Global Affairs Desk

Tue Jun 18 2024

Indian Justice Report and Police Reforms

~ By Samidha Jain on 4/22/2023

Indian Justice Report and Police Reforms

The Ministry of Home affairs enforces law through central agencies and civil servants (IPS officers), who head each central agency. This central agency is entrusted with maintaining law and order and are commonly referred to as “Police Forces”. Reforms and problems of this service have been hotly debated from decades. According to the Constitutional and Legal Provisions, Police and Public Order are counted as state subjects under the 7th schedule of the Constitution. Albeit, Centre is also expected to maintain forces on a smaller scale.

History and Background

The foundation and basic framework of Police service was laid in 1861. Since Independence, a lot of reforms have been carried out to modernize it. Laws which govern the functioning of Police are: Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), Indian Penal Code (IPC), Evidence Act and State specific laws.

Centre- State Jurisdiction

STATES are supposed to maintain law and order. CENTRE is supposed to protect states from external and internal disturbances and Criminal Law and Procedure fall under the jurisdiction of BOTH.

Indian Justice Report, 2022 (published)

The most recent report on the Police service, its issues and the reforms were catered by Tata Trusts in collaboration with Centre for Social Justice. It was an initiative taken in deliberate attempts for an inquiry in the police service by Common Cause and Commonwealth Human Rights.
The report highlights the gap between the sanctioned and actual strength in police force at National Level. It says that the gap remains “worryingly large”.
The first leg of the report was published in 2019. The report assessed the performance of states in terms of Justice delivery as it is the prime function of the police force. The few parameters which were considered are:

  1. The condition of the Police and its ability to provide immediate services
  2. The involvement and quick dialogue with Judiciary
  3. The quality of life of inmates and prisons
  4. The legal aid provided to inmates and to assess the overall performance of each state.
    The report collected data from 25 states dividing them into two groups 18 large or middle sized and 7 small states having population of 10 million at max.

National Deficits found in the Report:

  1. Only Karnataka is meeting at par with the recruitment rate of the statutorily mandated quotas for lower castes.
  2. Rural Police stations are not able to match up to the extent of population served in urban areas. The population to stations ratio is skewed in rural areas.
  3. Vacancies rose from 20.3% to just 22.1% between Jan 2020 and Jan 2022.
  4. The quota for women and their reserved seats is not matched by any state or union territory. As per the reports, efforts for another at least 24 years are required to have 33% women in police force at all rungs of service (constable, officer etc.). States like Jharkhand only have 6.2% women in the service.

Issues faced by the Police services:

  1. Power Tussle between Executive and Police
    The forces come under the control of state and political executive. According to the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (2007) the control has been abused many times putting Police and their capabilities in a compromised situation.
  2. Lack of Human resource
    The police force is overburdened, the strength is just 137 police personnel per one lakh against the standard United Nations benchmark of 222 per lakh. Apart from that, 86% of Police force consists just constables and the lack in promotion prospects cause a decrease in incentives for work and increases stress. Also, the gender inequality with just 10.3% women in the service is an alarming issue.
  3. Infrastructural and Funding Issues
    The Bureau of Police Research and Development and CAG audits found shortage in basic necessities like weapons, cars, communication devices. The technology and funds are also not as up to the mark. Police services get only 3% revenue from state budgets. On top of that, the allocated funds are being under-utilized. For example, the UTs only used the 40% of allocated resources.
  4. Police-Public Relationship
    The Second Administrative Reforms Commission has noted that the current relationship between the community and the Police sector is unsatisfactory, exactly opposite of the cooperative and supportive one.

The only conclusion which can be drawn is that, it is easy to form policies and take initiatives like Model Police Act, 2006; SMART Policing; Modernization of Police Forces (MPF) scheme and CCTNS but, when it comes to implementation of these policies, the structure of our executive and governance falls short. The above provided data brings out the immediate effort and restructuring required in the sector. There is an urgent need to bring a revolution in the services. We don’t need any further polices, but we need to first tackle down the problem from its root and then use the already existing policies for a positive growth.

| Comments - (2)

Abhinav ChivukulaCommented on 4/24/2023

Amazing research

Asmita JainCommented on 7/10/2023

Weldone. Super informations