Bill to Replace Ordinance on Police Reforms in Assembly

India on 28 October 2013
Location : Tamil Nadu, India | Source : Outlook. Image Source: Flickr User Prato9x

As part of its efforts to comply with Supreme Court directive on police reforms, Tamil Nadu government today moved a bill in the Assembly seeking to replace a recent ordinance in this regard.

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who holds the Home portfolio, moved the Tamil Nadu Police (Reforms) Act 2013, whose provisions included determining the tenure of the DGP, allowing a two-year tenure for a officer in-charge of a police station, police district or Commissionerate, establishing a State Security Commission and a Police Complaints Authority.

An ordinance had been promulgated by the Governor on September 10 and it was published in the state government gazette extraordinary the following day.

The promulgation of Ordinance was part of the government's move to comply with the Supreme Court directions on police reforms, officials said.

The Bill seeks to replace the said Ordinance.

The Police Complaints Authority, for instance, shall inquire into allegations of 'serious misconduct' (rape, death and grievous hurt in police custody) against police personnel in supervisory ranks, on a complaint from a victim in the form of a sworn affidavit duly attested by a notary pubic, the Bill said.

The Supreme Court in its judgement on Prakash Singh vs Union of India ((2006) 8 SCC 1) directed that every state should enact a new Police Act.

It had further given directions to the state governments on State Security Commission, selection and minimum tenure of DGP, minimum tenure of Inspector General of Police and other officers, separation of investigation, Police Establishment Board and Police Complaints Authority.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative has sought a public debate on the Tamil Nadu Police (Reforms) Ordinance.

Maja Daruwala, Director, CHRI, in a release, alleged that the Ordinance does not comply with the Supreme Court’s directives in letter or spirit.

The CHRI urged government to refer it to a legislative Select Committee for extensive review as it is "not fit to be passed into a new Police Act for the state."

The government must invite public debate and discussion on the type of policing and police service the people of the state want, the release said.

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