Police Structure and Organisation
The Organisational Structure
Each state and union territory of India has its own separate police force. Article 246 of the Constitution of India designates the police as a state subject, which means that the state governments frame the rules and regulations that govern each police force. These rules and regulations are contained in the police manuals of each state force.
The head of the police force in each state is the Director General of Police (DGP), who is responsible to the state government for the administration of the police force in each state, and for advising the government on police matters. The DGP represents the highest rung in the police hierarchy.
The hierarchical structure of the police in India follows a vertical alignment consisting of senior officers drawn, by and large, from The Indian Police Service (IPS) who do the supervisory work, the "upper subordinates" (inspectors, sub-inspectors, and asst. sub-inspectors) who work generally at the police station level, and the police constabulary who are delegated the patrolling, surveillance, guard duties, and law and order work. The constabulary accounts for almost 88% of total police strength.
A booklet published by CHRI, entitled "Police Organisation in India", gives basic information about the police forces in India. In brief, it explains the organisational structure of the police, the police hierarchy and badges of rank, the field establishment, the commissionarate system of policing and the dual system of control, the recruitment and training standards, the code of conduct and the duties of police. Also, it provides a range of statistical information - the total strength of the civil as well as the armed police, strength per 10,000 of population and per 100 sq. kms. of area, growth of women police, police expenditure and police modernisation. The booklet discusses the role of the central government and provides some essential information about the police organisations that exist at the centre- the central para military forces as well as the non para-military organisations.
To access this comprehensive guide to the police in India, please click on the link below:
Police Organisation in India (Some Basic Information).
Police Legislation in India
The Police Act of 1861 remains the central piece of legislation that governs all aspects of policing in India. Much of police work is also administered by the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.P.C) and the Indian Evidence Act 1872. The 1861 Act was established directly after the Indian Mutiny of 1857. The experience of such firm resistance led the colonial rulers to impose a regime police force upon their subjects, which could be used solely to consolidate and perpetuate their rule in the country. In fact, the 1861 Act instituted a police system designed to be absolutely subservient to the executive and highly authoritarian. The managerial philosophy of the police hierarchy was based on distrust of the lower ranks.
The advent of Indian independence transformed the political system, but the police system retained its colonial underpinnings. The Police Act of 1861 was not replaced. Political control over the police remained intact. Implanting mechanisms to assure accountability of the police to the public it serves did not become a priority, as it should have. The managerial philosophy, value system, and ethos of the police remained militaristic in design, and suppressive in practice. To this day, the police system in India can be characterized as a regime force, which places the needs of politicians or powerful individuals over the demands of the rule of law and the needs of citizens.
The years after independence witnessed the enactment of new legislation in several states of the country. The first to come into force was the Bombay Police Act of 1951, which also governs the police forces in Maharashtra and Gujarat. Next came the Kerala Police Act of 1960, followed by the Karnataka Police Act of 1963, and lastly the Delhi Police Act of 1978. Most recently, the government of Madhya Pradesh framed a Police Bill, 2002. Unfortunately, these new Acts were patterned almost exactly on the model of the 1861 Act, resulting in no significant improvement in the performance or behaviour of the police forces. In fact, some of these state Acts tightened political control even further over the police force, without introducing any safeguards to prevent misuse of the police for partisan purposes, or creating effective mechanisms to ensure police accountability.
The Central and State Police Acts & Ordinances are given below in chronological order:
The Police Act of 1861
Bihar Police Act 2007
Bombay Police Act 1951
Delhi Police Act 1978
Himachal Pradesh Police Act 2007
Kerala Police Act 1960
Karnataka Police Act 1963
Madhya Pradesh Police Bill 2002
The Central and State Police Bills are given below in chronological order:
Karnataka Police Amendment Bill 2007
Kerala Police Amendment Ordinance 2007
The Model Bill drafted by The National Police Commission (NPC) is provided below:
NPC Model Bill