Chapter 10: Second Administrative Reforms Commission Part IV
Inextricable link between the public order and conflict resolution since non-resolution of conflicts
manifests itself in public disorder.
Public order is largely a product of efficient general administration, effective policing and a robust
criminal justice system.
Public order implies a harmonious state of society in which all events conform to the established
law and is synonymous with peace, tranquility and the rule of law.
In most liberal democracies only serious disturbances which affect the even tenor of life would
constitute a breakdown of public order. In autocratic societies, however, even orderly and peaceful
protests and demonstrations against the State are often treated as breaches of public order.
Causes of public disorder.
Widely prevalent crime
divisive impulses based on ethnicity, religion, region, language and the sharing of natural resources
criminalisation of politics
indigenous and transnational criminal organisations
homegrown armed groups like Naxalites
foreign sponsored secessionist groups
Reasons to preserve public order.
Peace and order are necessary pre-conditions for freedom of expression of individuals
Violence and disorder necessarily undermine economic growth and development
Urbanization, tends to promote impersonal lives, alienation, reducing peer pressure and social
State's constitutional commitment to equitable growth and justice
Rapid economic growth may sometimes aggravate disparities between individuals, groups and
Weak enforcement and failure of the criminal justice system create a culture of lawlessness
Organised crime, militancy and terrorism have devastating consequences on the morale of the
Police and internal security
As police are the agency to enforce the will of the State, the capacity of the police agencies to
respond to a potential or real challenge to public order - rapidly, efficiently and justly - is of
this power is exercised in a democratic society within the bounds of the constitution and the law.
the manner in which the police functions is an index of society's respect for civil liberty and the
rule of law
Padmanabhaiah committee (2000)
Meaningfully and effectively, the society and the country need a highly motivated, professionally
skilled, infrastructurally self sufficient and sophisticatedly trained police force
However just and efficient policing may be, security agencies alone cannot enforce the rule of law
and maintain public order.
An effective and impartial criminal justice system is a necessary precondition for order and
harmony in society
Lack of good governance and poor implementation of laws are the major factors for public
Public order implies the absence of disturbance, riot, revolt, unruliness and lawlessness.
public order is universally recognised as the prime function of the State.
the distinction between `established order' and `public order'.
Established order may not always be as per the tenets of the rule of law.
public order is strengthened by protecting the liberty and dignity of citizens and bringing about
Thus every situation in which the security of the State is threatened is a public order problem.
All situations which lead to public disorder, are necessarily law and order problems also.
All law and order problems are not public order problems.
Two ways to look at State's role in Public Order
The State should resist the temptation to over-legislate except in crucial areas which constitute
the essence of constitutional values or prevent significant public loss or promote vital public good.
Persuasion, public education and social movements are the desirable routes to social change
in such cases
If such laws do exist, effective enforcement on case-to-case basis through prosecution of offenders
is the better route and not the thoughtless precipitation of a public confrontation.
Some Grave Public Order Problems
Communalism in a broad sense implies blind allegiance to one's own communal group rather
than to the larger society or to the nation as a whole.
Ranganath Misra commission (Delhi riots, 1984), Justice b N Srikrishna commission (bombay
riots 1992-93) and also the NHRC have gone into the causes of these riots
At times, the law enforcement machinery has been accused of gross dereliction of duty.
- The commission of Inquiry into the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi 1984, NHRC on the Gujarat
riots in 2002
conflict resolution mechanisms are ineffective;
Intelligence gathered is not accurate, timely and actionable and
bad personnel policies -
The administration and the police fail to anticipate and read indicators which precipitated
The administration and police at times acted in a partisan manner
At times there is failure of leadership
Post-riot Management Deficiencies
Rehabilitation is often neglected
Officials are not held to account for their failures
Terrorism has been defined as the illegal use of force or violence against people to create a wave
of terror with the intention of achieving certain political or sectarian objectives.
