The story so far: On a national level, it will take another 24 years to have 33% women in police forces across States and for Jharkhand, this number stands at 206 years. These figures are a part of the India Justice Report 2022, released by Tata Trusts on April 4. It ranks police forces of States based on various indicators such as vacancies as against the sanctioned strength of personnel, representation of women and Scheduled Caste/ Scheduled Tribe communities and so on. Overall, the Telangana police have bagged the top rank among states with populations over 10 million, while West Bengal has come in last.
What is the current state of police vacancies?
The third edition of the India Justice Report notes that the gap between the sanctioned and actual strength in police forces on the national level remains “worryingly large”. As per the report’s findings, Between January 2020 (second edition) and January 2022, the overall vacancies in police rose from 20.3% of the sanctioned strength to 22.1%.
The report collates data from various official sources for 25 ranked States, dividing them into two clusters- 18 large and mid-sized states and seven small-sized states (populations up to 10 million). It also presents information for unranked States and Union Territories. In the case of police constables, as of January 2022, while West Bengal was the worst performer among large and mid-size States with vacancies amounting to 44.1% of the sanctioned strength, Kerala was at the top with constable vacancies making up 4.6% of the sanctioned strength. As for police officers (in civil as well as District Armed Reserve police), Bihar has the highest percentage of vacancies at 53.8%, as against the sanctioned strength.
The report also mentions that some States bring down their sanctioned strength, which can consequently result in reduced vacancy levels. For instance, between 2020 and 2022, Kerala reduced the sanctioned strength of civil police by 239 personnel, resulting in a reduction of vacancies while the workload increased.
How many States fulfill their quotas for women and SC/ST communities?
“Constitutional equality mandates all states to reserve caste quotas,” the report states. However, despite years of reservations, Karnataka was found to be the only State to meet its Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other backward classes quotas, with no other State/UT managing to meet their reservation targets.
Among large and mid-sized States, Haryana, at 131%, performed the best in terms of the percentage of actual SC police officers to its reservation quota, while Uttar Pradesh came in last, with just 43% SC officers against its quota. As for the constabulary workforce, Karnataka had 116% of SC constables against its quota, while Haryana had the lowest at 63%. As for small states, Goa and Sikkim were the best performers for the percentage of SC officers and constables, respectively.
In terms of fulfilling reservations for Scheduled Tribes, Karnataka, at 176%, was the best performer on the police officer level, going beyond its reserved ratio. For ST constables, Bihar fulfilled its quota by 278%, while Punjab came in last amid large and medium States at 0.01%.
When it comes to women’s representation in the police force, most states have their own specific quotas for how many women there should be in the police force. For instance, six UTs and nine States have a target of 33% reservation for women. Elsewhere, targets range from Bihar’s 35% to 10% in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Tripura. Five states/UTs, including Kerala and Mizoram, have no reservations. As per the findings, no State which had the 33% criteria, managed to meet it. However, among large and medium States, Andhra Pradesh which reserves 33% of overall police posts for women, performed the best with 21.8% being its share of women in police. Jharkhand was the worst performer with its share of women in police being just 6.2%. In small States, Himachal Pradesh was at the top with 14% of police personnel being women, while Tripura came in last with just 5.3%. Among Union Territories, Ladakh had 28.3% women in police, while Jammu and Kashmir had just 3.3%.
How many police stations have Supreme Court-mandated CCTVs?
In December 2020, the Supreme Court of India in the Paramvir Singh Saini v Baljit Singh mandated the installation of CCTV cameras inside all police stations, along filing of compliance affidavits in six months, the details of the exact location of the cameras, and storage of the footage for a period of not less than six months. This was done so that cases where the use of force by police resulted in serious injury or custodial deaths could be reported.
According to the Bureau of Police Research and Development’s data mentioned in the report, in Manipur, Lakshadweep, and Puducherry, not a single police station of the total number in the State has at least one CCTV camera. And as of January 2022, of the 17,535 total police stations in the country only 73.5% (12,893) had installed at least one CCTV camera.
- On a national level, it will take another 24 years to have 33% women in police forces across States and for Jharkhand, this number stands at 206 years. These figures are a part of the India Justice Report 2022, released by Tata Trusts on April 4.
- Despite years of reservations, Karnataka was found to be the only State to meet its Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Other backward classes quotas, with no other State/UT managing to meet their reservation targets.
- In terms of fulfilling reservations for Scheduled Tribes, Karnataka, at 176%, was the best performer on the police officer level, going beyond its reserved ratio. For ST constables, Bihar fulfilled its quota by 278%, while Punjab came in last amid large and medium States at 0.01%.