Reforming the Police

Can the Delhi Police Bill 2010 mark the beginning of a nationwide overhaul?

The union home ministry is keen to place the Delhi Police Bill 2010 before Parliament during the budget session. The expectation is that the legislation will be a model for the states to follow.

Despite the Supreme Court’s detailed directives on police reforms in 2006, few of the major states have acted on them. Many states have indeed enacted legislation, some before and some after the Court’s directives. None, however, have radically ventured outside the ambit of the Indian Police Act, 1861. Incidentally, there have been a total of eight reports of the National Police Commission (NPC, during 1978-81), recommendations of the Julio Rebeiro Committee (1998), Padmanabhaiah Committee (2000), the Malimath Committee (2003) and the Model Police Act (drafted by Soli Sorabjee Committee) all dealing with this subject. Yet, progress in overhauling the colonial legacy that continues to haunt police rules and procedures has been slow.

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