To tackle the menace of terrorism, a multi-pronged approach is needed.
Socio- economic development needs to be taken up on a priority basis
the administration and the service delivery mechanisms need to be geared up so that the
legitimate and long standing grievances.
Strong measures are required to deal with criminal elements but with respect for human
Militancy in the North East
Another intractable problem has been created by migration from bangladesh.
The redrawing of national boundaries following Partition provided an impetus to migrants from
This migration has continued even after the emergence of bangladesh.
The fear among the local populace that this immigrant population would reduce them to a
minority has fueled militancy in the region.
Several major initiatives for the development of the North East Region have been launched:
The North Eastern council (NEC) was established in 1972 through an Act of Parliament,
for securing the balanced development of the North Eastern Region and for inter-state
Ministry for the Development of North East Region deals with matters pertaining to the
development of the eight states.
All union Ministries/Departments earmark at least 10% of their budget for specic programme
of development in the North Eastern Region
The ethnicity, diversity, geography and history of the region demand a comprehensive nation
building approach for resolving the complex issues
Naxalites operate in the vacuum created by the inadequacy and ineffectiveness of the administrative
Naxalites continue to hold Jan-Adalats, a mechanism to dispense crude and instant justice.
The problems of poverty and alienation, the demand of territorial rights and displacement
from traditional forest habitats have aggravated the problem.
Besides, unequal sharing of benefits of exploitation of resources has also helped create a
fertile breeding ground for the growth of this menace.
It started as an ideological movt with `romantic sacrificialism', has now become militarised and
They are backed by a chain of `couriers' and sympathisers and some civil society organisations.
Government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy
Apart from countering violence, it is addressing the political issues involved,
Attending to the development needs of the affected areas and managing public perception.
Strengthening of intelligence structures, financial assistance to the affected states,
Modernisation of the state police, long-term deployment of central Police Forces
Improved coordination mechanism,
Backward District Initiatives and backward Regions Grant Fund are some of the concrete
measures taken by the Government of India.
Causes of Public Order problems
three broad categories of public violence can be discerned:
violence of remonstrance, violence of confrontation, and violence of frustration
Five broad causes of the types of violence
Social, Economic, Administrative, Communal, Political.
Lessons from the Past
Some of the major strengths of the existing legal framework are
a clearly laid down democratic, constitutional and legal framework,
an independent judiciary and an elaborate criminal justice system and judicial review of
representative institutions to debate issues of public importance,
a vigilant media and
emerging civil society responsiveness.
The strong points of the administrative framework of the country:
firmly established administrative traditions,
a well-organised police machinery,
systems of accountability, even if deficient and
the existence of a professional bureaucracy
legal and administrative framework has certain weaknesses:
lack of functional autonomy for law enforcement and investigation agencies;
lack of adequate and effective accountability mechanisms;
outdated and unprofessional interrogation and investigation techniques;
inadequate training and infrastructure for police;
lack of coordination between prosecution and investigation;
insufficiency of laws dealing with terrorism and organised crime;
Essentially there is a need for Rule of law, and it would entail:
a legal framework, which is fair and just and provides equal opportunities
an effective, fair and just civil administration
an effective, efficient, accountable and well equipped police system
a strong, autonomous and effective crime investigation machinery
a civil society which is vigilant about its rights and duties
an alert and responsible media.
The Existing Police System
The Police Organisation
`Public order' and `Police' figure as Entry 1 and 2 respectively, in list II (State list) in the VII
schedule of our constitution
Article 355 of the constitution enjoins upon the union to protect every state against external
aggression and internal disturbance
The Police Act, 1861 is still the basic instrument governing the functioning of the Indian police.
The Director General and Inspector General of Police) is the head of a state police.
States are divided into districts and a Superintendent of Police heads the district police.
People's Perception of the Police
Max Weber defined `State' as an organisation that has a monopoly on the legitimate use of
The police are the instrument of physical force of the State.
