Control over Delhi police: Delhi govt writes to Home, cites SC ruling on police reforms

The SC directions included establishing a state security commission (SSC) as a watchdog with members from the government, judiciary and the civil society.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | Delhi | Published: January 23, 2016 2:30 am
delhi police, control over delhi police, delhi govt, AAP, Arvind Kejriwal, Supreme court, MHA Supreme Court of India

Citing the Supreme Court’s 2006 ruling on police reforms, the Delhi government has written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) asking for a significant role and control over the Delhi Police.

The SC directions included establishing a state security commission (SSC) as a watchdog with members from the government, judiciary and the civil society. The commission was supposed to frame policies which make sure that the “state government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the state police”. The order asked for tenure of the director general of police (DGP) and field officers to be fixed at two years. A police establishment board, instead of the government, would deal with transfers of policemen. It also asked for separation of investigation and law and order units for speedy probe.

In its communication to the MHA, the government has asked the ministry to replace the Lieutenant Governor with the chief minister as head of the SSC. It also demanded a say in appointing the police commissioner of Delhi.

In another significant demand, the government has asked for authorisation to have a say in decisions passed by the police establishment board. It also demanded the setting up of a police complaint authority (PCA), which has not yet been formed in Delhi.

The communication, issued “with prior approval of Delhi Home Minister” and addressed to the joint secretary, Union Territory MHA, lists
the issues over which the government wants control and participation.

State Security Commission

Supreme Court: State governments to constitute a state security commission (SSC) to ensure the government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on state police, and to lay down broad policy guidelines so that state police always acts according to the Constitution and the laws of the land. This watchdog shall be headed by the chief minister or home minister. DGP of the state will be its ex officio secretary.

Present status of compliance: The MHA in 2011 constituted a security commission for GNCTD with the administrator of Delhi as the chairperson, CM and leader of opposition as members, joint secretary in charge of UT division in MHA as a member, Delhi commissioner of police as secretary and five independent members selected by the administrator.

Views of GNCTD: Since all models mentioned in the SC order — NHRC, Ribeiro Committee and the Soli Sorabjee Committee — mention CM or state home minister as chairperson, this should also be the case for GNCTD. Similarly, a retired high court judge should be nominated by the HC chief justice and five other eminent members be nominated by CM and council of ministers.

Separation of investigation

Supreme court: Police investigation should be separated from law and order to ensure speedy investigation.

Present status: This has not been done due to a manpower crunch, and because the proposal for creation of additional posts is pending with the MHA.

GNCTD: MHA should comply with SC directions.

Police establishment board

Supreme Court: Board to decide on transfers, postings and other matters of officers. The state may interfere with the decision of the board in exceptional cases, only after recording its reasons for doing so.

Present status: The board is headed by the commissioner of police and four senior most special CPs, and members.

GNCTD: SC has authorised state government to interfere in exceptional cases for reasons to be recorded. Therefore, CM and home minister Delhi must be authorised to overrule the board in matters of ACP and below.

Police complaints authority

Supreme Court: PCA at the district level to look into complaints against officers of and up to rank of deputy superintendent. There should also be one at the state level, whose head should be chosen by state government from list proposed by chief justice.

Present status: In an interim arrangement between GNCTD and MHA, it was decided to extend the role of public grievance commission (PGC) of state to attend to complaints related to Delhi Police.

GNCTD: PGC is not a police complaint authority as envisaged; authority should be constituted.

Minimum tenure of police

Supreme court: Order says DGP of state shall be selected by state government from three senior most officers in the department. His tenure should be two years irrespective of date of his superannuation. The DGP may be relieved after consulting SSC, consequent upon any action taken against him under the All India Services rules or following his conviction in court of law.

Present status: GNCTD or SSC have no say in posting and tenure of commissioner.

GNCTD: Existing decision should conform to SC order.

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