A background of police reforms in india

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: Gs2: Role of Civil Services in a Democracy

Context: To improve the functioning of the police force, the supreme court has spelt out various directives which are not been implemented yet.

Recent examples on police brutality?

  • The thrashing of a Dalit Ahirwar couple by the police in Guna district of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The brutal torture of J. Benicks and his father P. Jayaraj in Sattankulam town in Thoothkudi district of Tamil Nadu
  • The encounter of Vikas Dube by the Uttar Pradesh police in Kanpur looked like the law had been subverted.

What is Prakash Singh case?

  • The first serious attempt to reform the police forces was made when the National Police Commission (NPC) was set up in 1977.
  • The NPC submitted its recommendation in eight reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • None of the recommendations was implemented by states as they felt that the report was unduly critical of the political system and the functioning of the police force.
  • In 1996, demand for the implementation of the NPC’s recommendations came through a retired IPS officer, Prakash Singh who filed a PIL in court.
  • The landmark verdict of PIL came in 2006, the Supreme Court issued a slew of directives on police reform. (Prakash Singh Case)

Status on Implementation of Supreme court directives?

  • One of the recommendations was to Set up a State Security Commission (SSC) in each State to arrest the political leader’s access to unbridled power.
  • According to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, of the States that constituted an SSC, only Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have made SSC recommendations binding on the State government.
  • Only six States provided a minimum tenure of two years to the Director General of Police (DGP).
  • Many States have not implemented a single directive of the Supreme Court.

What is the reason for the  poor implementation of police reforms?

  • Politicians-criminals-police nexus: According to a report by the Association for Democratic Reforms (2018), there were 1,580 MPs and MLAs facing criminal charges.

With fourteen years passed by, the Court has to take strict actions on the States and the Centre to ensure that its directives are implemented effectively else the country will witness an upheaval of the kind that the U.S. saw following the death of George Floyd.

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