They have to bear the burden of failure of other instruments of governance as well.
National Police commission (NPC)
police-public relations were in a very unsatisfactory state due to police partiality, corruption,
brutality and failure to register offences, etc.
Many factors responsible for the present situation.
Problems related to general administration and police
organisation, infrastructure and environment;
stress due to overburdening,
Ethical functioning, prosecution
judicial process/criminal justice administration
Review of Police Reforms in the Past
To reform the then existing system, the first step taken by the british was to relieve the zamindars
of their liability for police service and their place was taken over by the Magistrates in the district.
the first major step was the constitution of the Police commission of 1860
The commission recommended the abolition of the military police as a separate organisation and
the constitution of a single homogenous force of civil constabulary.
The general management of the force in each province was to be entrusted to an Inspector General
The supervision and the general management of the police by the District Magistrate was continued
The police in each district were to be under a District Superintendent.
The Indian Police commission was constituted in 1902. It found concrete evidence of rampant
corruption in the police department.
Post independence period
Gore committee on Police Training (1971-73)
- was set up to review the training of the police from the constabulary level to IPS officers
Government of India appointed the National Police commission in 1977.
- eight Reports covering different aspects of police administration
Ribeiro committee was set up in 1998 on the orders of the Supreme court
- It recommended the setting up of Police Performance and Accountability commissions at
the State level, constitution of a District complaints Authority, replacement of the Police Act, 1861 with a
In 2000, the Padmanabhaiah committee on Police Reforms
- was constituted to study recruitment procedures for the police force, training, duties and responsibilities,
police investigations and prosecution.
September 2005 a Police Act Drafting committee (PADc) with Shri Soli Sorabjee as chairman,
- Superintendence of State police to vest in the State Government;
Appointment of the Director General of Police by the State Government from amongst three
senior most officers, empanelled for the rank.
Security of tenure for key police functionaries.
District Magistrate to have a coordinating role.
constitution of a village police system.
creation of Special Security Zones.
constitution of a State Police Accountability commission
The constitution of the State Police board as recommended by the PADc would give police
the required degree of autonomy
A separate mechanism should be put in place to insulate crime investigation, evidence gathering
and prosecution from the vagaries of partisan politics.
there will have to be a separate police service to deal with investigation of crimes exclusively
Reforms in Other Countries
an Ombudsman was appointed to investigate allegations of police misconduct
the restructuring of SAP into a three-tiered force started -
a national police, primarily responsible for internal security and for serious crime;
autonomous regional forces, responsible for crime prevention and for matters of general
law and order; and
municipal police, responsible for local law enforcement and for minor criminal matters.
Core Principles of Police Reform
Responsibility of the Elected Government
- The coercive power of the police can easily extinguish liberty unless it is tempered by
responsible political direction.
Authority, Autonomy and Accountability
At the same time, the various wings of police should have the authority and resources to
fulfill their responsibilities.
Although no one disputes that the police has to be accountable, there are differing views as
to whom the police should be accountable to.
It has often been argued that the police are answerable and accountable to too many authorities
There is another view that the existing accountability mechanisms especially outside the
police hierarchy are in fact too weak to extract any kind of accountability.
There is a school of thought that the police should be accountable to the law and law alone.
The mode and manner of accountability of police personnel has to be laid down by law itself
with accountability mechanisms.
Disaggregation and Deconcentration
A single, monolithic force now discharges several functions
This is dysfunctional for four reasons:
the core functions are often neglected
accountability is greatly diluted
the skills and resources required for each function are unique
each function requires a different system of control and level of accountability.
mere mechanical and uniform application of law in all situations will do irreparable
damage to public interest.
disaggregation and deconcentration cannot be pushed to the extreme.
There is need to strike a balance between authority and accountability, And between autonomy and coordination.
Excessive fragmentation of the police force is as detrimental to public good as overconcentration.
