The Supreme Court Monday sought a clarification from the central and state governments on whether a Lokpal at the centre or the Lokayukta in the states would have a bearing on implementing its directions on police reforms.
An apex court special bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice Aftab Alam and Justice K.S. Panicker Radhakrishnan sought the clarification after it felt that some areas of policing activities sought to be covered under the proposed Lokpal bill may impinge on the directions passed by it on a plea related to police reforms.
“We don’t want that at the end of the day we may not be told that some law has come and our certain directions are covered by it,” the court said.
The apex court directions on police reforms were issued Sep 22, 2006 in the wake of a petition by former Uttar Pradesh police chief Prakash Singh.
The seven directions for initiation police reforms involved functional autonomy for the law enforcing agency by making appointments and transfers more transparent, fixed tenures for a group of officials and a grievance redressal mechanism.
At the outset of the hearing, the court asked amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran if there were areas in the apex court directions and the Lokpal bill under consideration that are overlapping.
Ramachandran sought to assure the court that there was nothing in the Lokpal bill currently under consideration that would impinge upon any of the directions issued by the apex court in police reforms case.
Ramachandran also told the court that its directions dealt with the functioning of the police force, separation of its investigation role from its policing functions, fixed tenure and putting in place grievance redressal mechanism.
Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, said that these were areas where there was no conflict. “What ever form it may come it (Lokpal bill) does not effect general directions of the court on the functioning of police.”
The case would next be heard Jan 9, 2012.