Coming straight to the point , I am hugely gobsmacked and outraged to see nearly everyday in various news channels how our police force is increasingly becoming more and more intolerant and violent while dealing with the common man . As if this is not enough , they have just stopped caring whether the person whom they are beating black and blue is an old man or woman or a girl or a child . They are breaking all previous records of even the British Raj and care a damn as to where they are hitting anyone , not sparing even the delicate organs of body including private parts . Fake encounters are rising every year and this certainly does not augur well for a democratic country like India which believes in Gandhiji’s ideal of non – violence . Have you ever heard Kasab or Afzal Guru or any other terrorist like Balwant Singh Rajoana who killed former Punjab Chief minister late Beant Singh and who openly shouts anti – India slogans being killed by police in fake encounter ? No , never . Rather they are given all facilities and our government makes it clear that they will hold “talks and dialogues” only with terrorists and not with rapists or murderers or other ordinary criminals because they consider only terrorists worth shaking hands with and extending them all VVIP treatment and not rapists or other ordinary criminals . So what if terrorists can attack our nuclear installations and destroy our entire nation ? So what if terrorists attack our courts , blow off trains , hijack aeroplanes , attack our national symbols like Red Fort etc , get rigorous training from hostile nations like Pakistan , are armed to the teeth by them and receive huge money to be used against India ? Yet , our politicians are firm that under no circumstances will they hold “talks and dialogues” with rapists or other ordinary criminals as this is reserved only for terrorists and cases too are withdrawn against them at the drop of a hat ! With such politicians at the helm of affairs , do we really need Pakistan or any other external enemy to destroy India ?
It needs therefore , no Albert Einstein to realize that the first step to reform our police is to free them from political control . Right now , we see that it is the political masters who remote controls not only police but also CBI and this explains why recently Supreme Court termed CBI as “caged parrot” which must be freed . Right from appointment of police from top to bottom , their postings , promotions and everything is remote controlled by their political masters . Not surprising , terrorists are not killed rather VVIP treatment is extended to them because they have to hold “talks and dialogues” with MPs and MLAs and ceasefire is declared by ruling elite and police is instructed not to fire at them and result is terrorists exploit such declaring of ceasefire and mercilessly murder hundreds of policemen and securitymen but our politicians refuse to learn anything and keep declaring ceasefire again and again . This has to stop and police must not indulge in tom-tomming and kowtowing before politicians as we see right now . Police must be deployed for security of common man and not politicians as most unfortunately we see right now . This explains why crime rate is increasing so rapidly in India .
I must invite my readers attention to the clinching fact that Supreme Court has time and again slammed police for the atrocities committed by them . Just recently , the Supreme Court has sought an explanation from the UP and Delhi state governments on two incidents in which a 65 – year – old woman and a 17- year – old girl were beaten up while protesting against rape of minors . A bench of Supreme Court Judges led by Justice GS Singhvi said that , “Even a wild animal won’t do what your officials are doing . Is your government left with any shame ? Are we mute spectators to everything ?” Radical police reforms have to be effected soon to save India from going to not just dogs but to terrorists .
We all know that the Indian police is still governed by the archaic and colonial police laws of British era of 1861 . Hardly any changes have been effected since then ! It goes without saying that this law was specifically designed to raise a police which would function like “loyal servants” of their British masters and ruthlessly crush any voice of dissent emanating from any citizen of India . This unhealthy malpractice was further strengthened when British left India and Indian leaders started ruling the roost . I must further mention here that a strong vested political interest had developed in the maintenance of status quo which our political leaders were never and can never be prepared to change because if this is allowed to happen , their own vested political interests would suffer and they would not be able to rule a common man like British .
Let me disclose here that in the words of former Director of CBI – DR Kaarthikeyan , “The establishment is not willing to give up their stranglehold over the police . And so , the colonial structure continues and the people continue to suffer from an insensitive police force . The Supreme Court had in a landmark judgment on September 22 , 2006 ordered the setting up of three institutions at the state level with a view to insulating the police from extraneous influences , giving it functional autonomy and ensuring its accountability . The Supreme Court orders , if sincerely implemented , would have far reaching implications .” Former DG – BSF , Prakash Singh lamented that , “Many decades have passed since independence and nothing had stopped us from reforming the colonial police structure , but sadly we opted not to do so . The Shah Commission which was set up in the wake of Emergency , recommended the insulation of police from extraneous pressures . The National Police Commission set up in 1977 gave many meaningful recommendations , but unfortunately , these received no more than cosmetic treatment .” He further said that , “Police reforms have a spectrum much wider than the directions mandated by the Supreme Court . These include enhancing the manpower , improving the infrastructure at police stations , adequate forensic support , improving the infrastructure at police stations , adequate forensic support , improving the working conditions of policemen and upholding their human rights also .”
