The Supreme Court today agreed to set up a bench to hear a clutch of contempt pleas claiming that its historic 2006 verdict on police reforms, recommending steps like fixed tenures for DGPs and SPs, has not yet been implemented by states and union territories.
The Supreme Court today agreed to set up a bench to hear a clutch of contempt pleas claiming that its historic 2006 verdict on police reforms, recommending steps like fixed tenures for DGPs and SPs, has not yet been implemented by states and union territories. A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said it would take a decision on constituting a three-judge bench to hear the pleas by September 11. Senior advocate Vikas Singh, representing lawyer and BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay, mentioned the contempt pleas for urgent hearing saying the directions passed by the apex court in 2006 in the Prakash Singh case have not been implemented in by authorities.
Upadhyay has also sought the implementation of the Model Police Bill 2006, which was drafted by a panel headed by former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee. Besides Upadhyay, former Director General of Police (DGP) Prakash Singh, who had filed the PIL way back in 1996, had also moved contempt pleas in 2014. The apex court, deciding the PIL filed by two former DGPs Prakash Singh and N K Singh in 2006, had given a slew of directions, including setting up of a state security commission to ensure that the government does not exercise unwarranted influence on the police.
It had said the appointment of DGP and police officers should be merit-based and transparent and officers like DGPs and Superintendent of Police (SP) should have a minimum fixed tenure of two years. The court had recommended separation of police functions of investigation and maintaining law and order. It had ordered setting up of a Police Establishment Board to decide and make recommendations on transfers, postings, promotions and other service-related matters of police officers of and below the rank of DSPs.
It had also ordered setting up of a Police Complaints Authority in each state to look into complaints against officers of and above the rank of SP in cases of serious misconduct, including custodial death, grievous hurt or rape in police custody. A National Security Commission needed to be set up at the union level to prepare a panel for selection and placement of chiefs of the Central Police Organisations with a minimum tenure of two years, the apex court had ordered. Contempt pleas alleging non-implementation of these directions are still pending.