At a time when the Delhi police have come under the NHRC scanner in the recent Ramjas College violence, the Supreme Court on Wednesday sounded resigned about how its orders to usher in police reforms have fell on deaf ears over the past several years.
“Police reforms are going on and on. Nobody listens to our orders,” Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar remarked, declining a plea for an urgent hearing on a petition seeking reforms within the policing infrastructure of the country. The reforms include fixed tenure for senior officers and sealing the police force from political influences. In 2006, after hearings which carried on for years, the SC in Prakash Singh versus Union of India had laid down seven binding directives to trigger reforms in the police force.
However, three years later, met with defiance, the SC had remarked: “Not a single State government is willing to cooperate. What can we do?” The current petition filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay has sought direction to the Centre, State governments and the Law Commission to implement police reforms and the Model Police Act, 2006 to ensure an “effective and impartial police system”.
“That arbitrary and unaccountable functioning of the police has led to complete alienation of many citizens from the State. Complete politicisation of the police force has led to highly partisan crime investigation. State governments have been habitually abusing their powers to drop serious criminal charges against their supporters and foist false cases against their opponents,” Mr. Upadhyay’s plea said.