by Brig Arun Bajpai

It is now full 13 years after which Indian Supreme court that had in 2006 issued a seven point directive to the Central and all state governments on implementation of police reforms, that SC has again woken up on it’s this directive to various governments. This time SC looks serious.

SC had issued a directive to centre and all state governments in 2006, on a PIL filed by Ex DGP UP and ex Dir BSF Mr Prakash Singh that had clear and specific directions to centre and all state Governments on what all they should do to implement Police reforms. These directions of Supreme Court had seven major points concerning tenures of Darogas to DGP, their appointments, state and district committees to monitor the police work, stopping political interference in functioning of the police and so on so forth. Had these specific directions been implemented, today Indian police would have had a very different image then of colonial era police.

However neither the centre Govt, centrally administered areas or any state government bothered to implement these reforms in true spirit and purpose. They were implemented hap hazardly at the whims and fancies of netas implementing it. Truth is that no Indian politician whether in power or in opposition, was interested in implementing these reforms because these reforms take away his power of manipulating police force as his Sena, for all wrong purposes.SC after issuing these directives should have also enforced their implementation also under their watchful eyes. This was not done, Anyway that is history now.

In the recent development, SC while hearing a PIL on appointment of DGP police in states has now directed that No state will appoint a DGP on the last day of his service, as was happening in many states now, as they wanted their favourite police officer to be their DGP. SC has directed that only that officer will be considered for the DGP appointment who has sufficient residual service left. It is worth remembering that appointment of DGP is for two years. SC has also directed that each state will send the list of police officers eligible to be DGP to the Union Public Service Commission. UPSC will then issue a list of three officers selected from this list sent by states. Out of these three names states are free to choose one for the DGP post. This is a very fair selection process and will cut out lobbying by senior police officers of the states of Netas. Along with this there should also be a clause that the officer selected to be DGP for next two years will not be allowed to take any other appointment of the government after retirement. Similarly SC must also ensure that its earlier directives on police reforms of 2006 must also be implemented in letter and spirit. States which dilly dally on implementation of these reforms must be told by SC that under the contempt of court powers, then SC will have no option but to dismiss such state governments. This Danda is needed for Indian netas to wake up to the ground reality.

Brig Arun Bajpai (Retd) is a distinguished Defence and Strategic Analyst. Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of IDN. IDN does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same