Police Reforms – SC directives, NPC, other committees reports

Still awaiting police reform


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Paper 2- Police reforms

The police have been in the news for incidents involving violence and killings. These instances points to the urgent need for the implementation of the Supreme Court directives given in the Prakash Singh case. The article deals with the issues of delay in the implementation.

Need for immediate remedial measures

  • Police has been in the news for incidents involving police brutalities like thrashing of a Dalit Ahirwar couple by the police Madhya Pradesh, torture and killing of father-son duo in Tamil Nadu and killing of gangster in UP.
  • These incidents and several others show that we need immediate remedial measures.

Past attempts for police reforms

  • The first serious attempt was when the National Police Commission (NPC) was set up in 1977.
  • The NPC submitted eight reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs between 1979 and 1981.
  • Seven of these reports were circulated to the States in 1983.

Prakash Sing Case

  • No action was taken on the reports of the reports until 1996.
  • In 1996 Prakash Singh, a retired IPS officer, filed a PIL in the apex court in 1996 demanding the implementation of the NPC’s recommendations.
  • In 2006, the Supreme Court issued a slew of directives on police reform.

Status of implementation of directives by Staes

  • The one directive that would hurt the most is the setting up of a State Security Commission (SSC) in each State.
  • State Security Commission would divest the political leaders of the unbridled power that they wield at present.
  • 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.

Way forward

  • Expecting political will to implement police reforms is difficult to come by, it is for the judiciary to step in and enforce the directives it had passed.
  • Fourteen years is too long a period for any further relaxation.
  • The Court has to ensure that its directives are not dismissed lightly.

Consider the question “What are the issues facing police administration? What are the reasons for lack of full implementation of the directives given by the Supreme Court in the Prakash Singh case?


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