One panel to police all union territories


The announcement by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday comes nearly three years after the Supreme Court's September 2006 direction to the union and state governments to take steps on the issue of police reforms.

This included the establishment of a State Security Commission that would lay down  the broad policies regarding policing and evaluate the performance of the police force in union territories and states.

Chidambaram also announced the government's decision to set up two Police Establishment Boards (PEB) in each union territory, one for inspectors and above and the other for sub-inspectors and below.

The PEBs would decide all transfers, postings, promotions and all service related matters, said the home minister, adding that the government had also decided to set up a Police Complaints Authority in each union territory.

The government, he added, would accord fixed two-year tenures to all key police functionaries. This would be curtailed only under exceptional circumstances or for administrative exigencies, which would be recorded in writing.

Besides, the law and order maintenance wing of the police would henceforth be separated from the investigation wing.

Last week, the apex court also sought an explanation on an allegation by the Union Public Service Commission that the government was not cooperating with it in carrying out its task assigned by the court on the issue of police reform.

Asked about the UPSC allegation, Chidambaram said that the government would file its reply to the court.

The apex court had issued notice to the union and state governments, seeking their response to the UPSC allegation. The UPSC, in its application, had recalled that the apex court had assigned the issue of appointment of police chiefs in various states and union territories to it.



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