Three broad categories of functions of police functions
- Crime investigation, Law and order, Local policing
Independence of Crime Investigation
The use of third degree methods to extract a confession, over reliance on oral testimony
along with witness turning hostile shows the weakness of the present investigation and
crime control issues.
ARC says elite crime investigation agency of police should be created in each state.
Self-esteem of Policemen
Nearly 87% of all police personnel are constables
An average constable has little hope of becoming a Station House Officer (SHO).
The police force is top heavy.
over-crowding at the top with no real strength at middle-management levels.
ARC states police recruitment needs to be restructured significantly in order to enhance
motivation and morale, professionalism and competence of the personnel.
Attendant Criminal Law Reform
the criminal justice system are also made effective and efficient.
The number of courts is India is inadequate to meet the requirement of justice.
The resultant inaccessibility, coupled with archaic and complex procedures has made our
justice system slow, inaccessible and in reality unaffordable.
Police to be a Service - UNs basic Principles on the use of Force and Firearms recognises that the work of law
enforcement officials is a social service
The police station (a part of the law and order police), would be the first point of contact for
effective mechanisms for coordination between local police, crime investigation agency, and riot
control (law and order) police.
An independent prosecution wing, stated by serving trial judges on deputation
The police station (a part of the law and order police), would be the first point of contact for
effective mechanisms for coordination between local police, crime investigation agency, and riot
control (law and order) police
local police (under local authorities), would attend to other local police functions including traffic
management and minor local law and order maintenance.
There would be a strong forensic division, with well-equipped laboratories in each district
The rest of the police (excluding crime investigation and local police) would constitute the law
and order agency.
Investigation of crimes (except offences entailing a prescribed punishment of, say, three years
prison term or less) would be entrusted to a separate, fully autonomous, elite, professional,
investigation agency in each state.
Police Accountability Mechanism - Balancing Autonomy and Control
State Government and the Police
Relation between the State Government and the Police
The National Police commission (NPC)
stated that the arrangement that existed between the police and the foreign power before
Independence was allowed to continue with the only change that the foreign power was
substituted by the political party in power.
The NPc also suggested the constitution of a statutory commission in each state to be called the
State Security commission.
broad policy guidelines, evaluate performance of state police and function as a forum for
appeal from police officers and also review the functioning of the police in the state.
ARC Recommendations :
the power of superintendence of the police service shall vest in and be exercised by the State
Government in accordance with the provisions of law.
The State Government shall exercise its superintendence over the police in such manner and
to such an extent as to promote the professional efficiency of the police and ensure that its
performance is at all times in accordance with the law.
Obstruction of justice' should also be defined as an offence
Separation of Investigation from other Functions
Police tasks can be categorised as follows:
Prevention; deployment of police force as a preventive measure when breach of peace is
Investigation; all actions taken by the police in the course of investigating a case
Service provision; rendering service of a general nature during fairs and festivals, rescuing
children lost in crowds, providing relief,etc.
The Padmanabhaiah committee (2000) also recommended separation of the investigation work
from law and order and other duties.
The law commission in its 154th Report (1996) also recommended the separation
Result in speedier investigation
Will increase the expertise of investigating police.
They would not provoke public anger and hatred which stand in the way of police-public
The ARC has carefully examined this issue and feels that a clear separation of investigation
from law and order duties is required
two separate agencies - one dealing with `Investigations' and the other dealing with `law
Accountability of law and Order Machinery
A State Police Performance and Accountability Commission should be there
consists of Home Minister (Chairman), Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly, etc
frame broad policy guidelines for promoting efficient, effective, responsive and accountable
policing, in accordance with law;
prepare panels for the office of Director General of Police against prescribed criteria;
identify performance indicators
review and evaluate organizational performance
A State Police Establishment Committee should be constituted
This Committee should deal with cases relating to officers of the rank of Inspector General
of Police and above.
These Committees should deal with all matters of postings and transfers, promotions and
also grievances relating to establishment matters.
