Monday, April 15, 2013

Come onboard to implement 2nd ARC suggestions: Centre

NEW DELHI, April 15, 2013

Noting that public expectations on law and order and policing are increasing, the Centre on Monday asked state governments to come onboard with it and implement the recommendations of the second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC).

"No words can express the importance of this conference. Public order and police today in India is facing challenges. With the ever-changing social landscape and the ever-rising public expectations, the load on the police force will only increase further with an enhanced focus on accountability and transparency in police functioning," Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said after inaugurating the Chief Ministers' meet on 'public order' in New Delhi.

The pressure will increase from all stakeholders on not only issues like better detection, investigation and crime prevention but also on providing a better working environment for police, the minister said.

"Under these circumstances, it becomes incumbent upon us to put our heads together and take stock of the existing situation and recommendations under consideration so that we can come to a considered view on all the issues. We hope to achieve this during our deliberations today," Shinde said.

The Minister said although he had written to all the CMs last year in order to get their views on the ARC's 153 recommendations in this regard, he had got replies from only a "few states and Union Territories\".

Under the chairmanship of Mr. Veerappa Moily, the second ARC was set up in August, 2005 to suggest measures for achieving a \"proactive, responsive, accountable, sustainable and efficient administration for the country at all levels of the government." The Commission submitted its report in June, 2007 to the government.

Out of its total 165 recommendations, 153 fall in the domain of the states and hence it is important, Shinde said, that they are "on board before we go ahead and take a final decision in the matter".

The recommendations of the 2nd ARC cover police reforms, management of public order, reforms in the criminal justice system, federal crimes and special laws and the role of civil society and media in the management of public order.

The 2nd ARC has made a host of recommendations which include some salient ones like "crime investigation should be separated from other policing functions".

For competent prosecution and guidance to investigation, the ARC recommends that "a system of district attorney should be instituted. An officer of the rank of district judge should be appointed as the district attorney."

"The district attorney shall be the head of prosecution in a District (or group of districts). The district attorney shall function under the chief prosecutor of the state. The district Attorney should also guide investigation of crime in the district," it says.

Under the subject of local police and traffic management, the ARC says, "a task force may be constituted in the Ministry of Home Affairs to identify those laws whose implementation, including investigation of violations could be transferred to the implementing department. A similar task force should look into the state laws in each state."

The ARC suggests that all cities with population above one million should have metropolitan police authorities with powers to plan and oversee community policing, improve police-citizen interface, suggest ways to improve policing quality, approve annual police plans and review working of such plans.

On the issue of obtaining better snoop information, the ARC says the intelligence gathering machinery in the field "needs to be strengthened and at the same time, made more accountable."

"Human intelligence should be combined with information derived from diverse source with the focus on increased use of technology. Adequate powers should be delegated to intelligence agencies to procure/use latest technology," it recommends.
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