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State gets its ‘act’ together, hopefully

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After an interminably long sitting on tabling of the Karnataka Police Act for more than a year, the state government has decided to implement the Act through an executive order to avoid a possible embarrassment when the monitoring committee set up by the Apex Court would come for a visit later this month.

The Karnataka government prepared the draft of the new act and was sent to the Law Department for its opinion. The Bill approved by the Law Department was scheduled to be tabled at the Belgaum Legislature session and later during the Budget session. However, owing to political compulsion on the floor of the House, the government could not introduce any Bills.

Already the police has sent proposals for Constituting Police Establishment Committee (PEC), State Security Commission (SEC), and Police Accountable Authority (PAA). Three more proposals to set up a panel comprising police officers to select the Director- General and Inspector-General of Police (DG&IGP) of the state, fixing tenure of DG&IGP and Station House Officers (SHOs) and constituting a separate Crime Investigation Department in the police are ready and would be sent to the Home Department soon, sources pointed.

Some sort of relief will be there for the police force, if the government brings an executive order. However, bringing out executive orders would not be as easy as some of the politicians never want to fixing tenures for the officers and bringing out PEC and PAA under a retired judge. If it comes through, the political interference in the police transfers could be reduced if not fully blocked,” a senior officer told Express on condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak on the behalf of the department.

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The government had so far not shown the political will to push the reforms through. Now it is having to act to avoid humiliation. Let's hope it does not dither any longer. Perhaps, the civil society needs to exert pressure to ensure that. Election time is best for that.

Muralidhar Rao


silkboard's picture

This is my election issue #1

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Law and Order, Internal Security and Policing are my top issues for tis election. More than National ID cards, NIA and all, Police Reforms are critical. Laxity in enforcement shows up in many forms, on the roads to incidents of terrorism, to moral police and the likes taking law into their hands. An independent enough police force, but with some mechanisms for public to appeal against their high-handedness (to provide the check and balance) is a burning need.

jennypinto's picture

you are right silkboard, but

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you are right silkboard, but hand in hand, judicial reforms and strengthening lokayuka and human right comm, also. because whatever said and done, giving more autonomy and power to police, who are also human beings with the same human susceptibility to the corruption of power, is bound to throw up it's own problems and distortions. this is a universal phenomenon, not exclusive to india lightness of being
lightness of being
Rithesh's picture

You said it right Jenny

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In these times of terror, we tend be paranoid about our security and support stringent laws in the name of anti-terror.

Things like detention of the accused without having to produce him the court are clear violation of basic human rights. Many of the lawyer that i have interacted with, tell me that the current IPC is more than sufficient to handle the security issues.

Nothing prevents the govt or the police to use these anti terror laws to arrest any citizen who tends to oppose its policies. There are quite a few examples where the govt invoked POTA against citizens just to settle past scores.

New laws by itself will not change anything (atmost they will be miss used for personal benefits). As Jenny pointed out, the need of the hour is Judicial Reforms and allocation of more powers to independent bodies like the Lokayuktha and Human rights commission.
murali772's picture

check on mis-use

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Ritesh avare' - The most important component of this reform is the Police Accountability Authority, which is to provide for the necessary safeguard against mis-use of power. And, this mis-use was happening largely at the instance of the politicians, which is also now sought to be checked through the other measures being introduced under the Act, essentially distancing the politician from police. All in all, it's a very welcome measure.

Do not mistake it for POTA and other such Acts, the large mis-use of which was also partly instrumental in the advocacy for these reforms.  

Muralidhar Rao

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