Police should serve people, not politicians: Rijiju

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New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said on Friday that the police should serve people and not politicians, as is the case in India.

“We need to put in place a system which governs itself. India must be governed by the rule of law,” he said.

Rijiju was speaking at a conference on police reforms held here on Friday at Mavalankar Auditorium.

“There is so much talk about police reforms. But reforms are required in every sector be it politics, judiciary, and even police. But most of all, reforms are required in the mindset of the people as these very people eventually become part of political, judicial and policing system,” Rijiju said.

Speaking on the occasion, senior advocate Fali Nariman called for police to be shifted from the State List to the Concurrent List under the Indian Constitution.

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“Unless police is placed in the Concurrent List, it will take years to bring in police reforms,” he said.

The conference on police reforms was held jointly by the Indian Police Foundation and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) to discuss the road-map for professionalism and modernisation of police set-up.

The conference was held to mark 10 years of the landmark Supreme Court verdict in the ‘Prakash Singh vs Union of India’ case.

Addressing the audience, former Border Security Force Director General Prakash Singh said that states have either ignored the court directions altogether or have passed laws that are “against the letter and spirit” of the verdict.

The Supreme Court in 2006 had recommended setting up of State Security Commission to insulate police from political pressures. It also recommended that the Centre set up the National Security Commission.

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The court also recommended setting up of Police Complaints Authority to look into complaints of serious misconduct against police.

One of the significant recommendations of the court was separation of investigation and law and order functions of the police in metro towns.

The court also directed for field officers to have a minimum of two-year tenure and recommended a transparent procedure for appointment of the Directors General of Police, giving the appointee a fixed tenure.

The conference was also attended by former Law Minister Veerappa Moily, former Chief Justice of India R.C. Lahoti, President of Indian Police Foundation N. Ramachandran and Director of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative Maja Daruwala.



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