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NEED OF COMPETENT BRASS IN POLICE

Police is one of the most vital instruments of the public administration and works

as a link between the executive arm and judiciary. It is the ears, eyes and limbs of the

government. No government with a failing police system can survive whatever be its

other assets, It is against this background that the glitches bedevilling the present Indian

police should be viewed. Any complacency at this stage about the existing police system

may prove too costly for the unity and well-being of the country and the health of its

governance.

A job culture involutes basic beliefs and objects of the organisation, professional

ethics and the degree of commitment to the aspirations of the organisation, as laid down

by precedence and practice. To what results precedence and practice mould the job

culture decide the success or otherwise of the organisation. The decisions and conduct of

those at the helm as the point d’ appui of police circles substruct the life-lines of the

organisation. It is important that only right people reach the top. A headless organisation

is better than one headed by a degenerate weakling. This is why the policy of selection

and promotion at high levels plays a vital role in the growth of the organisation. In a

democratic age of self-seeking, short term political leadership, where sycophancy is the

sole criterion for ascending the career ladder, the policy of selection and promotion is

misdight at best and motivatedly in the reverse gear at the worst, to the detriment of the

growth and functioning of the organisation. All those committed to the cause of police
and effective policing must break the trend and endeavour to provide a fresh lease of life

for effective policing.

How deeply the police is self-centred even within its own organisation and what

care and concern the police leaders show to evolve a perficient and planned police

organisation can be assessed by the trend of evolution of the police organisation as an

increscently top heavy setup and the speed with which promotions are effected at

different levels. In states where there were only two officers of the rank of Inspector

General of Police, for say forty thousand men and officers about 20 years back, there are

now nearly 30 officers of and above the rank of Inspector General of Police, for say

80,000 men and officers; thereby the last 20 years account for 100% expansion in the

lower levels against 1500% expansion at higher levels. What these people at the top do

for policing apart from being a drain on the state revenue and a strain to officers down the

levels with conflicting instructions of dubious merit? Almost nothing. It is unfortunate

that none in the police administration realises that it is not the rank but the real human

stuff inside that decides the height, excellence, merit, intelligence, honesty, integrity

responsibility, work knowledge and human qualities of a person. Promotion to higher

rank serves no purpose unless the higher rank provides a really higher challenges and job

content and a suitable man is perforce selected to meet the increased challenges. This is

not the case in present police promotions where sinecures are created to facilitate

promotions to satisfy in-group instincts, Most of these jobs are without any job content

and responsibility and often are places to relax from the pressures of family life.

However, the same courtesy does not extend to the more unfortunate ranks at lower levels
including the constabulary. While vacancies at the topmost level are filled up by

promotions strictly overnight, promotions at intermediary levels are effected in weeks

or fortnights or months, depending on the rank in the police hierarchy. It is years in the

case of the constabulary. There are cases where vacancies of Head Constables and

Assistant Sub-Inspectors or Sub-Inspectors are not filled up for several years, depriving

the constabulary of their de jure promotions. There are any number of instances of men

in the constabulary retiring without promotion non obstante their eligibility and seniority

for the existing vacancies, which are not filled up from many years. Policing is a job

performed mostly at lower levels with decreasing involvement upto the level of

Superintendent of Police. Beyond that, it is tout court a supervisory task and in a police

force with no supervision to speak of, higher ranks are just de trop. Any move to expand

these ranks and any undue haste to promote to these levels cannot be called honest

decisions in the functional or public interest. Unfortunately, the Indian police is doing

just that and there is none to put it back on the right track.

DYNAMICS OF CORRUPTION:

A fall-out of corruption in the police is build- up a dynamics which promotes the

interests of corrupt in the system at the cost of those who retained the pristine value of

professionalism. The flexible elements who can be menoeuvred to required moulds

through the juste milieu of pelf and position are useful assets to people in key position to

save their kith and kins’ interests as and when they get involved in criminal proceedings.

Such characters in police are always cultivated and posted to key positions so that
striking compromises when situation warrants becomes easy. This strategy ends up in

honest police officers being sidelined and it promotes corruption. The dynamics while

helps influential individuals to evade the long arm of law, harms the interests of the

country, its police and the rule of law. Police officers of plastic conscience are preferred

to upright professionals to key posts even in national level police agencies like the

Central Bureau of Investigation and the Intelligence Bureau. Police officers known for

professional approach are spurned and distanced as inconvenient elements. In the

situation, competence plays no role in preferences while honesty, integrity and

professional commitment play negative roles. A history of bending backward on

nonprofessional considerations always becomes a qualification in obtaining preference to

more sensitive jobs in important police organisations.

The first and foremost job to be done is to free the police from the unhealthy

influence of all hues by making it responsible to an independent authority with absolute

power to take decisions on matters pertaining to policing and police organisation. The

authority should be a professional body with men of proven probity and quality as

members, who have reached a stage from where they need not sacrifice their convictions

to appease those in power. A working arrangement is to be devised by which the

authority is responsible directly to the legislature and functions as an independent

authority like the judiciary, Comptroller and Auditor General or Election Commissioner.

Creation of a high core group of people who are adept in assessing men and

character within the aforesaid police authority may help to create a feeling of confidence
and job security and prod them into discharging their official duties fearlessly. This

group which oversees the work of police personnel from a distance should be made

ultimately responsible for all career decisions. The responsibilities of officers in assessing

the work of their subordinates which forms the major embarrassment of the present

Indian police must be limited to giving their opinion about performance to the core

group; the expert core group processes the opinion by its own research, expertise and

discretion and takes responsible decisions on its own. The group must be made

responsible for development planning of the police, work assessment, job analysis,

recruitment and management of human resources, Institution of such a core group to

oversee the career development of police personnel without personal bias may bring

revolutionary changes by committing the police to its work-ethics and professional ends

with due single mindedness.

The extant system of selecting the police chief is erratic at best and motivatedly

amoral in that it meets political ends of the rulers at worst. A conspicuous example is

from a southern state of India where a police officer who was sidelined in his career as an

inefficient person and degenerate habitual drunkard was given a fresh leash of lefe in

career a I’improviste and posted as the chief of the state police in July 1980, after being

promoted as the first Director General of Police of the state to meet the political and

personal ends of the new Chief Minister of the state in new dispensation that came to

power in the state in elections. Soon, the state found itself engulfed in law and order

problems, rise in incident of crimes, indiscipline and discontent in the state police force

and dangerous union activities by the police personnel. The new police Chief who was
arranged to retire as IGP of the State Vigilance Commission before being awarded the

coveted post of the state police chief was known to attend office in inebriated condition

and while away time in offence, doing nothing, However, political needs overshadow all

such facts in selection to the posts of Police Chief. This is a dangerous trend. Attempts

of the Supreme Court of India in its recent order to formulate a system for the selection of

the chiefs of important police forces of the country like the CBI is a welcome measure at

least in its intent and must spur steps to formulate procedures of the selection of all key

police posts to insulate the process from amoral and very dangerous extraneous

considerations. This is a must in the interests of the country.