Police Reforms by B.A.Nagesh M.A. KAS retd


  2. The biggest challenge facing the country is Governance
  3. Good governance comes from good laws and their implementation.
  4. Governance is not about enacting more legislations; it is more of implementing the legislations and laws in its true spirit.
  5. Any number of legislations framed or regulations appointed would not usher in good governance if there is disregard in following or implementing them.
  6. Many of our laws are archaic,antiquated and should be scrapped- the police laws of 1861.
  7. Many laws that are existing  were framed to suit the British and are against the ethos of trust.
  8.  Non-compliable provisions in most legislations lead to all being treated as defaulters. The big evaders can afford to buy the system;the genuine ones turn evaders in the long term.
    2. In 1977 Govt. of India set up a National Police commission which submitted  8 detailed reports between 1977-81 containing various recommendations to improve the functioning of the police system.
    3. The Supreme court in a landmark judgement on September 22nd 2006 recommended the setting up of three institutions at the State level with a view to insulate the police from extraneous influence; giving it functional autonomy and ensuring accountability.

a)      State security commission to give directions for the performance  of preventive tasks and service oriented functions of the people.

b)      Police establishment board comprising the Director General  and four other senior officers to oversee all transfers, promotions,postings and service related matters of the police officers of the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police andbelow; and make recommendations to the State Govt. regarding transfer /postings/service related matters of the rank of Superintendent of Police.

c)       Police complaints authority at the district level  and State level to inquire into allegations of serious misconduct by the police personnel.

  2. The Supreme court orders if sincerely implemented will have far-reaching implications for better governance  and administration of criminal justice.
  3. The Ruler’s police would become the People’s police.
  4. The police will be made more accountable to law and the people who will ensure better security ; uphold human rights and improve governance.
  5. The police force must be re-organized revitalized and given the necessary morale, manpower and equipment.
  6. It must be given behavioural  orientation to project itself and function as a people-friendly force.
  7. Tougher the laws, the courts would require stronger evidence to award punishment and courts are reluctant to even award conviction


Police reforms-2



  1. Certainty of punishment  rather than severity of punishment- only certainty of punishment will ensure that the guilt is punished and rule of law established.


  1. What has been the response of State Govts.to the directions of the Supreme court?
  2. In which case did the Supreme court give directions on police reforms and when?
  3. What are the features of the bill drafted by the Govt. of Karnataka?
  4. When were the reports on police reforms published?
  5. What is the status of the Police establishment Board?
  6. Who heads the complaints committee  at the State/ district level?
  7. What was the recommendation of the Supreme court in this regard?


  1. Karnataka was one of the few states which had a Right to information much before the RTI act came into being. It was called the Karnataka Right to Information act-KRIA. It provided for Public information officers to supply information.  The first appellate authority was the Registrar, Karnataka Appellate tribunal. The  FAA could levy a fine on the PIOs for not furnishing information on time. The Chairman KAT was the Second appellate authority.
  2. The RTI act came into existence in June 2005 with the objective of ensuring transparency and accountability in the working of public authorities. The Supreme court has held that right to information is implied in the right to freedom of speech and expression.
  3. Information means a document  in the possession of a PIO which can be had by submitting a request for information with a Rs. 10 postal order/cheque/demand draft.
  4. The PIO must supply the information within 30days or it is termed deemed refusal. If it contains the life/liberty of an individual it must be given in 48 hours.
  5. The act provides for a FAA who has to be approached against the order of the PIO.
  6. The  Information commission is headed by the SCIC and 10 other SICs who hear complaints against the FAAs/PIOs and can impose a penalty upto Rs.25,000 besides recommending disciplinary action. The Commission is given the responsibility of monitoring the implementation of sections 4(1) a and b which relate to cataloguing and indexing of records and transparency in administration.


  1. What is the role of the PIO and on what grounds can information be denied?
  2. What constitutes section 4(1) b of the Act.
  3. In which case did the Supreme court give directions on the composition of the Commission?
  4. How are the CIC/ICs in the case of the Central information commission and the SCIC/SICs in the case of the State information commission appointed?
  5. Who is the monitoring agency for the implementation of the Act?
  6. What are the shortcomings of the Act?
  7. Name any notable judgements.
  8. What is bulk information?
  9. What is the present position for filing complaints with the Information commission?
  10. What is information under the Act?

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