Sikkim and Manipur have become the first two states in the country to implement the Supreme Court's order on police reforms even as some major states expressed opposition to it and several others sought time to comply with the directions.
In separate affidavits filed in the apex court, the two north-eastern states said that they have already established Police Establishment Board, Police Complaint Authority, State Security Commission and fixed tenures for police officers from Inspector General of Police to the Station House Officer level in accordance with the SC order.
On a PIL filed by for Uttar Pradesh DGP Prakash Singh, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India YK Sabhaharwal had issued a series of directions to the Centre and the states to reforms in the police machinery with a view to check political influence and corruption.
It had ordered constitution of State Security Commissions, fixed minimum tenure and procedure for police officers, procedure for selection of DGP, IGP and other senior officers, separation of law and order duty from investigation, setting up of Police Eastblishment Board and Police Complaint Authority.
The court had asked the Centre and states to file compliance affidavit by Janunary 3.
The Centre too has formed a National Security Commission under the Chairmanship of Home Minister with Home Secretary, Intelligence Bureau chief and National Security Advisor as its members. The NSC will be responsible for the selection and placement of Chiefs of the Central Police Organisations like CRPF etc.
While most of the states sought time to file their response, Andhra Pradesh has opposed the September 22, 2006 directive of the court aimed at insulating the police force from political interference.
On the directive to constitute a State Security Commission comprising the Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition and others, Andhra Pradesh said any such set up would mean "that the state government would be denuded of its power of superintendence over the state police besides being contrary to the existing law."
Asserting that the legislature's control over the police administration cannot be diluted, it submitted that any move to include the Leader of the Opposition in the proposed State Security Commission would have "disastrous results".
In his affidavit Andhra chief secretary J Hari Narayan requested the court to modify the order saying, there were practical and legal difficulties in enforcing the directions.
If the recommendations of the SSC are made binding on the state government then it will not be able to discharge its responsibility of maintaining law and order situation in the state which is the responsibility of the state cabinet that is accountable to the state legislature, Narayan said.
Andhra Pradesh said the apex court order presupposes that the state government exercises undue influence on the police and the state police also acts under the undue pressure of the government and are not acting in accordance with law which is not correct in every case.
Setting up of SSC as watchdog will also demoralize the police force in the state, it submitted.
The NCT Delhi and Union Territory of Chandigarh have expressed their inability to implement most of the directions. Chandigarh said it was not possible to set up SSC as there was no DGP there and the law and order was the responsibility of the Centre.
Bihar Government informed the court that it has set up a committee under the state Chief Secretary to examine the draft Police Bill and submit a report. It has sought four month's time. Assam, Orissa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat have also sought time. Other states and union territories, which have filed their affidavits include, Rajasthan, J&K, Andaman and Nicobar, Daman and Diu and Nagar Haveli and Lakshadeep, besides others.
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