Tamil Nadu

Sheela Priya appointed chair of Fourth Police Commission

M. Sheela Priya

M. Sheela Priya   | Photo Credit: R_Ragu

This is the first time that such a panel has been formed under an AIADMK regime.

M. Sheela Priya, former State Chief Information Commissioner, was on Wednesday made chairperson of the Fourth Police Commission.

Making the appointment through an order of the Home Department, the State government also named three individuals as members of the Commission. They are: V.P.B. Paramasivam, Member of Legislative Assembly (Vedasandur); M. Arachelvi, former joint secretary and G. Venkataraman, Additional Director of General of Police (Cyber Crime Wing), who will also function as Member-Secretary.

An order issued by the Home Department stated that the panel will go into a host of issues – the general condition of services, housing and welfare of police personnel, the functioning of the police force in relation to maintenance of law and order, prevention and detection of crime and regulation of traffic, the modernisation of the organisation and its methods, manpower planning, the relationship of the police with the public and political and non-political organisations, and coordination with courts of law and other government departments.

The constitution of the commission follows Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s announcement in this regard in the Assembly back in June.

This is the first time that such a panel has been constituted when the AIADMK is in power. All previous commissions (November 1969; May 1989 and August 2006) were set up when the DMK was the ruling party.

Sheela Priya appointed chair of Fourth Police Commission
 

Dr. Sheela Priya, who had a long stint at the Raj Bhavan as Secretary to various Governors, served as one of the secretaries to former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa after the AIADMK’s return to power in May 2011. During December 2017-May 2019, she served as State Chief Information Commissioner.

Though the order merely states that “the government desires that the Fourth Police Commission should commence its sittings forthwith and submit its recommendations early”, a senior official says the panel is expected to complete its work in a year.

‘Limited purpose’

While there is a widespread perception among government and police officials that the three commissions had only “limited purpose”, R. Nataraj, former DGP and now AIADMK’s MLA from Mylapore, takes a different view, recalling the recommendations of the panels and their impact on the police force.

The First Commission, headed by R.A. Gopalaswami, laid stress on modernisation and improved communication mobility. Thanks to its suggestion, women, at the level of constables and sub-inspectors (SIs), were recruited for the first time in 1973.

The Second Commission, chaired by P. Sabanayagam, had “tried to improve the quality of subordinate ranks by creating more posts of head constables and SIs, apart from giving a number of recommendations for scientific investigation”.

The Third Commission, which had R. Poornalingam as chairperson, had dealt with manpower utilisation and strengthening wings such as economic offences, CID and intelligence, recalls Mr. Nataraj.

“What is required now is to focus on improving public interface to improve quality of delivery of services by the police to the people. I would like the newly-formed panel to go into the issue,” adds the former DGP.

Another former police officer, G. Thilagavathy, wants the Commission to go into the matter of recruitment of personnel in thousands at a time for constabulary services. Making her point against such a practice, she feels that no effective training can be given to such a large number of people.

“The number can be much less. Also, the duration of entry-level training should be at least one year. There should be no compromise,” she says.

The police force is badly in need of technically-qualified and tech-savvy people at all levels, Ms. Thilagavathy adds.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 3:31:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sheela-priya-appointed-chair-of-fourth-police-commission/article29719800.ece

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