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States still lagging behind in setting up State Security Commissions for Police Reforms

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 08, May 2013, 14:03 pm IST | UPDATED: 08, May 2013, 14:12 pm IST

States still lagging behind in setting up State Security Commissions for Police Reforms New Delhi: Police Reforms may be on the high agenda of our courts but lot has to be done in this area. The states are going slow pathetically on considering the reforms leave alone their implementation. Here is Supreme Courts observation of compliance of its Directives of setting of State Security Commissions by Maharastra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana:
 
1. Andhra Pradesh: The State issued notification for setting up of SSC on May 4th May, 2013 (2 days prior to hearing). The composition does not conform.
 
2. Rajasthan: They issued notification on 5th May, 2013 (The court was impressed that the government was working even on Sundays to issues notifications). Did not make a comment that despite the Act being passed in 2007 it took them almost 6 years to issue notification. The independent members were however not selected. The Rajasthan Counsel was fumbled with the selection panel issue. He had clearly not read the Act. Rajasthan though said that we have passed a Police Act. And that the Court cannot tell them how to legislate, at which the court didn't really have anything to say.
 
3. Maharashtra: Maharashtra had failed to file it affidavit on time. So the court imposed 5 lacs fine. This was later withdrawn. They have on 5th May, 2013  reviewed their order setting up the SSC. They replaced Mr Pasricha with Satish Sahni. The SSC in Maharashtra has held 5 meetings between 2010-2012. The things discussed were office premises for the SSC, honararium for members and the issue of id cards to SSC members for entering Mantralaya. No other matter was discused in the 5 meetings. The court was satisfied that atleast it had held meetings and thus withdrew the order that imposed the fine. What was concerning was that the Court saying that these issues take time - office premises are important and so is honarariums. But at least they were meeting. In a state like Maharashtra where policing desperately needs an uplift this is what the SSC thought important to discuss! This is how commission after commission falls into disuse.
 
4.  Goa: The SSC has not met.
 
5.  Haryana: was pulled up for setting up an SSC which would only “aid and advise”.
 
GENERAL:
1.    The Bench asked Harish Salve to give specific suggestions to the Court after the vacation so that effective implementation of the Directions could be ensured. He will file full petition with annexures on Wednesday and the court will hear on Thursday
 
2.    On the issue of Police Acts passed by States, Salve asked for permission to file petition challenging constitutional validity of the 15 state police Acts that have been passed. According to him the Acts are violative of articles 14 and 21.
 
3.    Prakash Singh also submitted the issue of the recent Maharashtra order on police transfers. All the matters will be taken up on next hearing which is 9th May.
 
Source: CHRI, an independent, non partisan, international non-governmental organization headquartered in New Delhi.