Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Intelligence Agencies In India Must Be Under Parliament Scrutiny

Intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies in India are practically operating without a “Parliamentary Scrutiny” and “Constitutionally Sound Legislation”, says Praveen Dalal. Earlier experts like B.S.Dalal have warned that India urgently needs a “Legal Framework” for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Perry4Law has provided a “10 Point Legal Framework for Law Enforcement and Intelligence Agencies in India” to the Government of India. India has finally given some hints regarding adopting these suggestions. Even political parties of India have now shown interest in this much needed requirement.

The CBI is not at all independent and has been used by successive governments to serve their purposes. Favouring amendments in the Indian Police Act, the former CBI Director Joginder Singh said major reforms for efficient and effective policing are need of the hour. This reiterates the earlier demand of experts in this direction.

Fortunately, the Vice President of India Mr. Hamid Ansari has suggested bringing the country's intelligence agencies under legislative oversight and the same has been supported by most political parties. Some have expressed their desire that the idea needed to be discussed further.

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari, who is a vibrant reformer in this regard, said that the vice president had raised a very pertinent governance issue. "There is a need to both legally empower and create a mechanism of oversight for our intelligence and law and order agencies. It is an idea whose time has come.

Observer Research Foundation in its report observed that intelligence and enforcement agencies need to have a legal framework and their working should be brought up to speed with present day realities.

Time has come for the Parliament of India to step in and make necessary arrangements on the fronts of scrutiny, accountability and legislation for law enforcement and intelligence agencies of India.