SC throws out plea to review police reforms order
Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a batch of petitions filed by various states seeking review of its September 22, 2006 orders for sweeping reforms to end political interference in police administration.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan dismissed the review petitions, as it did not find any merit in them. It means the Centre, States and Union Territories will have to implement the court's order.
On a PIL filed by former Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police Prakash Singh and former CBI Joint Director N.K. Singh, the court had ordered setting up of state security commissions, minimum fixed tenures for police officials, separation of investigation from law and order and a police establishment board to decide transfers, postings and promotions of police officers.
However, most of the states did not implement these orders. Instead, some of them, including Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, filed petitions seeking review of the order. They had raised various issues including the minimum fixed tenure for police officials. The Centre too had sought modifications "in view of the far reaching repercussions of the directions, having regard to their important Constitutional implications, particularly concerning accountability of the executive wing of the government."
The SC directives:
n All states must constitute a State Security Commission with the chief minister or home minister as its chairman to ensure that the state government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the state police. The DGP would be its ex-officio secretary.
n Setting up of a National Security Commission at the Union level to prepare a panel for being placed before the appropriate appointing authority for selection and placement of chiefs of the Central police organisations who would have a fixed tenure of two years.
n DGP to be selected by the state government from amongst the three senior-most officers of the department who have been empanelled for promotion to the rank by the UPSC on the basis of their length of service, good record and range of experience for heading the police force. Once a DGP has been selected, he should have a minimum tenure of two years irrespective of his date of superannuation. Fixed tenures of two years for police officers on operational duties as well.
n Setting up of a police establishment board in each state to decide all transfers, postings, promotions and other service related matters of officers of and below the rank of deputy superintendent of police.
n Separate investigation from the law and order duty to ensure speedier investigation, better expertise and improved rapport with the people.
n Set up a Police Complaints Authority headed by a retired district judge at the district level to look into the complaints against police officers up to the rank of DSP. Set up Police Complaint Authority headed by a retired judge of the High Court or Supreme Court at the state level to look into complaints against officers of the rank of superintendent of police and above.
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