SC seeks detail of state panels for police reforms


New Delhi : The Supreme Court Thursday asked the states and union territories to give details of steps taken for setting up state security commissions in pursuance to its earlier direction for police reforms.

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The apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Joseph Kurien also asked the state governments and union territory administration to give in their affidavits the composition of the state security commissions and the number of meetings of the panels held since their inception.

The court direction came in the course of the hearing of the matter after it suo motu took cognizance of newspaper reports of two incidents of police excesses in March. These involved the beating of a women by police in Taran Taran district of Punjab and the police cane charge on agitating teachers outside Bihar assembly complex in Patna.

The court observed that no purpose would be served if the states were to take the shield of the legal provisions to thwart police reform.

The court’s observation came after senior counsel Dushyant Dave, appearing for the Punjab government, said that two years back the Gujarat government had appointed a police chief who faced serious allegations.

Dave said that it showed the depth we have fallen to.

The court observed that “unless we have commitment to the constitution, things will fall apart.”

Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati in his submission said: “There can be no justification to beat a woman even if she has as alleged (by Police), engaged in rude behaviour with the police or acted inappropriately.”