There has been a rise of public demand for an efficient, accountable and people-centric police that steadfastly upholds the Rule of Law in all situations. Since independence, the National Police Commission as well as multiple expert committees have submitted successive reports recommending extensive reforms in the Police. These recommendations have mostly remained unimplemented.
In September 2006, the Supreme Court of India, in Prakash Singh Vs Union of India passed a historic judgment directing the Central and State Governments towards operational reform and functional autonomy of the police. The Indian Police Foundation was inaugurated in 2015 to mount pressure on State governments to implement the directions of the Supreme Court on police reforms (Prakash Singh v. Union of India).
However, in effect the country has failed to use this historic opportunity for serious modernization and reform of the police.
Under the Constitution, police is a subject governed by states. The centre is also allowed to maintain its own police forces to assist the states with ensuring law and order. Therefore, it maintains seven central police forces and some other police organisations for specialised tasks such as intelligence gathering, investigation, research and recordkeeping, and training.
The primary role of police forces is to uphold and enforce laws, investigate crimes and ensure security for people in the country. In a large and populous country like India, police forces need to be well-equipped, in terms of personnel, weaponry, forensic, communication and transport support, to perform their role well.
Further, they need to have the operational freedom to carry out their responsibilities professionally, and satisfactory working conditions while being held accountable for poor performance or misuse of power.
- National Police commission 1977-81
- Rubeiro Committee 1998
- Padmanabhaiah committee 2000
- Malimath committee 2002-03
- Police Act drafting committee 2005
- Supreme Court directions in Prakash Singh vs Union of India 2006
- Second ARC 2007
- Police Act drafting committee-II 2015
- Police accountability
- Crime Investigation
- Crime investigation and Underreporting of crime in India
- Poor Police infrastructure
- Police-Public relations
- Constitute a State Security Commission in every state that will lay down policy for police functioning, evaluate police performance, and ensure that state governments do not exercise unwarranted influence on the police.
- Constitute a Police Establishment Board in every state that will decide postings, transfers and promotions for officers below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, and make recommendations to the state government for officers of higher ranks.
- Constitute Police Complaints Authorities at the state and district levels to inquire into allegations of serious misconduct and abuse of power by police personnel.
- Provide a minimum tenure of at least two years for the DGP and other key police officers within the state forces
- Ensure that the DGP of state police is appointed from amongst three senior-most officers who have been empanelled for the promotion by the Union Public Service Commission on the basis of length of service, good record and experience.
- Separate the investigating police from the law and order police to ensure speedier investigation, better expertise and improved rapport with the people.
- Constitute a National Security Commission to shortlist the candidates for appointment as Chiefs of the central armed police forces.
- The avalanche of social and technological changes fuelled by the internet and the new social media are fast changing the nature, intensity and the reach of crime leading to unprecedented lawlessness and frightening dimensions of global terrorism.
- There is an urgent need to strengthen our Criminal Justice System and our grassroots level policing institutions;
- to prepare our police to deal with the present and emerging challenges and
- Strengthen its investigative capabilities and emergency response infrastructure.
- Traditional and linear devices used in the past towards police reform may not be sufficient.
- Considering the multiple causes and their complex interdependencies associated with today’s policing issues, there is a realization that these challenges require broader, more collaborative and innovative approaches and would involve a range of coordinated and interrelated responses.