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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Long Overdue Trans-State Law Force

One more police commission, one more decent proposal, one more file gathering dust. I hope the last isn't true in this case.

Former Solicitor General Soli Sorabjee's committee on police reforms makes the right recommendations. In fact these proposed reforms are long overdue considering the nature of terror and law enforcements issues facing the nation.

“With the blurring of the line of distinction between external aggression and internal disturbances engineered by terrorist groups etc — often instigated, abetted, aided and supported by inimical foreign forces — and the organized criminal groups supporting them, with arms, ammunition, and funding through hawala transactions etc, any measures taken to combat their activities can be regarded as measures taken for defence of India in terms of entry number I of the Union List.”

And keep it separate from CBI, which is an investigative agency with limited mandate and, shall we say, utterly manipulated by politics even if one were ignore its dismal record in prosecuting high-profile bribery cases.

It also clarified that the proposed agency not be confused with the existing CBI which is seen as “essentially, an investigative agency.” The reason: prevention and control of national-security crime, collection, collation, analysis or criminal intelligence does not fall within the CBI’s charter of duties. [IE]

Expect most big states to talk of federalism and their control over police force. But they don't mind blaming the center when there is terror attack or when they can't fight naxalites in a compartmentalized state level. It's time to bulldoze the no-vote and go ahead with a central law enforcement department that handles cases that cross state boundaries. And keep those politicians out of the decision making process by making the new department involvement automatic when it's a trans-state case.