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Need for Police Reforms

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September 26, 2022

Why in news?

  • For the country to progress and emerge as a great power, we need radical police reforms. The future of India is linked to police reforms.

Why do we need Police Reforms?

  • Symbol of colonialism - The Police Act of 1861, which governs the functioning of police even today is a symbol of colonialism.
  • This follows the Irish model of executive having complete authority over the police than being accountable to law alone.
  • Effective law and economic growth - A sound law and order reduces the challenges to our internal security which in turn, helps and aids in increasing the pace of the growth of our economy.

According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, violence cost the country 7 per cent of its GDP in 2020.

  •  Criminalisation of politics - The police, under the circumstances, feel constrained in taking action against the segment of people in power and their supporters who have a shady background.
  • They may one day devour the very system that has placed them in power.

According to the Association of Democratic Reforms, the percentage of such people in Parliament has been showing a steady upward trend.

2004

24%

2009

30%

2014

34%

2019

43%

 

  • The police are not able to deal with the internal security challenges as effectively as they should, as we do not have internal security doctrine to tackle these problems decisively.
  •  Equality before law - To gain people’s confidence in the police of having same law for everyone. This can be achieved by insulating the police from the influence of those with political or financial clout.
  • Organised Crimes and expertise - Organised crime, arms trafficking and drug trafficking have acquired international dimensions making law and order problems more complex.
  • Cybercrimes are increasing in geometrical progression.
  • These problems require a very high level of sophistication and expertise on the part of the police.
  • Infrastructure and resources - The police are not able to deliver partly because of poor infrastructure.
  • There are huge deficiencies in human resources and scope of improvement in transport, communications and forensics.
  • Mental health - Poor housing conditions and long working hours have an adverse impact on police performance. This takes a heavy toll on mental and physical health.

According to the Status of Policing in India Report, 2019, an average policeman works for 14 hours a day and does not get any weekly off.

  • Technological advancement - There is enormous scope for technological inputs into the functioning of the police.
  • Adopting future technologies for fulfilling grassroots policing requirements would act as a force multiplier.
  • The anomalous arrangement of different wings of police -  The CBI and Intelligence Bureau (IB) needs statutory basis.
  • The CBI was created based on resolution and derives its power from the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946.
  • The IB was set up through an administrative order in 1887.

 

References

  1. https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/how-to-fix-india-police-force-cbi-ib-8168723/

 

 

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