Emphasising the crucial importance of police reforms for a better democracy and stable economy, former top police official Shri Prakash Singh said without drastic systematic improvement in the police system our state might turn into a criminal state.
Inaugurating a workshop organised by Delhi Journalist Association and NUJ School of Journalism in New Delhi on January 13, Shri Singh said, ?With the growing nexus between politicians and criminals and politicisation of police forces, the country is fast turning into a criminal state.? He pointed out that not only the democratic system but also the much-hyped fast economic growth is also at stake.
?No investor would stay in the country if our polity is criminalised and there is no autonomous agency to police the society,? he explained. He said, ?The Police Act 1861 has lost its merit, as the definitions and scopes of the crime have taken new meanings and dimensions.?
Referring to his now-famous petition before the Supreme Court, which has resulted in 7-Point Directives for the police reforms to Centre and states, the former Uttar Pradesh DGP said the resistance from the Centre and the states to implement the reform policy didn'targue well for the people. ?The ideas behind these suggested reform measures like setting-up of National Security Commission, fixed tenure for key police officials, separate inquiry wings, and a police complaints authority, down to district level is not new, as these measures are part of the various committees and commissions in the past.?
Speaking from his own experience, Shri Singh said, ?Unless the police enjoy working autonomy, the honest and dedicated officials will continue to be sidelined in the system.?
?I was saved by the God from suspension for my campaign against corrupt and criminals,? he said.
NUJ president Dr N.K. Trikha said the existing Police Act was meant to protect the ?British raj?. Despite several recommendations by committees and commissions in the past the government did not take a single step to give autonomy and establish accountability in the police system.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Manohar Singh, DJA president, said, ?Journalists need to understand the importance of their profession to give priority to the voice of voice-less.?
Swati Mehta of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, stressed the role of media in highlighting the crying need of reforms in the police system of the country as the SC directives were being unfairly criticised by the political class to stall a crucial step in the right direction. (FOC)