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Police reforms: States take on Supreme court

Several states oppose the Supreme Court's directives on police reforms while six states agree.

November 15, 2006

The Supreme Courtís directives on police reforms has met with serious opposition. Several states, including Gujarat, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra and those from the North-East, have said that they may move the apex court before its December 31 deadline for implementation. 

The argument is that since police is a state subject, the Supreme Court has no locus standi to give directions. The states in their individual representations in a meeting of Chief Secretaries and DGPs of states and Union Territories chaired by Union Home Secretary VK Duggal on Tuesday said that the states are against division of policing into law and order on one side and investigations on the other. 

While Meghalaya and Mizoram sad that their districts are widely scattered and thus it is not possible to divide their police team, the states of Gujarat and Bihar were critical of the suggestion to hand over the selection of a DGP to a panel. The states also read from the affidavits they had submitted before the Supreme Court and hinted that they may go for revision, according to reports. . 

However, Union Home Secretary VK Duggal made it clear that the states have to adopt the Model Police Act, but with modifications as required. The Act is being prepared by an expert committee headed by Soli Sorabjee.

At the same time, about half-a-dozen states, mostly from south India, spoke in favour of the police reforms though they too were apprehensive about certain clauses. Almost all the states opposed inclusion of a provision whereby a policeman can be jailed for three months for non-registration of a case. 

Meanwhile, the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have not even made an oral submission, nor did they send their affidavits. Jamu and Kashmir, Tripura, Uttaranchal, Chattisgarh, Delhi and Chandigarh too chose to ignore the matter.


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