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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.


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.