New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Former Border Security Force Director General Prakash Singh said on Thursday that there is an “executive stranglehold” on police forces across states and called for implementation of the Supreme Court’s 2006 verdict on police reforms.
Addressing a press conference here to mark 10 years of the Supreme Court verdict in a case filed by him, Singh said states have either ignored the court directions altogether or have passed laws that are “against the letter and spirit” of the verdict.
“The remaining states have passed executive orders, but these also amend, dilute or modify the judicial directions,” he said.
Singh said police reforms are needed not only for better law enforcement, but also for better enforcement of human rights, improved governance, healthy democracy and sustained economic progress.
Maja Daruwala, Director of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), said development is not possible without fair and honest law enforcement.
Former Director General of Police N. Ramachandran, President of Indian Police Foundation, said one does not need to wait for the states to endorse the Supreme Court’s directions.
“Considerable changes can be brought about from within the police force. Police leadership needs to take charge and lead from the front to achieve this,” he said.
A conference will be held jointly by the Indian Police Foundation and the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative on September 23 at Mavalankar Auditorium in Delhi to discuss the road map for professionalism and modernisation of police.
The Supreme Court judgment in the ‘Prakash Singh vs Union of India’ case in 2006 had recommended setting up of State Security Commission to insulate the police from political pressures. It also recommended the Centre to set up the National Security Commission.
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 him a fixed tenure.