By Esther Cabral
The Police reform is an idea which is conceptualized but yet to be
implemented completely. These reforms help the police in empowering themselves. The current code of conduct for police officials is dated back to 1857. It was the laws formulated by the British to arrest persons involved in the 1857 Uprising. During the Janata Party rule in 1979, a committee was set up to review the policing in India. The committee suggested various reforms like fixed tenure for police officials, no political and governmental interference, transparency in selection of officials, postings and transfers too had to be clear etc. Three new authorities would be set up to look into police affairs and also complaints against the police. They are A State Security Commission, A Police Establishment Board, and A Police Complaints Authority.
These reforms were to be implemented as directed by the Supreme Court in 2006 till further permanent legislations were enacted. But as it turns out prominent states like Maharashtra and Karnataka have not adhered to these directives. Political pressure just corrupts the integrity of the officers which many a times is not out of choice but due the lack of any other non-threatening alternative. In the overall reforms the necessity of quick, time-bound and transparent recruitment of officers is of utmost importance. This will ensure avoiding that unlawful and unjustified
hiring and suspensions. Another imporatant aspect is the separation of Law and Order and Investigation departments.
Police reforms are the need of the day. So many times we have
complained of how complacent and inefficient the police in the city
function. These reforms help us realize the reason for their
incompetence. The execution of these reforms may not be completely effective in wiping out corruption but it provides a hope for a new beginning. We can’t just be passive spectators. This could be the first baby step which may help formulate laws that can provide better policing. Moreover, the separation of the Law and Order and Investigation departments will ensure smooth functioning to help maintain peace during chaotic times and faster investigations of criminal cases.
The time to act is now even if we have our share of doubts. Many do think that these reforms just look good on paper but their
implementation is way too difficult and might not reap any rewards. But change should always be welcome. Initially we may encounter the loopholes which ought to happen but then we can always amend it. As a society we are dynamic and so shall our laws be. The climate is right due to the increase of public consciousness about administrative issues. Change can be brought now for a better future.