OP-ED: POLICE ROLE AND REFORMS IN INDIA
By R.G Shailesh Sai
The author is a first-year student at National Law University Odisha.
The role of the police is a wider subject in our country, with a culmination of different spheres of crimes. Police that falls under the 7th schedule is state subject whose primary duty is the prevention of crime, registration, detection, and prosecution of a crime. They have to enforce the law impartially without fear, favor, or vindictiveness. In securing the observance of the law or in maintaining peace and stability in society, they use methods of persuasion, advice, and warning. Considering many aspects of the need of the police such as their social presence, maintenance of essential services, investigation-related activity, enforcement of social legislation of minor and major acts, democratic and election-related duties, natural and disaster emergency duties, their presence is extensive.
Having a hectic schedule maintaining both professional and personal life is a big task to them, considering their many duties. Due to their low pay scales and very limited amenities in their workspace or that may be even their health assurance from the government is very much limited and criticized. Due to the above reasons, they are indirectly forced to involve in corruption-related activities. Coming to the reforms part, for the first time in 1977, the INDIAN government had set up a committee “NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION” to report on policing, later on they have produced reports both in 1979 and 1981 demanding wider reforms in the functioning of force, but ultimately these reports were not considered or given much importance by the INDIAN government, later in a case filed by the former assam and uttar pradesh DGP prakash singh on the need of police reforms, the apex court in the case of prakash singh ors vs union of INDIA , it directed all the states and union territories in bringing police reforms, which are mainly to limit political control, appoint the DGPs only on the basis of merit and by maintaining transparency and secure a minimum term of 2 years, to separate the functions of investigation and maintaining the law and order, and also to set up one of its kind police establishment board to decide and make recommendations on postings, transfer and service related issues below the rank of DYsP, but still they are not properly implemented, when the point of why police reforms are needed is raised, it needs to be said that when the laws are being changed time-to-time on the requirements of the citizens and for their betterment, then the functioning of the executive that is the police should also be changed for proper functioning of the force. There are many wider criticisms on the law of torture, proper investigation, and execution of cases, but the hard truth is that there is much political interference at every stage in the process of delivering justice in the capacity of police officers.
They are threatened of security on their postings and promotions, which sometimes results in improper execution, in the process of investigation and prosecution. They go through a psychological pressure, they are overburdened due to the lesser percentage of police strength, while the sanctioned strength was 181 police per lakh persons in 2016, the actual strength was 137, this is way too low when cross checked with the united nations recommended standard of 222 police per lakh persons, the solution for this is there need to be a proper judicial set up body constituting of retired judicial officers, to look into the issues of police personnel, revamping the criminal justice system, provide them a one day off per week ,creation of a special additional compensatory fund for the families of personnel who die in the line of duty, improve their pay scales so that they get less involved in corrupt activities, and perform their duty efficiently ,and improve their access to modern fire arms considering the threat to the nation by terrorism, communal and other national security issues, improve their technological gadget base, improve their basic infrastructure in the police stations, increase the strength of women representation in the force and maintain true transparency by implementing all these much needed reforms in reality.
Read More about police reforms in India
Police Reforms in India: Policing in India – Reforms, Commissions for IAS & Govt. Exams. (byjus.com)
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