Model Police Act, 2006

A Committee set up by Ministry of Home Affairs in September, 2005 submitted a draft Model Police Act on 30th October, 2006. A copy of the draft Model Police Act as framed by the Committee was sent to States for consideration and appropriate action vide Home Secretary’s D.O. letter dated 31st October, 2006.
The salient features of Model Police Act are as follows:
  • The Model Act emphasized the need to have a professional police ‘service’ in a democratic society, which is efficient, effective, responsive to the needs of the people and accountable to the Rule of Law.
  • The Act provided for social responsibilities of the police and emphasizes that the police would be governed by the principles of impartiality and human rights norms, with special attention to protection of weaker sections including minorities (preamble to the Act).
  • Functional autonomy: While recognising that the police is an agency of the State and therefore accountable to the elected political executive, the Committee has specifically outlined the role of Superintendence of the State Government over the police. (Section 39). The Model Police Act suggested creation of a State Police Board (Sections 42-50) to frame broad policy guidelines for promoting efficient, responsive and accountable policing etc. Merit-based selection and appointment of the Director General of Police, ensuring security of tenures (Section 6), setting up of Establishment Committees (Section 53) to accept and examine complaints from police officers about being subjected to illegal orders, to recommend names of suitable officers to State Government for posting to all positions in the ranks of Assistant/ Deputy Superintendents and above in the police organisation in the State excluding the DGP etc.
  • Encouraging professionalism: To ensure an efficient, responsive and professional police service, the Model Act sought earmarking dedicated staff for crime investigation; and distinct cadre for Civil police vis-à-vis Armed Police (Chapter III & IV).
  • Accountability paramount: the Act prioritised police accountability, both for their performance and their conduct (Chapter V & Chapter XIII).
  • Improved service conditions: The Act also aimed to provide better service conditions (Chapter XIV) to the police personnel including rationalising their working hours, one day off in each week, or compensatory benefits in lieu. It suggested creation of a Police Welfare Bureau to take care, inter alia, of health care, housing, and legal facilities for police personnel as well as financial security for the next of kin of those dying in service. It further mandates the government to provide insurance cover to all officers, and special allowances to officers posted in special wings commensurate with the risk involved.
Note: “Public Order” and “Police” are “State subjects” falling in Entry 1&2 of List-II of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India. It is the State Governments/UT Administrations, which have to implement the various police reforms measures. The Centre persuades the States from time to time to bring the requisite reforms in the Police administration to meet the expectations of the people.

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