Politicians, civil bureaucracy holding up police reforms, says expert

December 17th, 2007 - 7:11 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Dec.17 (ANI): Vested interests of politicians and powerful civil bureaucracy to keep the police under their control is one of the major reasons holding up the much needed police reforms, according to Dr. Arvind Verma, an IPS officer-turned professor at the Indiana University in the United States.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion on “Police reforms in India: Challenges and Prospects” organised by Observer Research Foundation here today, Dr. Verma, who was an IPS Officer from 1978 to 1991, said though there was no disagreement on the need for police reforms among all stakeholders, the actual process of reforms were still to shape up despite many commissions and committees having submitted their reports to the Government.
Initiating the discussion, Lt. Gen. V.G. Patankar (Retd), now a Distinguished Fellow with ORF, said the internal security situation was far from satisfactory, with the growing threat of terrorism and left-wing extremism. He cautioned that this might cause new challenges to economic progress and social fabric.
Dr. Verma, who specializes on police reforms and criminal justice system, said the disagreement on reforms was only on the nature of reforms and how to implement it. He noted that the police act still remained almost the same as that of the 1861 Police Act of the British.
Dr. Verma wondered whether making police independent and giving full powers would actually solve the problems. He noted that police leadership has failed to come up with reforms in its internal affairs which could be initiated by itself without any interference from politicians.
Dr. Verma stressed on the urgent need to improve the “terrible conditions of” subordinate police officers and constables who are being neglected by their own leadership.
Saying that the citizens at least expected a decent and unbiased behaviour from the police which is lacking, Dr. Verma said that police was not professional enough to investigate in a non-threatening manner.
The roundtable, attended by academics, former police officers and activists of civil groups and political parties, felt that service to the people is still the last priority, according to our Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.
Comprehensive reforms, including updating the IPC and CrPC, are needed in order to make police responsive to the needs of citizens, the roundtable felt. (ANI)

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