For my readers benefit , I must mention here the matchless views of eminent , senior advocate of Supreme Court , a top jurist and former Attorney General of India Soli Sorabjee who has himself chaired a committee on police reforms and submitted his priceless recommendations to herald significant police reforms . He said quite explicitly that , “There should be a body which looks into the issue of transfers and appointments of police officers and safeguard the police from the wrath of the political masters for carrying out their duty honestly and in upholding the rule of law . Unfortunately no state is ready to form such a body and let go the power from their hands , since controlling the police means controlling the opponents . The police needs to be given the confidence to have the courage and independence in doing the right thing and that it would be protected for working honestly .” He was also at pains to point out that , “The Supreme Court had directed to enforce police reforms but the courts have not followed it up to see to it that its own directives are complied with . We must continue to build pressure on the government on why the directions of Supreme Court are not carried and urge the Supreme Court to issue contempt proceedings against the errant state governments .”
Another eminent and senior advocate of Supreme Court – PP Rao too lamented in a national conference on police reforms held on February 6 , 2013 in New Delhi that , “There is an all – encompassing reluctance by the executive and the legislature to provide enabling legislation . The courts are now constrained to issue general directions for the enforcement of fundamental rights of the citizens . Sadly enough , the Governments do not at times follow the comprehensive directions issued even by the Supreme Court to fill the vacuum in law . Though carrying out reforms is the duty of the Executive and the Legislature and not of the Courts , the Courts are faced with a situation where it has become necessary to issue directions for police reforms but they are unable to secure implementation of those directives .” In this very conference , former Chief Justice of India , Justice RC Lahoti , made a brief five point suggestion for reforms : –
1. Strengthen the police – quantitatively and qualitatively .
2. Insulate the police from political influence so that police is not misused for settling political scores .
3. Protect the police force from misuse and from being wasted .
4. Scientifically study and divide the function of police into three categories : law and order , detection and prevention of crime , VIP Security .
5. Aim at creating and cultivating an institutional character , so that the common man finds a friend in police .
I must also mention here that Chairman and Managing Director of Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd , Arun Kumar Jagatramka , in the same conference outlined the importance of police reforms as “Police reform is the first step towards the bigger war on corruption . It would play a decisive role to empower the aam admi and to reduce the malicious and vicious impact of VIP culture that we have imprisoned ourselves . Nobody should be above the law . The common man fears to go to the police station . This fear needs to be removed and the police needs to become people’s police . This would bring in a respect for police force among the fellow citizens and also would go a long way in tackling terror and crime by receiving local support and intelligence gathering .”
I am sure that the experience of most of common citizens with police has never been even satisfactory and this holds especially true when it comes to getting an FIR lodged in a police station of either theft or loot or any other crime . This is basically because police tries to show that there is least crime in their zone and if they show generosity in lodging FIR , the message will go that a lot of incidents of crime are happening which they find against their interests . This has to change once and for all if the credibility and reputation of police is to be enhanced in the eyes of a common man . Strict action along with imposition of heavy fines should be levied on those policemen who deliberately and maliciously refuse to lodge FIR and there has to be zero tolerance for it . This alone is not enough . Their training has to be reoriented and they have to be taught to deal correctly with common man and not to start hitting anyone as most unfortunately we keep seeing every now and then . Their salaries too must be enhanced so that the best talent joins police force and our police becomes more professional in its outlook . Special emphasis must be laid on respecting human rights of all citizens including criminals . The use of third degree methods and torture must be restricted to the least extent .
