Removing IPS from CAPF is a constitutional violation
A militarised force isn’t enough in all situations. The IPS leadership can handle critical issues with a human touch.Updated: Jan 07, 2019 07:45 IST
The Parliamentary Committee for Home has recommended that the services of the Indian Police Service (IPS) be gradually phased out of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and their deputation be reduced to just 25%. This proposition has caused disquiet among many. From the recommendations, no plausible or pressing reasons can be found that can be used to argue why IPS officers should not be in the Central services.
The committee is of the view that junking IPS officers from the CAPF will help create a pool of officers from the paramilitary force, and they will lead it. The plan is unfeasible. The very purpose for which all India services such as the IPS was created would be defeated. The term ‘all India services’ speaks for itself; it is inclusive. Any attempt to tinker with its core agenda will lead to corroding the inviolable spirit that helped create the services.
The question on everybody’s mind is: Is militarised force applicable to all situations? Do we not need a balance in our approach to tackle internal security – perhaps, a human touch, empathy?
The IPS leadership, since its inception, has been adhering to the principles of ensuring a human touch while dealing with critical and semi critical law and order situations arising out of insurgency operations, left-wing extremism, drug and human trafficking and riots and civil unrest.This is because of the continuous exposure of IPS officers to the people, people’s representatives, the bureaucracy and judiciary.
India has always maintained that the force required to maintain internal security and peace should have a human face and the capability to work with multiple agencies and stakeholders . The role that the police force plays in Jammu and Kashmir in tandem with the army has been exemplary and the IPS leadership deserves the credit for that. This has also helped the political leadership become more resilient in the face of severe criticism arising out of insurgency operations and human rights violations while trying to restore peace in the valley. Pure brute force is not at all a panacea in the Indian context. Brute force gives birth to more brutality. The paramilitary forces without an IPS officer will tend to be just a force. But if their duty is supplemented under the command of an IPS officer, both, mandatory force and guiding principles of humanity come together.
The utilisation of services of IPS officers in the central government has a constitutional mandate as per article 312. It has statutory validity under section 3 of the All India Services Act and rules. The deputation of IPS officers in the CAPFs is an exercise in the operationalisation of the constitutional scheme. IPS officers are recruited keeping in view the demands from both the central and the state governments. And hence,keeping the IPS out is a violation of the Constitution itself and is against federal structure of the Constitution.
To quote Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, “The Union will go, you will not have a united India, if you don’t have a good All India Service”.
Himanshu K Lal is an IPS officer and currently posted as DIG, SAP, Odisha
The views expressed are personal