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Police Reforms : India

India (Including Relevant Legislation, Compliance with Supreme Court Directives, Legislative Analysis, Strengthening Police Accountability as ‘read more’ tabs)

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 state governments frame the Police Acts, rules, and regulations that govern each police force. There is also central legislation in place; states which have not passed their own Police Acts are governed by the central Police Act. In addition, different aspects of police work and procedure are governed by a multiplicity of laws. Case law and jurisprudence also lay down procedure to be followed. The detailed rules and regulations, which set out duties, policies, and operational procedures, are contained in state Police Manuals.

There has been almost 30 years of debate on policing and reform in India, with several government-appointed commissions submitting reports and recommendations for police reform to government. The most comprehensive recommendations came from the National Police Commission (NPC), which from 1979-81, completed eight reports and drafted a Model Police Bill. Two more official Committees have drafted model police legislation, with CHRI as an active participant on both. These model draft Police Acts have not moved forward. In 2006, the Supreme Court of India ordered directives on police reform, but the central and state governments are either not complying at all or complying by moving away from the Court’s framework. CHRI actively monitors the state of implementation of the Court’s directives across the country.