As we witnessed, the Supreme Court on July 16 , 2013 decided to summon chief secretaries of states to seek personal explanation of the steps taken by governments in implementing the court’s seven-year-old judgment on police reforms , which included separation of law and order duties from investigation work . A bench of Justices GS Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda ordered the bureaucrats of Maharashtra , Andhra Pradesh , Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh to be present in court on July 31 to assist the counsel in “furnishing detailed information on implementation” of police reforms as ordered in the 2006 judgment in the Prakash Singh case and for informing what steps they are taking on police reforms . Lack of cooperation from states in furnishing details of implementation of police reforms and non-filing of affidavits in time irked the bench , which said because of the insensitivity of the states , the case had to be adjourned several times . “Lack of sensitivity on part of the states cannot be condoned under any circumstances ,”the bench said before deciding to summon the chief secretaries in batches to make a fresh attempt to free the police force from the stranglehold of political bosses and ensure people-friendly policing .
Let me also divulge here that the judges were anguished at the way states have disregarded in the most contemptuous manner the directions given by Supreme court on police reforms in Prakash Singh’s case . They said : “Our frustration is over the manner in which states and their counsel are behaving . We are pained to summon them . We avoid passing such an order in all circumstances but we are forced to . Unless some officers are convicted and punished for contempt of court under the Contempt of Court Act for not following order , things will not improve . Let the chief secretaries of Uttar Pradesh , Maharashtra , Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh appear on the next date to assist their counsel in furnishing detail information on implementation of Prakash Singh judgment on police reforms .” It summoned the chief secretaries of the four states in the first lot after advocate Prashant Bhushan accused these states as most non-compliant . the court had on April 25 , 2013 directed the chief secretaries to file affidavits relating to compliance of the apex court’s directions on police reforms and constituting State Security Commission .
Now without wasting any more time , let me come straight to what all was held and the various directions given by the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Prakash Singh case which have still not been implemented and which now must be implemented as the Supreme Court itself has been repeatedly saying . In the landmark case of Prakash Singh v Union of India ( 2006 ) 3 SCC ( Cri ) 417 , it is pointed out starting from page 422 that ,
1. “Considering the far – reaching changes that had taken place in the country after the enactment of the Police Act , 1861 and the absence of any comprehensive review at the national level of the police system after independence , despite radical changes in the political , social and economic situation in the country , the Government of India , on 15 – 11 – 1977 , appointed a National Police Commission ( “the Commission” ) . The Commission was appointed for fresh examination of the role and performance of the police both as a law – enforcing agency and as an institution to protect the rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution .
2. The terms and reference of the Commission were wide ranging . the terms of reference , inter alia , required the Commission to redefine the role , duties , powers and responsibilities of the police with special reference to prevention and control of crime and maintenance of public order ; evaluate the performance of the system ; identify the basic weaknesses or inadequacies ; examine if any changes are necessary in the method of administration , disciplinary control and accountability ; inquire into the system of investigation and prosecution ; the reasons for delay and failure and suggest how the system may be modified or changed and made efficient , scientific and consistent with human dignity ; examine the nature and extent of the special responsibilities of the police towards the weaker sections of the community and suggest steps and to ensure prompt action on their complaints for the safeguard of their rights and interests . The Commission was required to recommend measures and institutional arrangements to prevent misuse of powers by the police , by administrative or executive instructions , political or other pressures or oral orders of any type , which are contrary to law , for the quick and impartial inquiry of public complaints made against the police about any misuse of police powers . The Chairman of the Commission was a renowned and highly reputed former Governor . A retired High Court Judge , two former Inspectors General of Police and a Professor of TADA Institute of Social Sciences were members , with the Director , CBI as a full- time Member-Secretary .
3. The Commission examined all issues in depth , in a period of about three-and-a-half years during which it conducted an extensive exercise through analytical studies and research of a variety of steps combined with an assessment and appreciation of actual field conditions . Various study groups comprising prominent public men , senior administrators , police officers and eminent academicians were set up . Various seminars were held , research studies conducted , meetings and discussions held with the Governors , Chief Ministers , Inspectors General of Police , State Inspectors General of Police and Heads of Police organizations . The Commission submitted its first report in February 1979 , second in August 1979 , three reports each in the years 1980 and 1981 , including the final report in May 1981 .
