The Police Commissionerates System in Bhopal & Indore- Explainer
Before independence, the commissioner system was in force during the British era. It was adopted by the Indian Police after independence. This system is presently applicable in more than 72 metros of the country. Under Part 4 of the Indian Police Act, 1861, the District Officer has certain powers to exercise control over the Police. In this, the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) gives certain powers to the Executive Magistrate for the smooth running of Law and order.
Various committees constituted to suggest policy reforms have recommended implementing a police commissioner system in cities that have witnessed rapid urbanization and have a population of more than ten lakhs.
Indore is the most populated city of M.P. with a population of 32.72 lakh, while Bhopal is the fifth most populated District with a population of 23.68 lakh as per the census of 2011. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on November 21 announced the implementation of a police commissioner system in the two cities of M.P., Bhopal and Indore, referring growing population and geographical expansion of the two cities and the accompanying administrative and Law & order problems.
What is the Police Commissionerates System?
* This system essentially splits a district into two parts from the point of view of policing.
* Under the police commissionerate system, the powers of both policing and magistracy are concentrated with the commissioner, who is directly accountable to the state government and the state police chief.
* The part of the city that forms the large urbanized settlement becomes a geographical area where the police responsibilities of the District Superintendent of Police get transferred to the Commissioner of Police.
* Along with this, the powers of the District Magistrate (DM), the Sub-divisional Magistrates (SDM) and the Executive Magistrates in crime and Law and order also get transferred to the Police Commissioner.
* Under this structure, the D.M. is entrusted with issuing arrest warrants, licenses while the S.P. has powers and responsibilities to investigate crime and make arrests.
* For the rest of the District, however, the District Magistrate, his subordinate magistrates and the District Superintendent of Police retain their police powers.
* The system is designed to ensure a lower concentration of power and make the Police more accountable to the D.M. at the district level.
* As per the provision under the Police Commissionerate system, along with the C.P.
Hierarchy of the Police Commissionerate System -
As per the provision under the Police Commissionerate system, along with the C.P.,there is one Police commissioner of (ADG/IG), two Additional Commissioners of Police (ACPs) and eight Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCPs). Bhopalhas ten ADCPs of Additional S.P., while Indore hastwelve such Additional deputy commissioners. Bhopal hasthirty-three Assistant Commissioners of Police of the rank of Deputy SP, while Indore hasthirty such officers.
Bhopal Police Commissionerate system
Indore Police Commissionerate system
Powers of Police:
* Police Act: The administration of the Police will be under the Commissioner of Police in the Metropolitan. They will be under the control and supervision of the DGP.
* Prisoners Act: Prisoners in jail will be released on parole and in an emergency on the recommendation of the Parole Board.
* Poisons Act: Search, and seizure shall be made from those possessing or selling illegal poison or acid.
* Immoral Traffic Act: Action can be taken against prostitution. Women pushed into this profession will be freed. Will be sent to the conservation home.
* Activity against the Law: Unlawful activities of organizations banned by the central government can be prohibited.
* Motor Vehicles Act: Parking or stopping vehicles can be determined in coordination with the authorities. Vehicle speed limits will be set.
* M.P. Security Act: Gangsters and gangs of such criminal elements and habitual criminals can be districted.
* Official Secrets Act: Action can be taken on keeping government secret documents and activities done against this act.
Concerns about Commissionerate system
* Absence of public trust in Police: Since colonial times, the Police do not haveany favourable and supportive image. It will be difficult to gain public confidence as people generally prefer to bring their grievances to the magistrates.This may further strengthen the narrative of a “police raj”.
* Overlapping Jurisdiction: The Supreme Court has made a clear demarcation between Law and order (ofPolice) and public order (of District Magistrate). Still,any matter linked to individual crime can quickly become a public order issue, and jurisdiction may overlap.
Observation of the Supreme Court on Law &Order and Public Order
* According to the Court, both concepts have different objectives and legal standards.
* Law and order consist of the analysis made by Police of the situation in an area and their commitment to firm action and penalties under Criminal Law.
* The District Magistrate must maintain Law and order in public and assess the situation to prevent violence from spreading and ease tension.