Apex court raps four states for ignoring police reforms

Monday, November 8, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court Monday directed the chief secretaries of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka to be present in the court Dec 6 to answer why these states have not implemented its directions for police reforms.

“We have issued notice in the first instance to following four states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and we are directing the chief secretaries to remain present in the court on Dec 6,” said the special apex court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice Aftab Alam and Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan.

The court said that the show cause notices have to be replied through the states’ chief secretaries.

“We regret to say that till date most of the directions given by this court vide its Sep 22, 2006 judgment remain non-compliant,” the court said.

The notices were issued to the four States on the basis of the final report of Justice (retired) K.T. Thomas Committee which monitored the implementation of the apex court directions by the states.

The apex court by its judgment of Sep 22, 2006, issued six directions to insulate police from political pressure and ensuring their functional autonomy and making them accountable for their action.

The six directions included setting up of state security commission, police establishment board, police complaint authority and selection of a director general of police from a panel of three senior most officers to be prepared by the Union Public Service Commission.

The court also directed a fixed two-year tenure for inspectors general of police, deputy inspectors general of police, district superintendents of police and police station chiefs. It also ordered separation of investigation from law and order duties.

The court also directed the government to set up the National Security Commission.

The apex court took exception to the fact that none of the states implemented any of its six directions both in “letter and spirit”.

As the amicus curiae Raju Ramachandran read through the report of Justice Thomas on the implementation of the court’s directions, the court observed: “So, according to you these legislations (for the implementation of court’s directions) were to negate whatever was said by the apex court.”

Ramachandran referred to Bihar as an example of glaring negation of the apex court directions.

When the court was told about the way the Uttar Pradesh government had complied with the court’s direction on separation of investigations from law and order duties of police, the court said: “It is a farcical compliance.”

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