4. In its first report , the Commission first dealt with the modalities for inquiry into complaints of police misconduct in a manner which will carry credibility and satisfaction to the public regarding their fairness and impartiality and rectification of serious deficiencies which militate against their functioning efficiently , to public satisfaction and advised the Government for expeditious examination of recommendations for immediate implementation . The Commission observed that increasing crime , rising population , growing pressure of living accommodation , particularly in urban areas , violent outbursts in the wake of demonstrations and agitations arising from labour disputes , the agrarian unrest , problems and difficulties of students , political activities including the cult of extremists , enforcement of economic and social legislation , etc. have all added new dimensions to police tasks in the country and tended to bring the police in confrontation with the public much more frequently than ever before . The basic and fundamental problem regarding police taking note of was as how to make them functional as an efficient and impartial law enforcement agency fully motivated and guided by the objectives of service to the public at large , upholding the constitutional rights and liberty of the people . Various recommendations were made .
5. In the second report , it was noticed that the crux of the police reform is to secure professional independence for the police to function truly and efficiently as an impartial agent of the law of the land and , at the same time , to enable the Government to oversee the police performance to ensure its conformity to the law . A supervisory mechanism without scope for illegal , irregular or mala fide interference with police functions has to be devised . It was earnestly hoped that the Government would examine and publish the report expeditiously so that the process for implementation of various recommendations made therein could start right away . The report , inter alia , noticed the phenomenon of frequent and indiscriminate transfers ordered on political considerations as also other unhealthy influences and pressures brought to bear on police and , inter alia , recommended for the Chief of Police in a State , statutory tenure of office by including it in a specific provision in the Police Act itself and also recommended the preparation of a panel of IPS officers for posting as Chiefs of Police in the States . The report also recommended the constitution of the Statutory Commission in each State the function of which shall include laying down broad policy guidelines and directions for the performance of preventive task and service-oriented functions by the police and also functioning as a forum of appeal for disposing of representations from any police officer of the rank of Superintendent of Police and above , regarding his being subjected to illegal or irregular orders in the performance of his duties .
6. With the 8th and final report , certain basic reforms for the effective functioning of the police to enable it to promote the dynamic role of law and to render impartial service to the people were recommended and a draft new Police Act incorporating the recommendations was annexed as an appendix .
7. When the recommendations of the National Police Commission were not implemented , for whatever reasons or compulsions , and they met the same fate as the recommendations of many other Commissions , this petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India was filed about 10 years back , inter alia , praying for issue of directions to the Government of India to frame a new Police Act on the lines of the model Act drafted by the Commission in order to ensure that the police is made accountable essentially and primarily to the law of the land and the people .
8. The first writ petitioner is known for his outstanding contribution as a police officer and in recognition of his outstanding contribution , he was awarded the “Padma Shri” in 1991 . He is a retired officer of the Indian Police Service and has served in various States for three-and-a-half decades . He was Director General of Police of Assam and Uttar Pradesh besides the Border Security Force . The second petitioner also held various high positions in the police . The third petitioner , common cause , is an organization which has brought before this Court and the High Courts various issues of public interest .
9. The first two petitioners have personal knowledge of the working of the police and also problems of the people .
10. It has been averred in the petition that the violation of fundamental and human rights of the citizens is generally in the nature of non-enforcement and discriminatory application of the laws so that those having clout are not held accountable even for blatant violations of laws and , in any case , not brought to justice for the direct violations of the rights of citizens in the form of unauthorized detentions , torture , harassment , fabrication of evidence , malicious prosecutions , etc . The petition sets out certain glaring examples of police inaction . According to the petitioners , the present distortions and aberrations in the functioning of the police have their roots in the Police Act of 1861 , structure and organisation of the police having basically remained unchanged all these years .
11. The petition sets out the historical background giving reasons why the police functioning has caused so much disenchantment and dissatisfaction . It also sets out recommendations of various committees which were never implemented . Since the misuse and abuse of police has reduced it to the status of a mere tool in the hands of unscrupulous masters and in the process , it has caused serious violations of the rights of the people , it is contended that there is immediate need to redefine the scope and functions of police , and provide for its accountability to the law of the land , and implement the core recommendations of the National Police Commission . The petition refers to a research paper “Political and Administrative Manipulation of the Police” published in 1979 by the Bureau of Police Research and Development , warning that excessive control of the political executive and its principal advisers over the police has the inherent danger of making the police a tool for subverting the process of law , promoting the growth of authoritarianism , and shaking the very foundations of democracy .