All cities with population above one million should have Metropolitan Police Authorities.
Reducing Burden on Police - Outsourcing Non Core Functions:
- Some of the functions that can be outsourced are the delivery of court summons, verification
of antecedents and addresses, which are required in the context of passport applications, job
The District Police Complaints Authority should have the powers to enquire into misconduct or
abuse of power against police officers up to the rank of DySP.
A State Police Complaints Authority should be constituted to look into cases of serious misconduct
by the police.
The State level Authority should also look into complaints against officers of the rank of Superintendent
of Police and above.
The State Police Complaints Authority should have a retired HC Judge as Chairperson and
nominees of the State Government, SHRC, other commissions, etc
The State Police Complaints Authority should also monitor the functioning of the District Police Complaints
A District Police Complaints Authority should be constituted to enquire into allegations against
the police within the district.
Improvement of Forensic Science Infrastructure - Professionalisation of Investigation
Strengthening Intelligence Gathering
intelligence gathering is done by the Special branch (Intelligence Wing) of the police and
the regular police stations.
Human intelligence should be combined with information derived from diverse sources with
the focus on increased use of technology.
Intelligence agencies should develop multi-disciplinary capability by utilising services of
experts in various disciplines for intelligence gathering and processing.
There should also be common training programmes for police and executive magistrates.
Training should focus on bringing in attitudinal change in police so that they become more
responsive and sensitive to citizens' needs.
Police and Human Rights
D.K. Basu vs the State of West bengal 
State terrorism is no answer to combat terrorism.
The State, therefore, must ensure that various agencies deployed by it for combating terrorism
act within the bounds of law and not become law unto themselves
Other matters related to policing and human rights are concerned with custodial deaths, encounter
deaths and torture.
with every passing year, the evidence before the Commission mounts that there must be
major police reforms in the country if the human rights situation is to be improved.
The most important element, in its view, is insulating the investigation work of the police from
`extraneous influences' and putting a stop to arbitrary transfers of police officials
The ARC Recommends;
- the emphasis on professional investigation, use of forensic science, proper training to bring
about an attitudinal change in police; the complaints authorities would provide an effective
grievance redressal mechanism against police high handedness.
Community Policing is an area specific proactive process of working with the community for
prevention and detection of crime, maintenance of public order and resolving local conflicts and
with the objective of providing a better quality of life and sense of security
community policing has four elements:
community-based crime prevention;
Patrol deployment for non- emergency interaction with the public;
Active solicitation of requests for service not involving criminal matters; and
creation of mechanisms for grassroots feedback from the community.
The basic principle underlying community policing is that `a policeman is a citizen with uniform
and a citizen is a policeman without uniform'.
`Maithri' in Andhra Pradesh, `Friends of Police' in Tamil Nadu, Mohalla committees in bhiwandi
Few principles of Community Policing
community policing is a philosophy and not just a set of a few initiatives.
The success of community policing lies in citizens developing a feeling that they have a say
in the policing of their locality and also making the community the first line of defence.
It should not become a mere `public relations' exercise
Interaction with people should be organised through `community liaison groups' or citizen's
committees at different levels.
convergence with activities of other government departments
Since the police is the primary agency of the criminal justice system which protects human
rights, it is essential to sensitise police personnel to gender issues. A well designed gender
training, which internalises responses
The representation of women in police at all levels should be increased through affirmative
action so that they constitute about 33% of the police.
National Security Commission
The Supreme court has directed that the union Government should set up a National Security
Selection and placement of Chiefs of the Central Police Organisations (CPOs), who should
also be given a minimum tenure of two years.
It could be headed by the Union Home Minister and comprise heads of the CPOs and 2
security experts and Home Secretary as its Secretary
The central Police Organisations
Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan border Police:, Central Industrial Security Force, Central
Reserve Police Force:
ARC: No need for it.
