New Delhi: Prominent persons from various walks of life have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring about police reforms to end "executive stranglehold" over it and enable its transformation from a "ruler's police" into "people's police".
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the group, led by senior lawyer and MP Ram Jethmalani, has also requested that electoral reforms be introduced as per the recommendations of the Election Commission and Law Commission ahead of upcoming Assembly polls to bar criminals from entering legislatures.
Former secretary Bhure Lal, former CBI director Joginder Singh, former DGPs Prakash Singh and Shashi Kant, social activist PV Rajagopal and former Calcutta High Court Chief Justice DS Tewatia are among the other members of the group.
Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee and senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan have joined them in urging Modi to introduce the much-needed reforms.
"We urge you to initiate necessary steps to reform, restructure and rejuvenate police, laying emphasis on the implementation of judicial directions. India must have People's Police not the Ruler's Police," they told Modi.
Noting that the states were either dragging their feet or not implementing Supreme Court's 2006 order on police reforms in letter and spirit, the group said that the Model Police Act, 2006, drafted by the Sorabjee Committee is the most "reliable, implementable and comprehensive" document for introducing the necessary changes.
Expressing their happiness with the measures taken by Modi so far, they said people are looking to him to turn India into a modern and progressive state.
Pushing for electoral reforms, they said that a faulty electoral system was the fountainhead of all the "aberrations" which Indian democracy is riddled with at present.
Reminding Modi that he had taken a pledge to cleanse the legislatures of criminals, they said the first step in that direction would be to close the gateway to popular office for criminals.
Jethmalani was expelled from BJP but is perceived to be close to Modi. He was among the first to endorse his prime ministerial credentials when the party was yet to take a decision on the same.