12. The commitment , devotion and accountability of the police has to be only to the rule of law . The supervision and control has to be such that it ensures that the police serves the people without any regard , whatsoever , to the status and position of any person while investigating a crime or taking preventive measures . Its approach has to be service oriented , its role has to be defined so that in appropriate cases , where on account of acts of omission and commission of police , the rule of law becomes a casualty , the guilty police officers are brought to book and appropriate action taken without any delay .
13. The petitioners seek that the Union of India be directed to redefine the role and functions of the police and frame a new Police Act on the lines of the model Act drafted by the National Police Commission in order to ensure that the police is made accountable essentially and primarily to the law of the land and the people . Directions are also sought against the Union of India and the State Governments to constitute various Commissions and Boards laying down the policies and ensuring that the police perform their duties and functions free from any pressure and also for separation of investigation work from that of law and order .
14. The notice of the petition has also been served on the State Governments and Union Territories . We have heard Mr Prashant Bhushan for the petitioners , Mr G.E. Vahanvati , learned Solicitor General for the Union of India , Ms Indu Malhotra for the National Human Rights Commission and Ms Swati Mehta for the Common Welfare Initiatives . For most of the State Governments/Union Territories oral submissions were not made . None of the State Governments/Union Territories urged that any of the suggestions put forth by the petitioners and the Solicitor General of India may not be accepted .
15. Besides the report submitted to the Government of India by the National Police Commission ( 1977-81 ) , various other High – Powered Committees and Commissions have examined the issue of police reforms viz. ( i ) National Human Rights Commission , ( ii ) Law Commission , ( iii ) Ribeiro Committee , ( iv ) Padmanabhaiah Committee , and ( v ) Malimath Committee on Reforms of Criminal Justice System .
16. In addition to the above , the Government of India in terms of office memorandum dated 20-9-2005 constituted a committee comprising Shri Soli Sorabjee , former Attorney General and five others to draft a new Police Act in view of the changing role of the police due to various socio-economic and political changes which have taken place in the country and the challenges posed by modern day global terrorism , extremism , rapid urbanization as well as fast evolving aspirations of a modern democratic society . The Sorabjee Committee has prepared a draft outline for a new Police Act ( 9-9-2006 ) .
17. About one decade back viz. on 3-8-1997 a letter was sent by the Union Home minister to the State Government revealing a distressing situation and expressing the view that if the rule of law has to prevail , it must be cured .
18. Despite strong expression of opinions by various commissions , committees and even a Home minister of the country , the position has not improved as these opinions have remained only on paper , without any action . In fact , the position has deteriorated further . The National Human Rights Commission in its report dated 31-5-2002 , inter alia , noted that :
28. ( i ) The Commission drew attention in its 1-4-2002 proceedings to the need to act decisively on the deeper question of police reform , on which recommendations of the National Police Commission ( NPC ) and of the National Human Rights Commission have been pending despite efforts to have them acted upon . The Commission added that recent events in Gujarat and , indeed , in other States of the country , underlined the need to proceed without delay to implement the reforms that have already been recommended in order to preserve the integrity of the investigating process and to insulate it from ‘extraneous influences’ .”
19. In the abovementioned letter dated 3-8-1997 sent to all the State Governments , the Home Minister while echoing the overall popular perception that there has been a general fall in the performance of the police as also a deterioration in the policing system as a whole in the country , expressed that time had come to rise above limited perceptions to bring about some drastic changes in the shape of reforms and restructuring of the police before the country is overtaken by unhealthy developments . It was expressed that the popular perception all over the country appears to be that many of the deficiencies in the functioning of the police had arisen largely due to an overdose of unhealthy and petty political interference at various levels starting from transfer and posting of policemen of different ranks , misuse of police for partisan purposes and political patronage quite often extended to corrupt police personnel . The Union Home minister expressed the view that rising above narrow and partisan considerations , it is of great national importance to insulate the police from the growing tendency of partisan or political interference in the discharge of its lawful functions of prevention and control of crime including investigation of cases and maintenance of public order .
20. Besides the Home Minister , all the commissions and committees above noted , have broadly come to the same conclusion on the issue of urgent need for police reforms . There is convergence of views on the need to have ( a ) State Security Commission at State level ; ( b ) transparent procedure for the appointment of Police Chief and the desirability of giving him a minimum fixed tenure ; ( c ) separation of investigation work from law and order ; and ( d ) a new Police Act which should reflect the democratic aspirations of the people . It has been contended that a statutory State Security Commission with its recommendations binding on the Government should have been established long before . The apprehension expressed is that any commission without giving its report binding effect would be ineffective .