Arguments for inclusion of `Public Order' in the concurrent list
1. A collapse of `public order' has wide ramifications for national security, economic development
and even on the legitimacy of the State
2. union Government in such situations means that it is often powerless to intervene in major crisis
3. Another reason often cited for bringing public order in the concurrent list is that inter-state crime
is on the increase.
4. Due to the rapid growth in communication facilities and the use of modern technologies, organised
crime and terrorism often operate on a national or even international scale and can best be tackled
by providing for a unified legal, administrative and operational framework for police forces across
Arguments against bringing `Public Order' in the concurrent list
The principle of subsidiarity demands that these functions be exercised by State Governments.
In most of the large developed countries, the national government does not handle law and order
which is left to the provincial and even local governments.
Any move to bring public order into the concurrent list would also amount to duality of responsibility
which may be detrimental to the efficient handling of serious public order situations.
In an era of democratic decentralisation a move to bring public order into the concurrent list
would be a retrograde step
The size and diversity of our country is another reason why `Public Order' and `Police' have been
kept in the State list
- commission is of the view that the existing constitutional responsibilities between the states and
the union which have stood the test of time should not be disturbed.
Obligations of the Union and States
256: The executive power of every State shall be so exercised as to ensure compliance with the
laws made by Parliament
Article 256 casts a responsibility on the union to uphold the rule of law.
352. Proclamation of Emergency.
355. Duty of the Union to protect States against external aggression and internal disturbance.
356. Provisions in case of failure of constitutional machinery in States
365. Effect of failure to comply with, or to give effect to, directions given by the Union.
Committee on Reforms of criminal Justice System
Federal Investigating Agency with an all-India Charter
Organised crime, Terrorism, Acts threatening national security, Trafficking in arms and
human being, Sedition, Major crimes with inter-state ramifications, Assassination (including
attempts) of major public figures, Serious economic offences.
- agrees with Padmanabhaiah committee that such crimes should be investigated by a specialised
wing in the central bureau of Investigation.
Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958
When deployment of the Army and the para-military forces in large numbers and for an indeterminate
period to deal with the situation arising because of insurgency by the `Nagaland National
council' became necessary, a law on the lines of the 1947 enactments was also considered to be
The result was the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958.
The reorganization of the North-Eastern region in 1972 entailing, inter alia, a constriction
of the territory of the State of Assam, the Act was amended and renamed the Armed Forces
(Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).
It comes into operation after a declaration is made under Section 2 that a particular area is
AFSPA now extends to all the states of the North East except Sikkim
Earlier, only the Governor/Administrator was competent to issue such declaration; the 1972
amendment now vests a similar power with the union Government.
Members of the Armed Forces discharging duties under the Act immunity from prosecution and
other legal proceedings except with the previous sanction of the union Government.
The Act has been used in Manipur and Nagaland since 1958 and in Mizoram, Assam and Tripura
from later dates.
The Five-judge bench of the Apex court arrived at, inter alia, the following conclusions after
taking into consideration various arguments:
Parliament was competent to enact AFSPA in exercise of the legislative power conferred on
it under Entry 2 of list I (pertaining to naval, military and air forces and also any other
armed forces of the union) and Article 248 of the constitution read with Entry 97 of list I
(pertaining to residuary powers of legislation)
It is not a law in respect of maintenance of public order
AFSPA is not a colourable legislation or a fraud on the constitution.
In 2004, union Government appointed the committee to Review the Armed Forces (Special
Powers) Act, 1958
It found that the powers conferred therein are not absolute and could only be invoked in
the disturbed area if there was already a prohibitory order in force.
It after considering the views of various stakeholders, came to the conclusion that AFSPA
should be repealed.
It recommend insertion of appropriate provisions in the unlawful Activities (Prevention)
Act, 1967 (ulPA) instead of suggesting a new legislation
The Role of the Media in Public Order
The Administration must make facts available to the media at the earliest about any major
development, particularly activities affecting public order.
increased interaction between the Administration and the media.