Union minister R K Singh on Friday called for professional investigation and judicial superintendence of the process as the way forward to improve the criminal justice system in the country. He also advocated insulation of the criminal justice system from politics.
Speaking at a seminar on police reforms, Singh shared his experience as Union home secretary and expressed concern over the deteriorating law and order in the country. “If money is not paid they forgot the names. This process of investigation needs to be overseen. (There should be) Judicial oversight in the system,” the Minister of State for Power (Independent charge) said. “The criminal justice system which includes investigation must be insulated from politics.”
Sharing his experience of the Uttar Pradesh elections, where the BJP won a thumping victory, he said, “When I was touring the state, one of the major complaints was law and order. The general feeling was that the gundas and netas control the system… That government was voted out and we won a record number of seats.”
Singh, BJP MP from Arrah in Bihar, suggested raising the standard of investigation. At the same time, he said, “We have been saying this for a while but it is not happening. We need to find answers why it is not happening… Even the politicians want the police to be professional because some day, the neta who is in the seat will be out of power and will want the police to be fair.”
Former DG and chairman of Indian Police Foundation Prakash Singh, a key architect of police reforms in India, said, “It has been 11 years since the Supreme Court issued directions to states on police reforms but we are still struggling to get it implemented.”
Prakash Singh, who had served as chief of BSF and UP Police, asked, “Why is the apex court not disciplining the states and getting the police reforms implemented?”
Referring to the Narendra Modi government’s slogan of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’, he said, “The government has not been able to implement police reforms, and good law and order is a prerequisite for economic development… What happened in Haryana recently (violence after conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh), where property worth more than Rs 2,000 crore was destroyed, is a clear example of lack of reforms.”