Are states actively sharing data on law and order with centre?
Pankaj Sharma/Zee Research Group
Lack of efficient coordination between the state and the Centre on active data sharing on law and order situation in the country runs the risk of imperiling development of cogent policy formulation.
The Home Ministry pools in data received from various states to present the national crime scene through the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) and Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D). Both these agencies present an annual report which represents data for the law and order scene a year ago.
Various state governments, however, present updated data, which is not immediately integrated by NCRB and BPR&D. The delay also happens on account of state governments not proactively sharing it with the Centre.
This has resulted in two sets of data in public domain on heinous crime like rape in the country.
For instance, the latest annual report of the NCRB “Crime in India” for the year 2011 was released on June 28, 2012, almost six months after the year ended. However, the Home Ministry had initially aimed to bring out the report by April 2012. The report pegged the rape incidence in capital at 572 (2011) while the Delhi Police statement released on January 20, 2013 pegged it at 706 (2012).
The situation was even worse in previous years. The 2010 annual report by the NCRB was released on September 19, 2011. The NCRB report for 2008 and 2009 was released on December 29, 2009 and 2010, respectively.
On the other hand, a sample study of three state police websites reveals some intriguing results. The Delhi Police, Bihar Police and Jharkhand Police are generally prompt in putting up the crime data on their website. For instance, the Delhi Police made public their data for 2012 by January 20, 2013. The Police of Bihar and Jharkhand also share their data on the website every month.
Similarly, another department under the Home Ministry that prepares annual police data follows the same trend. The BPRD annual compilation of data on police organizations in India is also based on old statistics. For example, the latest report by the BPRD for 2012 released on December 19, 2012 used the data updated on January 1, 2012. More so, the BPRD report for 2011 and 2010 was released on March 14, 2012 and December 14, 2011 respectively.
The Home Ministry drew flak from the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa, for pushing “outdated recommendations” of the second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) on Public Order and Police Reforms submitted way back in 2007 at a meeting held earlier this week on policing in the country.
Prakash Singh, former director general of Uttar Pradesh and Assam, holds states responsible for the old data in Central government’s reports. He averred, “If NCRB or any other department under Home Ministry has not been able to use the updated data, states are responsible. Law and order is the responsibility of the states and they should help the Centre in compiling the data. It is quite a tough job for a central agency like NCRB to get data from all state police.”
Singh lamented the lack of political will in states and at the Centre to enforce active sharing of data and apprehended that this might hurt cogent policy formulation to improve law and order situation in the country.
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