‘It is all about how better we can serve the Capital'

The need for and the variety of power of the Delhi Police that could be brought under the Delhi Government were discussed at length on Wednesday at a conference on the Delhi Police (Amendment) Bill, 2010, organised at Delhi Secretariat.

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who chaired the conference, said: “We were keen on a discussion before bringing in the Bill and a lot of good suggestions were made at the meeting which would be incorporated in it.'' Stating that this was the first public interaction on the issue and a lot of inputs were received, she said, “I am in favour of another round.''

Ms. Dikshit said all the suggestions would be considered in setting up a mechanism in which the Delhi Government would have a role in various aspects of policing. “It is all about how better we can serve Delhi, which is widely perceived as not a safe city,'' she said.

The Chief Minister said the reasons for crime in Delhi are many including its porous borders. But since it is a special city being the Capital of the country and has a large diplomatic corps, there is a strong need to modernise the force. Also, she said, a department is needed within the Delhi Police for social service-oriented work and for identifying and rectifying problems that affect the society.

The conference was attended by a number of Delhi Ministers, BJP MLA Sahab Singh Chauhan, Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta, Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai, Principal Secretary (Home) G.S. Patnaik, Commissioner of Delhi Police Y.S. Dadwal, former Supreme Court Judge Arijit Pasayat, and lawyers, retired bureaucrats, heads of various departments and representatives of residents' welfare associations.

The need for the discussion arose as the Delhi Government has prepared a legislative proposal for the Delhi Police (Amendment) Bill, 2010, to implement the direction of Supreme Court in the matter of Prakash Singh and others versus Government of India and others.

The proposal was uploaded on the website of the Delhi Government at www.delhi.gov.in inviting public views and suggestions to arrive at a broad consensus. At the conference, there was general consensus on transfer of traffic matters and other non-core functions to the Delhi Government. Besides, the Delhi Police was called upon to implement social legislation.

It was also stated that other issues such as the term of Police Commissioner and other officers, functioning of the Screening Committee and Scrutiny Committee, constitution and supervision of Police Appellate Authority in each district and Thana Committees at the police station level be brought under the Delhi Government.

The Second Administrative Reforms Commission had expressly recommended that the Union Government may retain control over the broader aspects of security and law and order whereas traffic and enforcement of special laws could be handed over to the Delhi Government.

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