The State government on Thursday informed the Kerala High Court that though it had accepted in principle the recommendation of the Law Commission to have two separate wings such as ‘law and order’ and ‘crime investigation’ in police, it could not be implemented overnight.

In an affidavit filed in reply to a writ petition seeking to implement the recommendation, the Home Department said that the government had to take into account manpower, availability of vehicles and other infrastructure before implementing the recommendation. The government had appointed Prem Shankar, former Director of Kerala Police Academy, to study and submit a report on the administrative, practical and financial aspects of such a bifurcation. Appropriate steps would be taken without delay on receiving his report.

The petition was filed by R. Gokul Prasad of Palakkad.

The affidavit said the law and order duties and crime investigation could not be separated in a watertight manner. Vehicle and other infrastructure should be found out. The complaint that the Police Department was understaffed and overburdened could be remedied by separating law and order and providing adequate manpower for investigation.

The affidavit added that law and order and investigation wings in a police station was commendable. However, the basic problem was shortage of manpower in the department. In the existing system, there were provisions for the investigation of grave offences by any senior police official. In fact, a distinct line of separation existed between law and order enforcing officials and investigating officials. A separate wing for investigation had been functioning in Kochi since January 2006.

Legal metrology

The court asked the State government to file an affidavit, responding to a writ petition seeking a directive to the government to ensure that assistant controllers, senior inspectors and inspectors of the Legal Metrology Department wear uniform as prescribed by the law while on duty.

The petition was filed by High Court lawyer Vincent Panikulangara.

According to him, the Kerala Standards of Weights and Measures (Enforcement) Rules made it mandatory for the inspectors to wear the prescribed uniform while on duty, either in the office or field.

He complained that these officials did not wear uniform even when they conducted raids or appear in a court of law. Their counterparts in other States wore uniform.

The court adjourned the hearing in the case to March 3.

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