AGENDA FOR POLICE REFORMS
Recognizing that it is the inalienable duty of the state to preserve the rule of law and provide internal security and easy access to effective criminal justice to all its citizens, we commit ourselves to a comprehensive programme of reforms aimed at transforming the police into a truly independent, citizen friendly public service. The reform agenda will comprise the following measures, which will be given a statutory backing by enacting a new police law for contemporary needs within the next two years:
At the state level, constitute an independent State Security Commission, with equitable representation of the legislative and executive wings and the civil society, to insulate the police from unwarranted government influence, lay down broad operational policy guidelines and evaluate the performance of the state police.
Ensure that the Director General of Police is appointed from a panel recommended by the Union Public Service Commission through a merit based, transparent process and enjoys a minimum tenure of two years.
Ensure that other police officers on operational duties also have a minimum tenure of two years. Set up a Police Establishment Board to decide on all transfers, postings, promotions and other service related matters of police officers up to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police through a merit based, transparent process and make recommendations on postings and transfers of superior officers.
At the central level, establish a National Security Commission to prepare a panel for selection and placement of Chiefs of the Central Police Organisations, who would also have a minimum tenure of two years.
Create specialised streams for intelligence, law & order, crime investigation, prosecution, and combating terrorism, insurgency and organised crime. Institute a regime of regular training and skill formation for all categories of police personnel.
Modernise the communications and logistic equipment of the police force and optimise the use of information technology in all its functions at all levels down to police stations and outposts.
Improved service conditions:
Phase out the rank of constable in the Civil Police and replace it with the upgraded rank of Civil Police Officer.
Ameliorate the service conditions and work environment of the police personnel in keeping with the requirements of efficiency.
Address the needs of health care, housing, and welfare of serving and retired police personnel and provide financial security to the families of those who die in harness through insurance and other means.
Set up independent Police Complaints Authorities at the state and district levels with equitable representation of the civil society to look into public complaints against police officers in cases of serious misconduct.
Institute a mechanism for performance evaluation at the district and police station levels against identified performance indicators
We have continued to push the police reforms agenda by offering a platform to the stakeholders for forging a wider consensus on the content of the desired reforms and the strategy for securing their speedy implementation. With this end in view, a Seminar on “Making Our Police Effective & People-friendly” was held on July 4, 2009 at India International Centre, New Delhi. The next issue of this journal will be devoted to the deliberations of the Seminar.
A businessman in Florence in love with a nightclub entertainer employed a detective agency to check up on her. He received the following report: ‘The young lady has an excellent reputation. Her past is without a blemish. She has many friends of good social standing. The only scandal associated with her is that she has often been seen lately with a businessman of questionable character.’
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Overheard at the veterinarian’s: ‘I had my cat neutered. He’s still out all night with the others cats, but now it’s in the role of consultant.’
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Overheard: ‘A thief just ran off with my wallet,’ yelled the champion runner.
‘Couldn’t you catch him?’ asked the bystander.
‘Sure, I even took the lead, but when I looked back, he was gone.’