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  • SC seeks earnest impementation of police reform directions

    Published on December 7, 2010

    The Supreme Court on Monday said that its directives and orders on police reforms have to be implemented earnestly and cannot be held in “limbo”.

    “We want all our directions to be implemented,” a special bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia told the chief secretaries of West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh who were asked by its 8th November order to appear in person for non-compliance of its directions.

    The bench, which also included justices Aftab Alam and K S Radhakrishnan, asked them to keep their houses in order while making it clear that it may summon them again if there was any laxity on their part in implementing the September 2006 verdict and subsequent directions.

    The bench made it clear that the states were free to seek its help and guidance in implementing the ruling but neither any laxity will be tolerated nor leniency shown for it.

    “The chief secretaries (of four states) are present. We are making it clear that if they have any difficulty you can come forward and tell us. We only want our orders to be implemented. If there will be any problem for implementation, we will give reconsideration but we will not allow it to be held in limbo,” the bench said.

    It was pointed out to the bench that there was some confusion in implementing the direction on the appointment of the DGP as some states think it was the sole prerogative of the state and Union Public Service Commission need not be consulted for it.

    At this, the bench asked the asked Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to examine the issue and take instruction if UPSC rules or regulations need to be amended for implementation of the court order in right perspective.

    The bench began its hearing, perusing the affidavit by West Bengal government, which disclosed that instead of making Chief Minister or the Home Minister as the Chairman of the State Security Commission as per the police reform verdict, the state had constituted the crucial panel under the chairpersonship of its Health Minister.

    The seven-point directives of the police reform verdict had included formation of a multi-member State Security Commission, chaired either by the Chief Minister or the Home Minister, to insulate the police from undue political pressure or interference into its functioning.

    “We don’t say appoint only the Chief Minister as the head of the State Security Commission. But, instead of Home Minister you are appointing the Health Minister,” remarked the bench, disapproving of the act.

    Chastened by the bench, state counsel Tara Chand Sharma promised that “the error will be corrected” and the state would issue the notification/government order in four weeks.

    Disapproving of the failure of West Bengal government as well as that of the three other states in implementing the 7-point directives on police reform, the bench wanted to know from them the timeline by which they propose to “separate investigation from the law and order” in police functioning.

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