Police need to be insulated from pressures: Shinde

New Delhi, April 15 (IANS) Police need to be provided a better working environment “insulated from pulls and pressures”, union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said Monday as he pitched for police reforms.

“Public order and police today in India are facing challenges. With the ever changing social landscape and the ever rising public expectations, the load on the police force will only increase further with an enhanced focus on accountability and transparency in police functioning,” Shinde said at a chief ministers’ conference to discuss a report on public order of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) here.

“This pressure will increase from all the stakeholders, not only to demand better detection, investigation and prevention of crime, but also to provide a better working environment for the police which is insulated from pulls and pressures,” he added.

Under these circumstances, the minister said, “it becomes incumbent upon us to put our heads together and take stock of the existing situation and recommendations under consideration”.

Shinde said he had written to the chief ministers last year to elicit views on the 153 recommendations of the ARC in this regard but since he got replies from a “few states and Union Territories” this conference was convened.

The recommendations of the 2nd ARC cover police reforms, management of public order, reforms in the criminal justice system, federal crimes and special laws an the role of civil society and media in the management of public order, he said.

It has made a host of recommendations. These include the suggestion to separate crime investigation from other policing functions and a crime investigation agency to be constituted in each state.

For competent prosecution and guidance to investigation, the ARC said that “a system of District Attorney should be instituted. An officer of the rank of District judge should be appointed as the District Attorney. The District Attorney shall be the head of Prosecution in a District (or group of Districts). The District Attorney shall function under the Chief Prosecutor of the State. The District Attorney should also guide investigation of crime in the district.”

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