Police Reform in India

The police are a subject that is governed by states under the Constitution. As a result, each of the states has its own law enforcement agencies. The centre is also permitted to maintain its own police forces in order to help states in maintaining law and order. it keeps seven core police units and a few additional police organisations for specialised responsibilities like intelligence collecting, investigation, research and record-keeping, and training.
The primary function of police forces is to uphold and enforce laws, investigate crimes, and protect public safety. To effectively fulfil their function in such a huge and populous country as India, police forces must be well-equipped in terms of people, weaponry, forensics, communication, and transportation support. They also require operational flexibility to carry out their obligations competently, as well as favourable working conditions (e.g., regulated working hours and advancement chances), while being held accountable for bad performance or abuse of authority.

In September 2006, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision ordering all states and union territories to implement police reforms. The Supreme Court issued a ruling in which it ordered states and union territories to follow seven binding directions that would kick-start changes.

The following are the six directives:

1. Limit political influence: Make sure the state government does not exert undue influence or pressure on the police.

2. Ensure that the Director-General of Police is appointed through a merit-based, transparent process and that he or she has a minimum tenure of two years.
3. Fix a minimum tenure: Ensure that other operational police officers (such as Superintendents of Police in charge of a district and Station House Officers in charge of a police station) have a minimum term of two years.
4. Separate the tasks of investigating and preserving law and order in the police force.

5. Set established a Police Establishment Board to decide and make recommendations on transfers, postings, promotions, and other service-related matters for police officers up to and including the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.
6. Establish a Police Complaints Authority in each state: A Police Complaints Authority should be established at the state level to investigate public complaints against police officers with the rank of Superintendent of Police and above in cases of serious misconduct, such as custodial death, grievous bodily harm, or rape in police custody.

A question is Aries “Why we need Police Reforms?”
Let’s look at some of the grounds for police reform in more detail:

Colonial Law: Even though our police are still founded on colonial law, we are aware that the British have used police as an instrument to stifle people’s voices and for personal purposes, and that our revered government is doing the same.

Custodial Death: There have been numerous occurrences of custodial death, which refers to death in police/judicial custody as a result of torture or pressure. The Supreme Court of India issued a guideline against custodial death in the D.K. Basu judgement in 1996-1997.

The “United Nations Convention on Torture” has only been signed by India, but it has yet to be passed by Parliament. Even while there is no formal legislation against torture, we do have judgement.

Political Interference: Due to the interference of political leaders, police officers are unable to carry out their duties. For officers in higher positions, there is no minimal tenure security or even posting security.


At this moment, India requires police reforms so that people perceive police as a resource rather than a burden. However, due to personal interests, the government is not putting it into effect. I hope that the administration recognises the need for police reforms in today’s society and works to implement them.