Implement Supreme Court Directives on Police Reforms
Petition by Satyamev Jayate
To: State Home Ministers, Chief Ministers
Background: Even today, in 21st century India, the system of policing across the country is still by and large within the framework of the 1861 Police Act introduced during the British Raj. Various attempts to introduce police reforms, necessary to protect the force from day to day political interference, have been circumvented through various means. The police finds itself in the grip of the ruling political parties who make decisions on high-level appointments and transfers, thus, at times, interfering with crime investigation and public order functions of the police. Today, the people's faith in the police is diminishing and the force is struggling to cope with rising crime rates and threats to internal security.
In the year 2006, the Supreme Court of India passed directives aimed at removing the stranglehold of the ruling political dispensation over the police and to improve its efficiency and accountability. Among some of the main directives was the setting up of state security commissions to ensure state governments don’t exert undue pressure on the police; fixed tenure for police officers; transparent selection of state police chiefs; separation of investigation from law and order; and the establishment of a Police Complaints Authority to look into complaints against the police. Law and order being a state subject, each state was expected to establish a new Police Act to put these directives in motion. Till date, these orders have either not been implemented or have been carried out in a piecemeal fashion, defeating the very purpose and spirit of the Supreme Court judgement.
Petition: We urge and request that the Supreme Court’s directives on police reforms be implemented by every state government in the country. As per the apex court’s orders, every state must establish new Police Acts to ensure that these reforms are long term. The court’s orders are an important step to ensure that long overdue reforms are brought into force.
This petition will be sent to the Chief Ministers and Home Ministers of every state of India. Your signature will help push for this critical reform.