Police Reforms : Seven Directives

In 2006, after hearings which carried on for years, the SC in Prakash Singh versus Union of India had laid down seven binding directives to trigger reforms in the police force.
The seven directives are:
1. Limit political control 
Constitute a State Security Commission to:
  • Ensure that the state government does not exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the police.
  • Lay down broad policy guidelines.
  • Evaluate the performance of the state police.
2. Appoint based on merit 
Ensure that the Director General of Police is appointed through a meritbased, transparent process, and secures a minimum tenure of 2 years.
3. Fix minimum tenure 
Ensure that other police officers on operational duties (including Superintendents of Police in charge of a district and Station House Officers in charge of a police station) are also provided a minimum tenure of 2 years.
4. Separate police functions 
Separate the functions of investigation and maintaining law and order.
5. Set up fair and transparent systems 
Set up a Police Establishment Board to decide and make recommendations on transfers, postings, promotions and other service-related matters of police officers of and below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.
6. Establish a Police Complaints Authority in each state 
  • At the state level, there should be a Police Complaints Authority to look into public complaints against police officers of and above the rank of Superintendent of Police in cases of serious misconduct, including custodial death, grievous hurt or rape in police custody.
  • At the district level, the Police Complaints Authority should be set up to inquire into public complaints against the police personnel of and up to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police in cases of serious misconduct.
7. Set up a selection commission 
A National Security Commission needs to be set up at the union level to prepare a panel for selection and placement of chiefs of the Central Police Organizations with a minimum tenure of 2 years.
The Supreme Court asked for immediate implementation. Initially, the court monitored the compliance of its judgement and although the orders were to be followed by all the states and Union Territories, compliance was found unsatisfactory

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