to the interference of political leader. Hence its necessary to break political nexuses with police. We needed reform for fair and transparency in system this will help to gain public trust. (Refer Vohra Committee)

Background of Police Reform:
The police reforms also introduce in pre independence era by British ruler in 1902-1903. After independence the first police reform committee set by Government of India in 1977 known as National Police Commission, this was first committee at the national level on reporting policing. One of most important recordation is about Model Police Act.

Ribeiro Committee (1998-1999)
  • This committee recommendation of National Police Commission with certain modification.

Padmanabhaiah Committee on Police Reforms (2000)
In 2000, Padmanabhaiah Committee suggest reform to amend and modify the police origination. The committee put forth a number of recommendations to restructure the police department to make it consistent with the changing world.

Malimath Committee (2003)
The Malimath Committee suggested the setting up of state security commission as recommended by the NPC, to insulate the police from political pressure.

The Malimath Committee was given mandate to review the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) 1973.

In the landmark judgment the supreme court in September 2006 had directed all States and Union Territories bring police reforms. with comply seven binding directive which would start reform. (Prakash Singh Vs Union of India Case)

The seven directives are:
  • Limit on political control
  • Appoint base on merit
  • Fix minimum tenure for 2 years
    (Including Superintendent of Police in charge of district and police station)
  • Separate the police function
  • Set up fair and transparent system
  • Establish a Police Complaint Authority in every state
  • Set up Selection commission
Madhav Menon Committee (2007)
The committee submitted its report on reforming criminal justice system in 2007. It suggested the establishment of a separate authority at the national level to deal with offence threatening the country security.

The Supreme court also appointed Justice Thomas Committee which submitted a report in 2010. It expressed dismay over total apathy on the issue of improving police functioning being displayed by the state.

In 2012-2013 Justice J.S. Verma committed was constituted to recommended amendment criminal law so as to provide quicker trial and enhanced punishment for criminal accused of committing sexual assault against woman.

CCTV Camera:
In the case of Paramvir Singh Saini Vs. Balijit Singh & Others set an important precedent by making the installation of CCTV camera in all police station and offices of investigation authorities mandatory. This will secure the Indian people right to live a dignified life and protect under trial prisoner from custodial torture.

(Supreme Court had directed to Central & State Government for Installed CCTV system at all police stations)

Lack of Political Will:
The supreme court in landmark case (Prakash Singh Vs Union of India Case 2006) gave seven directives where considerable work in police reforms is still needed.

Due Lack of political will these directive and various committee reports were not implemented letter and spirit in many states.

One Nation One Policies:
Police come under state list of 7th schedules of Indian Constitution, in every state is legislating a different Police Act which may create problem. Therefore, we needed uniformity for entire nation. Such as One Nation One Policies.

Conclusion:
At this time, we need an act which can make police friendly to the public.

Police play important role for maintain Rule of law in the state. Hence Police reform aims to transforms the old cultures, policies and practices of police organization so that police can perform their duties with respect of democratic values, human rights.

15 years after the Supreme Court judgment in Prakash Singh case, we must ask what's holding up police reforms?

The first priority of the Government should be the reform of the police in India. But Government is not implementing it due to their personal or political interest?

Hope that government will realize that in today's world we need police reforms and work on it.

Bibliography/ Reference:
  • https://www.insightsonindia.com/2022/05/14/police-reforms/
  • https://thewire.in/rights/custodial-death-uttar-pradesh
  • https://prsindia.org/files/policy/policy_committee_reports/Law%20Commission%20Report%20Summary-%20Torture%20Convention.pdf
  • https://iasscore.in/current-affairs/mains/custodial-torture-cases-in-india
  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/readersblog/my-personal-views/police-reforms-31885/
  • https://www.lawyersclubindia.com/articles/the-need-of-police-reforms-in-india-in-light-of-the-padmanabhaiah-committee-recommendations-14229.asp

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Hinesh Navratan Rathod - B.Com, LLB student - Thakur Ramnarayan College of Law (TRCL), Mumbai.
Awarded certificate of Excellence
Authentication No: AU223080252341-18-0822

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