21. More than 25 years back i.e. in August 1979 , the Police Commission Report recommended that the investigation task should be beyond any kind of intervention by the executive or non-executive .
22. For separation of investigation work from law and order even the Law Commission of India in its 154th Report recommended that the investigation task should be beyond any kind of intervention by the executive or non-executive .
23. The Sorabjee Committee has also recommended establishment of a State Bureau of Criminal Investigation by the State Governments under the charge of a Director who shall report to the Director General of Police .
24. In most of the reports , for appointment and posting , constitution of a Police Establishment Board has been recommended comprising the Director General of Police of the State and four other senior officers . It has been further recommended that there should be a Public Complaints Authority at district level to examine the complaints from the public on police excesses , arbitrary arrests and detentions , false implications in criminal cases , custodial violence , etc. and for making necessary recommendations .
25. Undoubtedly and undisputedly , the Commission did commendable work and after in-depth study , made very useful recommendations . After waiting for nearly 15 years , this petition was filed . More than ten years have elapsed since this petition was filed . Even during this period , on more or less similar lines , recommendations for police reforms have been made by other High-Powered Committees as above noticed . The Sorabjee Committee has also prepared a draft report . We have no doubt that the said Committee would also make very useful recommendations and come out with a model new Police Act for consideration of the Central and the State Governments . We have also no doubt that the Sorabjee Committee Report and the new Act will receive due attention of the Central Government which may recommend to the State Governments to consider passing of the State Acts on the suggested lines . We expect that the State Governments would give it due consideration and would pass suitable legislations on recommended lines , the police being a State subject under the Constitution of India . The question , however , is whether this court should further wait for the Governments to take suitable steps for police reforms . The answer has to be in the negative .
26. Having regard to ( i ) the gravity of the problem ; (ii ) the urgent need for preservation and strengthening of the rule of law ; ( iii ) pendency of even this petition for the last over ten years ; ( iv ) the fact that various commissions and committees have made recommendations on similar lines for introducing reforms in the police set-up in the country ; and ( v ) total uncertainty as to when police reforms would be introduced , we think that there cannot be any further wait , and the stage has come for issuing of appropriate directions for immediate compliance so as to be operative till such time a new model Police Act is prepared by the Central Government and/or the State Governments pass the requisite legislations . It may further be noted that the quality of the criminal justice system in the country , to a large extent , depends upon the working of the police force . Thus , having regard to the larger public interest , it is absolutely necessary to issue the requisite directions . Nearly ten years back , in Vineet Narain v. Union of India ( 1998 ) 1 SCC 226 : 1998 SCC ( Cri ) 307 this Court noticed the urgent need for the State Governments to set up the requisite mechanism and directed the Central Government to pursue the matter of police reforms with the State Governments and ensure the setting up of a mechanism for selection/appointment , tenure , transfer and posting of not merely the Chief of the State Police but also all police officers of the rank of Superintendents of Police and above . The Court expressed its shock that in some States the tenure of a Superintendent of Police is for a few months and transfers are made for whimsical reasons which has not only demoralizing effect on the police force but is also alien to the envisaged constitutional machinery . It was observed that apart from demoralizing the police force , it has also the adverse effect of politicising the personnel and , therefore , it is essential that prompt measures are taken by the Central Government .
27. The Court then observed that no action within the constitutional scheme found necessary to remedy the situation is too stringent in these circumstances .
28. More than four years have also lapsed since the report above noted was submitted by the National Human Rights Commission to the Government of India.
29. The preparation of a model Police Act by the Central Government and enactment of new Police Acts by the State Governments providing therein for the composition of the State Security Commission are things , we can only hope for the present . Similarly , we can only express our hope that all State Governments would rise to the occasion and enact a new Police Act wholly insulating the police from any pressure whatsoever thereby placing in position an important measure for securing the rights of the citizens under the Constitution for the rule of law , treating everyone equal and being partisan to none , which will also help in securing an efficient and better criminal justice delivery system . It is not possible or proper to leave this matter only with an expression of this hope and to await developments further . It is essential to lay down guidelines to be operative till the new legislation is enacted by the State Governments .
