SC directions on police reforms hang fire

India on 04 November 2013
Location : New Delhi, India | Source : Hindustan Times. Flickr User

Seven years after the Supreme Court delivered a landmark verdict on police reforms, most of its directives are still hanging fire.

To insulate the police force from political interference and enhance its efficiency, the SC had on September 22, 2006, ordered setting up of state security commissions, fixed tenure for police chiefs and other police officers, separation of investigation from law and order and establishment of police complaints authorities and police establishment boards.

Law and order being a state subject, each state was expected to enact a new police act to give effect to these directives. But most of directions have either not been implemented or partially implemented.

Former Uttar Pradesh Police chief Prakash Singh, who was a petitioner in the case said:  "The Supreme Court's order was to remain in force till states passed their own laws for police reforms. Fifteen states have passed their own laws after the verdict. But instead of implementing the court's order, these acts (laws) circumvent the court's directives. All these 15 acts have been challenged before the SC."

Singh said a bench headed by justice GS Singhvi, which is now monitoring the progress in implementation of its directions on police reforms, will hear the matter on November 12.

Fed up with non-implementation of its directives, the SC in April 2013 said: "Instead of improving the police functioning and approach, what we have seen is a journey from bad to worse in these seven years."

The court had, however, said it would make every endeavour to see that the winds of reform touched the basic foundations of police departments across the country.

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