Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Law Enforcement Debacle In India

Law enforcement in India is conducted by numerous law enforcement agencies. At the Union (federal) level, the agencies are part of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, and support the States in their duties. Since the federal nature of the Constitution of India mandates law and order as a subject of the State, the bulk of the policing lies with the respective States and territories. Larger cities also operate metropolitan police, also under the State government. All senior police officers in the State police forces, as well as those in the federal agencies, are members of the Indian Police Service (IPS).

Law enforcement in India is passing through a bad phase. It is facing many challenges. For instance, there is an urgent need to “reconcile” the interests of State and Center while maintaining law enforcement problems in India. Further, Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are virtually governed by no law in India. The government of India has still to enact suitable laws in this crucial direction. In the absence of the same, there are great chances that instances of lack of mutual understanding and cooperation between Center and State police force may increase. Similarly, law enforcement in India is also not well equipped to tackle new age crimes like cyber crimes. In such eventuality it is difficult to believe that India can manage an ambitious project like Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS).

The law and order situation in India is under great strain. It is very important that law enforcement in India should be so equipped that they operate on the frontiers of modern knowledge. They should be well versed in subjects like cyber crimes, in the disaster management activities of the State because in India disasters are now becoming more and more frequent. At a time when the trust and respect for judiciary in India is declining, weak and deficient law enforcement machinery is the last thing India needs. There is an emergent need of legal, judicial and police reforms in India.