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Police and Service Delivery for Citizens

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July 01, 2021

What is the issue?

  • An efficient criminal justice system helps a country politically, socially and economically.
  • But political masters show reluctance to implement the Supreme Court-mandated police reforms of 2006. Here is a look at the importance of police reforms.

How important is police reforms?

  • Social - The social implications of lack of police reforms can be gauged from the report, “Crime in India 2019.”
  • It was published by the National Crime Records Bureau.
  • As per the report, more than 25,000 cases of assault on women, close to 12,000 rape cases and 4000 “dowry deaths” have been pending trial for 5 to 10 years.
  • Economic - The economic cost of the failed criminal justice system is also notable.
  • It is reflected in the reluctance of foreign companies to set up manufacturing and commercial ventures in India.
  • They see quick settlement of criminal, labour and civil disputes as a precondition.

What are the other roles performed by police stations?

  • Besides prevention and detection of crime and maintenance of law and order, police stations in India undertake numerous daily tasks.
  • They provide verifications and no objection certificates of different kinds to citizens.
  • They supply crucial documents too.
  • Police stations also verify domestic help/employees of central and state governments/public sector undertakings/students going abroad for studies.
  • In a few cases, the special branches are involved; for example, passport verification and issues related to foreigners.
  • But these NOCs and verifications are not easy to come by.
  • The procedures are non-transparent and timelines are often blurred, thus encouraging corrupt practices.

What are the reforms needed?

  • A definite attempt can be made to ensure time-bound delivery of the above-mentioned services to citizens.
  • Despite the push for digitisation, the online facilities available for getting the above mentioned services are far from ideal.
  • Users face numerous problems of accessibility to these services.
  • States thus need to invest more resources to upgrade their e-portals for providing the 45 identified basic services to the citizens.
  • Adhering to a defined process with a timeline and clear delineation of the levels of police officers involved can ensure transparent and non-corrupt service delivery.
  • Along with English or Hindi, the state languages should also be incorporated for ease of access to all citizens.
  • Investigation and prosecution need improvement and all criminal trials must be completed within a year.
  • Technology-driven service delivery mechanisms can help achieve this.

 

Source: The Indian Express

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