SC to examine case for separate investigation cadre in police
The Supreme Court Tuesday embarked on examining the desirability of having a separate cadre within police for investigating heinous crimes as it saw conflicting views on the issue within those advocating policing reforms and its insulation from political interference.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday embarked on examining the desirability of having a separate cadre within police for investigating heinous crimes as it saw conflicting views on the issue within those advocating policing reforms and its insulation from political interference.
As amicus curiae Harish Salve advocated an exclusive cadre for investigating heinous crimes and former Uttar Pradesh police chief Prakash Singh sharply differed on the issue, the bench of Justice T.S.Thakur, Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel sought the views of the Bureau of Police Research and Development chief.
The court asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar to ask the BPRD chief to address the issue of the desirability of setting up a separate dedicated cadre in police for investigating crimes like murder, dacoity, rape, economic offence and others involving sentence of ten years or more upon conviction.
The court will hear the BPRD chief during the next hearing Thursday.
The court order came in the course of the hearing of a challenge to Bihar Police Act, 2007 on the grounds that its provisions were not in conformity with the 2006 apex court directions on insulating police from political interference, separating law and order functions of police from that of investigation and setting up of an independent State Security Commission as a watchdog on police.
Advocating separate investigation cadre in police force upto a certain level which would then merge as it moves up in hierarchy, Salve said that the need for such a separate cadre does not spring from the need for specialised skilled investigators and insulate investigation from interference.
He said that law and order operations of the police have a distinct political component in the decision-making process.
Salve said in dispersing a huge gathering, as had happened in the case of Baba Ramdev`s gathering in Delhi Ramlila Maidan in 2012, there is an element of political decision making. When to do it, how to do it, whether to declare assembly of people as an unlawful, whether to remove the crowd during the day or at night and its consequences are question on which the first call is taken at political level before police swing into action.
However, Salve was opposed by Prakash Singh on whose plea the apex court had in Sep 22, 2006 passed a series of direction for police reforms. He contended this would vertically split the police force and both wings would be perpetually at loggerheads with each other.
Opposing the vertical split, he told the court that the existing police system is good but has been made dysfunctional by vested interests by starving it of financial resources and adequate manpower.
At this, the court said, "What you are saying is that structurally there is no need to do any violence with the existing structure of police organisation but the men manning are responsible for the state of affairs. The question is how we can infuse life into it."
Earlier defending the provisions of the Bihar Police Act, 2007, the solicitor general told the court that it could not expect the legislature to enact the law on police reforms based on its recommendations.