Friday, August 28, 2009

Police Administration - India's police: Worse than criminals

When we want to find the mistake - we need to see things from distance . So here is one article selected from web - the author is hongkong based person. Though we may not agree everything he is saying but we can get some points for mains answer writing in critique Indian police.Though the words used here cant be replicated exactly because the author has used strong words which cant be written in a competitive examination, we need juggle with diplomatic words.



(Source of the article

Describing policing in India does not call for any positive superlatives. The police force is a state entity that is criticized and often treated with contempt. Corruption, ineptitude and the use of arbitrary force are some of its features. Yet in times of extreme necessity it has tried to deliver results. The Mumbai terror attacks are the latest example.

The Indian police, like many other government institutions, are a product of colonial times. Indians are indebted to the British for many state-run establishments like the railways, postal services and even the basic administrative framework that runs this diverse country. Most of these state institutions have accommodated change and undergone drastic restructuring. Yet the state of affairs within the police force has seen little change in the past 62 years.

It is true that the colonial police were far different in appearance from current policemen. But changes in policing have been largely cosmetic. New uniforms are not real change. The administrative principles and philosophy behind the police force in India are still tainted with distrust – by superior officers of those of lower rank, and by ordinary people of the police, and vice versa.

This lack of change is intentional. Politicians who ruled the country for the past six decades and more at no point wanted a police service independent of political interference. So they successfully retained the system whereby police services were subjugated to the political authority of the ruling elite or political parties. While superior officers were rewarded for their political allegiances, lower rank officers were left at the mercy of their superiors.
Corruption, nepotism and the use of brute force are inherent evils within the policing system, irrespective of the political color and ideology of the ruling government. The police are primarily used for social control. It is therefore natural that criminal investigations are given the lowest priority. This is a sentiment dating back to colonial times and is reflected in the current infrastructural deficit in the police services.

Most police officers lack investigative tools and training. Yet they are provided with combat weapons to control people. Police training at the constabulary level is focused on mob control while criminal investigation is ignored. Police officers below the rank of superintendent do not even know the basic legal framework of the criminal law, and no regular academic training is provided for these officers.

In such an environment, criminal investigations are conducted with brute force at the whim of the investigating officer. It is a common story that unless there is political pressure or incentives driven by bribes, police officers refuse to investigate crimes. Those that are investigated begin and end with a confession. Most investigations result in acquittals in a court of law.

Over the past several years there have been several attempts to address the problems within the police service. The National Human Rights Commission, the Supreme Court and its subordinate courts as well as the civil society have spearheaded most such efforts.
Unfortunately, India does not have a functioning National Police Commission. One that came into existence in 1977 was smothered out of life by May 1981 and the government largely ignored its reports – eight in number.

Yet in the past 10 years the Supreme Court of India and the National Human Rights Commission have come up with several recommendations and directives aimed at addressing the blatant violations of law practiced by the police and delinking the police from the claws of corrupt politicians.

Of particular importance are the judgments delivered by the Supreme Court condemning the use of torture and the general disregard for the law within the police ranks. The jurisprudence laid down by the court in a series of judgments from the Nandini Satpati case to the Prakash Singh case, dealt with various facets of policing from torture to criminal investigations to delinking politics and the police. The National Human Rights Commission also tried to do its bit by recommending government measures to reduce abuse of power by the police.

All the recommendations fell upon deaf ears when it came to policymakers, who continuously ignored the valuable suggestions aimed at ironing out the creases of one of the primary institutions of the country. The union government could do little to control the police, as they were under the authority of state governments in the constitutional framework.

As of today, the state of affairs in the Indian police force is deplorable and condemnable to the core. The police force is considered synonymous with corruption and criminality. Yet there is hardly any sensible discussion in the country about the role the defunct Indian police play in undermining democracy and democratic norms.

Still one cannot say there have been no attempts at reform. Unfortunately, suggestions for reforms were usually made by jurists and academics who could prepare reports at short notice to suit the whims of the governments that appointed them. Their recommendations reflected the spineless character of their authors.

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