30. Article 32 read with Article 142 of the Constitution empowers this Court to issue such directions , as may be necessary for doing complete justice in any cause or matter . All authorities are mandated by Article 144 to act in aid of the orders passed by this Court . The decision in Vineet Narain case (1998 ) 1 SCC 226 : 1998 SCC ( Cri ) 307 notes various decisions of this Court where guidelines and directions to be observed were issued in the absence of legislation and implemented till the legislatures pass appropriate legislations .
Now before moving to para 31 , I must request my readers to read each and every line very carefully of this most important para which constitutes the backbone of this entire judgment as it contains all the directions which the Supreme Court had given in this landmark Prakash Singh case and para 31 is mentioned in detail from pages 429 to 432 in the citation which I have already cited in the beginning of the findings of the Court in this landmark case . Para 31 runs as follows : –
31. With the assistance of learned counsel for the parties , we have perused the various reports . In discharge of our constitutional duties and obligations having regard to the aforenoted position , we issue the following directions to the Central Government , State Governments and Union Territories for compliance till framing of the appropriate legislations :
State Security Commission
( 1 ) The State Governments are directed to constitute a State Security Commission in every State to ensure that the State Government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the State Police and for laying down the broad policy guidelines so that the State Police always acts according to the laws of the land and the Constitution of the country . This watchdog body shall be headed by the Chief Minister or Home Minister as Chairman and have the DGP of the State as its ex-officio Secretary . The other members of the Commission shall be chosen in such a manner that it is able to function independent of Government control . For this purpose , the State may choose any of the models recommended by the National Human Rights Commission , the Ribeiro Committee or the Sorabjee Committee , which are as under :
NHRC Ribeiro Committee Sorabjee Committee
1. Chief Minister/HM 2. Minister i/c Police as 1. Minister i/c Police
as Chairman . Chairman . ( ex-officio Chairperson ) .
2. Lok Ayukta or , in his 2. Leader of Opposition . 2. Leader of Opposition .
absence , a retired
judge of High Court
to be nominated by
the Chief Justice or a
Member of the State
3. A sitting or retired 3. Judge , sitting or retired , 3. Chief Secretary .
judge nominated by nominated by the Chief
the Chief Justice of the Justice of the High Court .
High Court .
4. Chief Secretary. 4. Chief Secretary 4. DGP ( ex-officio
Secretary ) .
5. Leader of Opposition 5. Three non-political citizens 5. Five independent
in the Lower House . of proven merit and Members .
6. DGP as ex-officio 6. DG Police as Secretary .
The recommendations of this Commission shall be binding on the State Government .
The functions of the State Security Commission would include laying down the broad policies and giving directions for the performance of the preventive tasks a service-oriented functions of the police , evaluation of the performance of the State Police and preparing a report thereon for being placed before the State Legislature .
Selection and minimum tenure of DGP
( 2 ) The Director General of Police of the State shall be selected by the State
Government from amongst the three seniormost officers of the Department who have been empanelled for promotion to that rank by the Union Public Service Commission on the basis of their length of service , very good record and range of experience for heading the police force . And , once he has been selected for the job , he should have a minimum tenure of at least two years irrespective of his date of superannuation . The DGP may , however , be relieved of his responsibilities by the State Government acting in consultation with the State Security Commission consequent upon any action against him under the All India Services ( Discipline and Appeal ) Rules or following his conviction in a court of law in a criminal offence or in a case of corruption , or if he is otherwise incapacitated from discharging his duties .
Minimum tenure of IG of police and other officers
( 3 ) Police officers on operational duties in the field like the Inspector General of Police in-charge Zone , Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge Range Superintendent of Police in-charge District and Station House Officer in-charge of a Police Station shall also have a prescribed minimum tenure of two years unless it is found necessary to remove them prematurely following disciplinary proceeding against them or their conviction in a criminal offence or in a case of corruption or if the incumbent is otherwise incapacitated from discharging his responsibilities . This would be subject to promotion and retirement of the officer .
Separation of investigation
( 4 ) The investigating police shall be separated from the law and order police to ensure speedier investigation , better expertise and improved rapport with the people . It must , however , be ensured that there is full coordination between the two wings . The separation , to start with , may be effected in towns/urban areas which have a population of ten lakhs or more , and gradually extended to smaller towns/urban areas also .
