Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday tore into the Congress-led UPA government for delaying the much-awaited discussion on recommendations of the second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) on Public Order and Police Reforms, which were submitted way back in 2007.
Although Jayalalithaa did not attend the Chief Ministers’ conference convened by the Home Ministry, she sent across her speech, which also slammed the Centre for making attempts to usurp the powers of the state governments through controversial legislation.
The CM criticised the Centre saying that an important subject which has ramifications for the territorial integrity of the country has been treated carelessly by the UPA. “What will be the practicability, efficacy and applicability of many of these recommendations in today’s context, when events have overtaken the relevance of many of the ARC’s recommendations?” she said, adding that the Centre should not force the recommendations upon the state governments and should let them decide and act upon guidelines without its interference.
“Many of the recommendations of the ARC relating to Public Order have become outdated and are impractical. Most importantly, many of the suggestions seriously infringe upon the powers of the state executive and state legislature,” Jayalalithaa said.
She attacked the Centre’s police reforms blueprint by trashing the recommendation to bifurcate the Crime Investigation and Law and Order in Policing. Disapproving of the recommendation, she said separating the police force permanently into two wings without any inter-transferability will fossilise the system. “The expertise of police personnel can be developed only by proper training and not by straitjacketing them into walled compartments.”
Jayalalithaa also rejected the recommendation to create a municipal police force, accusing the Centre of attempting to bypass the state governments, by reaching out directly to municipalities and panchayats. She objected to another recommendation through which the Central government will be able to deploy forces during a law and order situation without formal request from the state government.
“We strongly object to the idea of enabling the Union government to deploy its forces in a state during a law and order situation without a requisition from the state government. Such an arrangement will run contrary to the provisions of the Constitution,” she said.
The CBI, Jayalalithaa said, should not be empowered to investigate offences unilaterally as recommended by the ARC by classifying certain offences as federal crimes. “We insist that there should be no expansion of the powers of the CBI beyond its present jurisdiction. Cases should be transferred to the CBI only with the consent of the state.”
Jayalalithaa said the Centre was fond of advising the states but when it comes to financial aid for police modernisation, it offers only empty promises. “Instead of pontificating on what states need to do in areas that are the exclusive domain of the states under the Constitution, the government should come out with a refurbished national plan for the modernisation of the state police forces,” she said.