It is an irony that a law passed by the British Parliament continues to govern the police force in the country even 66 years after Independence! Yes, all the State governments without exception are following the imperial Police Act of 1861, which was brought in the wake of the 1857 uprising.
While many states are yet to implement police reforms, Tamil Nadu promulgated an Ordinance to this effect earlier this month. However, this has provoked a debate with former police officials and rights activists demanding more changes to make the force effective and people-friendly.
Speaking at a consultation in the city on Thursday, Kamal Kumar, former Director of National Police Academy, said the TN police reforms ordinance too has evaded the need to initiate radical changes.
V R Lakshmi Narayanan, former Director General of Police, said in the earlier days the police force enjoyed much more autonomy. He pointed out that even in cases which had the interest of the Prime Minister, cases were undertaken in an unbiased manner.
Speaking at the event, Navaz Kotwal of Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative said that TN was one of the states objecting to the directives of the police reforms of the Supreme Court from the very beginning.