Police Establishment Board
( 5 ) There shall be a Police Establishment Board in each State which shall decide all transfers , postings , promotions and other service related matters of officers of and below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police . The Establishment Board shall be a departmental body comprising the Director General of Police and four other senior officers of the Department . The State Government may interfere with the decision of the Board in exceptional cases only after recording its reasons for doing so . The Board shall also be authorised to make appropriate recommendations to the State Government regarding the postings and transfers of officers of and above the rank of Superintendent of Police , and the Government is expected to give due weight to these recommendations and shall normally accept it . It shall also function as a forum of appeal for disposing of representations from officers of the rank of Superintendent of
Police and above regarding their promotions/transfers/disciplinary proceedings or their being subjected to illegal or irregular orders and generally reviewing the functioning of the police in the State .
Police Complaints Authority
(6 ) There shall be a Police Complaints Authority at the district level to look into
complaints against police officers of and up to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police . Similarly , there should be another Police Complaints Authority at the State
level to look into complaints against officers of the rank of Superintendent of Police and above . The district-level Authority may be headed by a retired District Judge of which while the State-level Authority may be headed by a retired Judge of the High
Court/Supreme Court . The head of the State-level Complaints Authority shall be chosen by the State Government out of a panel of names proposed by the Chief Justice; the head of the district-level Complaints Authority may also be chosen out of a panel of names proposed by the Chief Justice or a Judge of the High Court nominated by him .
These Authorities may be assisted by three to five members depending upon the volume of complaints in different States/districts , and they shall be selected by the State Government from a panel prepared by the State Human Rights Commission/Lok Ayukta Service Commission . The panel may include members from amongst retired civil servants, police officers or officers from any other department , or from the civil society . They would work whole time for the Authority and would have to be suitably remunerated for the service rendered by them . The Authority may also need the services of regular staff to conduct field inquiries . For this purpose , they may utilize the services of retired investigators from the CID , Intelligence , Vigilance or any other organisation . The State-level Complaints Authority would
take cognizance of only allegations of serious misconduct by the police personnel , which would include incidents involving death , grievous hurt or rape in police custody . The district -level Complaints Authority would , apart from the above cases , may also inquire into allegations of extortion , land/house grabbing or any incident involving serious abuse of authority . The recommendations of the Complaints Authority , both at the district and State-levels , for any action , departmental or criminal , against any delinquent police officer shall be binding on the authority concerned .
National Security Commission
( 7 ) The Central Government shall also set up a National Security Commission at the Union
level to prepare a panel for being placed before the appropriate appointing authority , for selection and placement of Chiefs of the Central Police Organisations ( CPOs ) , who should also be given a minimum tenure of two years . The Commission would also review from tim to upgrade the effectiveness of these forces , improve the service conditions of its personnel ensure that there is proper coordination between them and that the forces are generally utilized for the purposes they were raised and make recommendations in that behalf . The National Security Commission could be headed by the Union Home Minister and comprises. Of heads of CPOs and a couple of security experts as members with the Union Home Secretary as its Secretary .
The aforesaid directions shall be complied with by the Central Government , State Governments or Union Territories , as the case may be , on or before 31-12-2006 so that the bodies aforenoted become operational on the onset of the new year . The Cabinet Secretary , Government of India and the Chief Secretaries of State Governments/Union Territories are directed to file affidavits of compliance by 3-1-2007 .
In sum, I must place here on record my unstinted and lock , stock and barrel support for the invaluable directions laid down by the Supreme Court which is the highest Court of our nation and which I have just dwelt in minute detail citing from the landmark Prakash Singh case itself . It is most unfortunate that even after fifteen years , these guidelines have not been implemented by the Centre and the States even though the Supreme Court has been reminding them time and again about the same . It cannot be overlooked that the learned Judges of Supreme Court went through minutest details of all the various Committees and Commissions which had submitted their report on police reforms and it is only after that they issued directions for police reforms . They must be implemented right now as it brooks no more delay anymore . Let there be no doubt on this ! The judgments of Supreme Court are final and if States and Centre continue disregarding them , they are demonstrating their blatant disregard for it which can never be tolerated as it goes against the very letter and spirit of our Constitution and the law of the land . I hope they are listening ! They must otherwise they must be dismissed as they have no right to govern if they can’t respect the decisions of Apex Court by implementing it promptly and completely .