DailyPost 2051

The police work under the legally mandated powers of the state government. The government by its very democratic mandate is constituted and run by the party who has majority in the legislature. The government in its functioning is not ascribed to a party, and works with and delivers within its constitutional powers, administrative machinery kept at its disposal. Thus, the police have no direct connection with the political party and that is the scheme envisaged. The government is accountable to the legislature in a variety of ways, through a well laid down procedure. This is the executive of any state, in a system where bifurcation of powers is at the core, between different pillars of democracy and within each of these at different levels.

Every single political party today is of the opinion that other political parties are misusing the police in states they are in power. Large number of times, the CM keeps the home department to himself. It is also a well-known fact that transfers and good postings, promotions etc are the bait for the police officers and it has been working fine for a long long time. Some aberrations and fall outs come out in the public. The other reality is that officers remain in the same areas for the long durations of time, having its own negative impacts. The transfer of officers undoubtedly is the power and prerogative of the government, based on merit, talent and expertise but it has become an accepted reality across the country, that elected representatives and political functionaries, finally decide who would be posted where. There are battles within themselves also on the officers they want.

The same political and other formulas, which are needed to reach a place a posting, are needed for its continuance. The elected representative’s constituency geographical limits have gained more sanctity than the executive’s geographical boundaries. Government being a buffer between the political party and police thus is no longer there. The political party, its government and the police can be called as a functional continuum. The Election Commission of India since the days of Seshan has been taking correctional actions for the conduct of free and fair elections, but the administration comes back to its original contours, as soon the last ballot is counted. The ruling party thus is the extended arm of the government or conversely, the government is the execution arm of the political party and police handmaiden.

So, this has been the tangential connection between the ruling political party and police, known yet kept under wraps by all stakeholders. The police have been kept out of reforms, technology and expertise creation, sans these three critical elements, gaining its subservience has been very easy. National Reforms Commission of the last century to Supreme Court landmark judgement on police reforms to contempt cases in this regard have all bitten dust, mostly never to rise again. The sovereignty of the state government over the police, with the ruling party playing a predominant and proactive role, is well established as an operational convention today. Cases registered in unconnected jurisdictions, specific cases being focused on, the pace and intensity of investigation, ready to get into illegality, and worst of it all, the battle between different state police in various cases, procedures and jurisdiction has brought us to a stage, where we can call it a political police. When all political parties have to flex their executive muscle to prove their power, police naturally is the first choice.

Sanjay Sahay

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