Maintenance of Law and Order

Law and order administration is one of the most important function performed by the Government. In fact,the survival of administration depends upon maintenance of law and order in a country. The functioning of law and order administration comes under the state list with the Union/Central government having advisory and coordinating role(discussed in last post on this blog). Rapid growth of population, industrialisation, urbanisation, growing political consciousness lead to law and order problems. Agrarian and tribal revolts,political caste and communal violence,labour and student unrest and terrorism are indications of law and order problems.

  • Foundations of the contemporary police administration laid during British rule
  • Indian Police Act, 1861
  • IGP head of state police. SP at district level.
  • Subordinate police force consisted of the inspectors, head constables, sargeants and constables
  • Prior to the Police Act, the magistrate was the head of the district police
  • After 1861, magistrate ceased to be a direct police functionary but still had some control over police matters, in addition also retained judicial authority.
  • Thus, DM now had powers over the district police as well over subordinate magistracy. Over centralisation of authority in one official paved the way for administrative despotism at the district level.

 

Police reforms

  • The terrorists struck again at Mumbai in July 2011. This, to an extent, brought forth the point that the police is yet to reach the highest levels in intelligence gathering and in dealing with terrorism.
  • Where do we need to focus the reforms?
  • An external agency like the MHA can do a lot of like providing adequate finances and better suited policies. However, things like upgrading skills and thereby performance during a crisis can come only from within a police organisation
  • Political interference
    • Political interference or sloth cannot explain all the faults of a modern force
  • Problem areas
    • Leadership
    • Training and professionalization
  • There are three things that Centre can do for police reforms despite it being a state subject
    • Prepare a template for nationwide standards of police training and competence, compliance with which must be regularly assessed.
    • India desperately needs world standard institutions for police tactics and investigation to produce the core of instructors who can develop the capacity of State police forces
    • India’s higher security management must be drawn through a process that tests aptitude for the job

 

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