LUCKNOW: In a major decision, UP cabinet, on Monday, approved the proposal to introduce police commissionerate system in the state. Lucknow and Noida will be the first two districts to get the commissioners as district police chief soon. Noida will have two added police stations as well. The decision to this effect was taken at the cabinet meeting presided over by CM Yogi Aditynath who termed it as a historic move towards improving and making the state policing more effective.
Senior IPS officers Sujit Pandey and Alok Kumar Singh will be the first police commissioners of Lucknow and Noida respectively. Pandey is Additional DGP in Prayagraj and Singh is I-G Meerut range.
“It is a historic day as we have taken a major step towards police reforms. Uttar Pradesh cabinet has approved proposal to setup police commissioner system in state capital Lucknow and economic capital Noida to ensure smart policing,” CM Yogi Adityanath said while interacting with media persons after the cabinet meeting. “Both districts will have an ADG-level officer as police commissioner with magisterial powers,” he added.
Elaborating further, the CM said that the commissioner system in police should be implemented on a population of above 10 lakh. "As per 2011 census, Lucknow population was 29 lakh which has now gone up to 40 lakh. Similarly, the current population of Gautambuddh Nagar (Noida) is above 25 lakh. So both the districts are fit cases for implementation of the commissioner system,” he maintained.
The CM claimed that it was long pending proposal which a number of previous governments attempted to implement but could not do so due to lack of political will. He claimed that the decision would go a long way in sprucing up the policing system and making it better and more effective as it used to be targeted by the courts every now and then on the allegations of inaction.
Under the new system, 40 police stations in Lucknow will be brought under the police commissioner who will have a team of two IGs as joint commissioners, nine SP-rank officials. In order to curb crime against women, one SP rank and one additional SP rank woman officers will being posted. Keeping in view the traffic system, an SP and an Additional SP will be specially posted. CCTV cameras and traffic lights etc. will be arranged under the Nirbhaya Fund, he said.
Similarly, in Noida, an ADG rank official would be the commissioner. There will be two DIGs, five SPs, one SP-rank lady officer and an ASP rank official for traffic control in the commissionerate.
Under the system, the local police chief will be given a free hand to act freely and swiftly, particularly in a law and order situation. In Uttar Pradesh, the Superintendent of Police (district police chief), currently sought permission from the District Magistrate(DM) in most of the decisions concerned with maintaining law and order.
The CM claimed that the new system it would be reviewed, analysed and evaluated with regard to peace, law and order, crime control, control of crime against women and traffic management etc. every six months.
Powers of Police Commissioner
Besides having executive magisterial powers as defined in Section 58 and Chapter 8 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and Chapter 10 (maintaining public order and peace), the police commissioners will have legal rights of the UP Control of Goondas Act,1970 (Uttar Pradesh Adhiniyam No. 8 of 1971), Poisons Act 1919, Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956, Police (Incitement to disaffection) Act, 1922, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, Explosives Act, 1884, Prisons Act, 1894, Officials Secrets Act, 1923, Foreigners Act, 1946, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Police Act, 1861, UP Fire Prevention Service Act, 1944, UP Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Act, 2005, UP Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986.
Meanwhile, the Congress official spokesman Hilal Naqvi welcomed the move claiming that the the improvement in policing would be gauged only with time, BSP chief Mayawati took to twitter to say that strict action against the anti-social elements and criminals was required to maintain law and order instead of changing the police system.
On the other, a number of former DGPs of UP including Brij Lal. KL Gupta, Vikram Singh, AK Jain hailed the step as a major leap in improving law and order of the most populous state of the country.