The two-year fixed tenure for the Director General of Police (DGP) of a State as per the Supreme Court ruling in the Prakash Singh case is an oft-bandied directive by many.
However, what is not said aloud, perhaps rather conveniently, is that the government here has not bothered to act upon five other directives of the same judgement.
Six years after the verdict was delivered, the government has complied with only two of the directives like constituting the State Security Commission (SSC) and the Police Establishment Board (PEB).
It completely ignored other key directives of the apex court order like separating investigation duty from law & order maintenance and constitution of police complaint authorities at the district level.
These include minimum tenure for police officers and formation of a National Security Commission (NSC).
“Formation of district police complaint cells and separation of investigation and law and order wings at the police station level would empower the common man to a great extent,” says a senior police officer.
But such has been the hype and hoopla about the fixed two-year tenure for DGP that even a day before his retirement, V. Dinesh Reddy tried to secure extension of his service.
He cited a part of the SC’s judgement relating to minimum two years of tenure to DGP, irrespective of his retirement, from the date of appointment.
Mr. Reddy, who had served as Director General of Police for nearly 27 consecutive months through two different government orders, contended in his petition that his service should be extended by one more year, citing the apex court’s directive.
Senior police officers say that even if fixed tenure for police officers, a board to examine issues of transfers and promotions, and a SSC are considered as police’s internal matters, separating law & order and investigation wings would have a direct impact on citizens since scope for detection of crimes is likely to go up due to the focussed approach.
Hyderabad’s situation is a classic example. Sleuths of the Central Crime Station (CCS) are frequently asked to attend to security arrangements during massive public congregations like the Ganesh idol immersion and during agitations.
It naturally affects investigations into already assigned cases as admitted by the senior police officers themselves.
Police officials manning the Punjagutta police station too face a similar dilemma. The station receives several complaints of different crimes but as per protocol, the Inspector is ordered to attend to security on the route whenever VVIPs like the Chief Minister or the Governor are moving around and also for their respective residences located within the station’s jurisdiction.
Thus, between 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., the policemen are devoted to protocol duties leaving little time to attend to citizens complaints.
With only the two-year fixed tenure for DGP getting attention, what many are unaware of is that the government has not bothered to act upon five other directives of Supreme Court