Biju Govind

Aim is to eliminate fly-by-night operators

Kozhikode: The Centre’s plan to bring in legislation to govern the functioning of private detective agencies in the country is expected to help in eliminating fly-by-night operators in this thriving sector.

The agencies here generally welcome the Private Detective Agencies (Regulation) Bill, recently introduced in the Rajya Sabha.

“Once the law comes into force, all detective agencies will have to get licences from competent authorities. They will also have to function within the parameters laid down by the Government,” said the official of an agency in the city.

Now, private detective agencies need not obtain licences, though security agencies have to, after the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act came into force two years ago. Several private detective agencies have come up in the State and elsewhere in the country. Most of them carry out their activities without any accountability, it is alleged.

“Many of them also charge exorbitant fees for an investigation,” said Subash Babu, former Superintendent of Police, who runs an agency here.

He said when he started his agency in 2003, there were over 20 organisations carrying out security and detective services. At present, many of them did not exist.

Some provisions in the Bill are modelled on the Private Security Agencies (Regulation) Act. The provisions envisage a greater role for detective agencies.

If these become part of the law, the Union and the State governments can utilise their services in pre-employment and passport verifications. Besides, some of the Government jobs, including intelligence gathering, can be outsourced to competent agencies.