Across the country, we hear the incidents of death and torture of those detained by the police. The result of which the image of the police is stained. Not only this, but the cruelty of police is also born in people of criminal tendencies. The encounters with the policemen and the martyrdom of the policemen in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana just like this, pointing to the disintegrating criminal judicial system of India. It reveals the need for police reform. The image of the police in most of the states in the country has been dictatorial, not friendly with the public, and abusing their rights.
Many such stories are heard and read every day, in which their rights are abused by the police. Words like torture, cruelty, inhumane behavior, robbery, extortion, bribery, etc. are flashed in the mind as soon as the police are named. Along with the improvement of policing in the country today, the issue of proper use of judicial procedures is also important, as it is often seen that judicial magistrates do not consider their relevance while accepting the plea in the context of remand and they do not consider the relevance of the human rights under the effect of police.
Protests in the US against racism and police brutality have given a message of India’s need to reform its police system. This is the reason why Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu has emphasized the need for policing and policing of the police station to be centered and soft on society. Addressing a national seminar on smart policing, he suggested making maximum use of IT capability in investigation and security and security management. Vice President Naidu also emphasized lack of personnel, modern weapons, improvement in transport and communication facilities, and other aspects of police reform as suggested by the Supreme Court.
Police are the subject of the state list, so each state of India has its police force. To assist the states, the center has also been allowed to maintain police forces so that law and order situation can be ensured. But the state governments have a monopoly on the police. Due to which uniformity in policing across the country is not possible. It has also been observed that due to strict adherence to rules and laws, criminals are very much afraid of the police of a particular state and they are not even afraid of the police of some states. Our police are still in the grip of the traditional British Raj mentality regarding their loyalty and professional capabilities. All the states have their laws, different alliances are seen in the relationship between the politicians and the police so that the police of one state is not able to fully cooperate with the police of the other state, then only the criminals are not involved.
30% of vacancies still exist in police forces which is the biggest problem. Due to which police work under pressure, in India (in 2017) there were 131 police officers per 100,000 people; While the accepted number is (181) and the recommended number (222) from the United Nations, which is half of the international standard. The slow filling of vacancies in the police exacerbates the difficult situation. As of January 2020, more than 5 lakh vacancies exist in police forces. They are paid less and take more work than developed countries, which promotes corrupt conduct. This is the reason why usually corrupt policemen look at the leaders and hide their prejudices under pressure. Which makes their performance inappropriate.
Allegations such as unidentified arrests, illegal searches, torture and custodial rape on police misconduct are dark spot to his image. People generally consider conversations with the police to be frustrating, time-consuming and pocket-cutting, people consider the Indian police as a stick and find ways to avoid them . They also have departmental deficiencies, 86% of police force constables, who have nothing but a promotion (head constable) before retiring. Repeated transfers undermine the accountability of police actions and the inability to implement long-term reforms, as well as motivate them to adopt corrupt avenues and undermine policy credibility. State governments also misuse police administration many times. Sometimes to deal with their political opponents or sometimes to hide any of their failures. This is the main reason why the state governments are not ready for police reform. One study found that people trust the Indian Army more than the Indian police.
Most of the states of India have made their police laws based on the British Police Act, 1861, due to which all these laws are not in conformity with the existing democratic system of India. As India is making rapid progress towards becoming an economic and political superpower, our police cannot remain frozen in the frame of the previous era. There is an urgent need to strengthen the criminal justice system and our grassroots police institutions to prepare our police to meet the current and emerging challenges; In addition to the 33 percent participation of women, a department should also be discussed to check the autocracy of the police.
Police reforms are not implemented due to lack of political will, so an independent complaints authority needs to be at the center level to investigate complaints of police misconduct. Creating a uniform wage increase across the country to improve its infrastructure. Which can reduce the incentive for corruption, they can be important in police reform. The police system today needs a new direction, new thinking, and new dimensions. The police need to become civil liberties, aware of human rights, sensitive towards the oppressed deprived sections of the society. It is seen that the police adopt a soft and strict attitude towards people with influence and money, which makes it difficult for them to get public support.
The century has changed, the social environment of the country has changed completely. Today we need the People’s Police. A policy that is strict and sensitive, modern and mobile, alert and accountable, reliable and responsible, tech-savvy, and trained. But we also have to understand that the police are friends of citizens and law and order cannot be followed without their cooperation. We cannot reform the police by being a silent spectator or commenting on the administration or taking out candlelight marches or expressing our views on social sites. Every citizen should now press for political parties across the country to include police reform as a mandatory issue in their election manifesto.