Padma Shri awardee and former DGP of Uttar Pradesh Prakash Singh on Wednesday expressed the need for police reforms and to take out the subject of police from concurrent list and put it in the central list since most of state governments were dependant on central police forces to maintain law and order in their states.
Singh was speaking at the seminar — “Policing in India and Challenges Ahead” — organised by the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association and Progressive Lawyers Forum at the Chandigarh Judicial Academy.
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Pointing out the legal deficiency, he said, “Why should the subject of police be in the concurrent list? Is there one state in the country which can say that for one week in a year we lived without the central armed police forces? There is no state across the country without Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and even Andaman and Nicobar Island had CAPF.”
He added, “So when you can’t manage your day-to-day affairs, when you cannot run the government of the country without central police system, why should this not be in the central list?”
He further went on to say that he was not against the federal spirit and it is not that he do esnot trust the state. “But the tragedy is that most state leaders suffer from a feudal mindset. Central leadership is comparatively better. I am not saying that central leadership is great but at least they don’t have that mentality and feudal mindset which we witness in some state leaders,” he said. He added that if the police cannot be brought in the central list because this requires an amendment of the Constitution, then at least we could have a via media of federal crimes and say that federal crimes are to be investigated by the central agencies.
Various eminent speakers at the seminar were of the view that there is a serious need of reforms and total transformation of police force in India, to save it from becoming the tool in the hands of influential people and to treat it in a humanly manner.
Other speakers at the seminar included Punjab and Haryana High Court Judge Justice Surya Kant, Haryana DGP Dr KP Singh, Punjab DGP Suresh Aurora, Chandigarh SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill and senior advocate Anupam Gupta.
Prakash Singh also expressed, “If you have a good, competent DGP at the top, you have solved 50% of your problems. In Haryana, what happened (during February Jat agitation)? Collapse of leadership. And how was that leadership chosen? You should know that better. I don’t want to go into greater details,” said the ex-DGP, who had submitted his report indicting 90 police and administrative officials.
He added that in India, around 700 to 1,000 police personnel die every year while performing their duties and the police force is short of five lakh personnel.