Almost seven years after the Supreme Court issued seven directives for ensuing police reforms across the country,the state government has complied with only four. Interestingly,orders for implementing three directives were issued in the past 10 days.
The SC,while hearing a petition of retired chief of the UP Police and BSF,Prakash Singh,in 2006 had issued the directives for all states to implement. These included setting up a Police Establishment Board (PEB) which would decide transfers,postings and promotions of officers of and below the rank of DSP,and recommend transfers and promotions of officers above the rank of SP.
The other directives included a fixed two-year tenure for the chief of police,a minimum tenure of two years for SPs and SHOs,separation of investigation and law-and-order wings,setting up a Police Complaints Authority (PCA) at the state and district levels. Another directive of setting up a National Security Commission was to be implemented only by the Centre.
The state on Monday issued orders specifying reconstitution of various PEBs in the state. These boards were set up in 2008 and given the power to transfer and promote officers below the rank of inspector and recommend the transfer of officers above the rank of Deputy SP.
These recommendations were not binding on the state and many times the transfers were decided by political bosses. However,under the new system mooted on Monday,the state has set up a board headed by the Additional Chief Secretary Home,which will give recommendations regarding transfers of officers above the rank of SP. The state will be bound to accept the recommendations.
Another board headed by the Director General of Police will have the power to transfer and post officers below the rank of Deputy SP. Another Regional Establishment Board headed by the Regional Inspector General would decide the transfers and postings of inspectors to sub-inspectors.
The state has also hurriedly decided to set up a police complaint authority in each district and at the state level. These will look into complaints against police officers of the rank of SP,deputy commissioners and above.
The state complaints authority will comprise a retired high court judge,a retired police officer,a bureaucrat and a person of eminence from the civil society,while the district authorities will be chaired by retired district court judges.
Last week,the state also issued orders for redrafting the State Security Commission whereby the power of selecting the non-official members rests with a committee. But the state is yet to separate investigating officers from those who maintain law and order.
The state may be going step by step and implementing things on priority. The separation of the investigation and the law and order wings is time consuming and a formula needs to be worked out, said former IPS officer Satish Sawhney.
The state has also not met the directive for ensuring a fixed tenure of two years for a DGP and officers till the rank of SHO. Under the existing rules,officials are generally shifted every three years on the whims of political bosses. The government is not keen on ensuring this directive. It only takes the issuance of a GR to ensure this, said a senior IPS officer,who does not wished to be named.