J&K set to have Police Performance, Accountability Commission

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Bharti Jasrotia

JAMMU TAWI, May 11: In what could be termed as landmark move, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti is all set to constitute State Police Performance and Accountability Commission (SPPAC).

If the sources are to be believed, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has asked the State Home Department to get in touch with law department and come up with finer details of State Police Performance and Accountability Commission (SPPAC). She has further asked her department not to delay this on any ground since it is aimed at revolutionizing police in Jammu and Kashmir.

They added that she has told the department not to waste any more time and quickly send the draft to her office. She has further stressed that she is ready to welcome all kind of changes which would help in making system more transparent. Once this commission comes-up, state government would be compelled to appoint Director General of Police (DGP) from the panel recommended by the State Police Performance and Accountability Commission (SPPAC).

State would have to do away with the practice of appointing DGP of its choice. The commission would have the sole powers to make appointment and issue transfer orders. Headed Home Minister who in Jammu and Kashmir mostly is Chief Minister (CM), the commission would include leader of opposition in the State Assembly, Chief Secretary and Secretary in charge of the Home Department alongwith five non-partisan eminent citizens.

The commission would begin by choosing the DGP for the state. If the commission comes up, state would have no option but to choose from this panel the officer who would head the police force in the state. Besides, tenure of the DGP (Law and Order) would be at least three years, with a condition that this tenure would not become a hindrance for his removal in case the Chief is found to be incompetent or corrupt or indulges in obstruction of justice or is guilty of a criminal offence.

The commission would ensure that state government would have powers to remove the Police chief but such order of removal would be passed only after it has been cleared by State Police Performance and Accountability Commission.  SPPAC would lead to constituting a State Police Establishment Committee (SPEC) headed by the Chief Secretary with Director General of Police (DGP) as its member secretary and the home secretary and a nominee of the State Police and Accountability Commission as its members.

Committee would deal with cases relating to officers of the rank of Inspector General of Police and above. A separate State Police Establishment Committee should be set up with DGP as its Chairperson and two senior police officers and a member of the State Police Performance and Accountability Commission as Members to deal with cases relating to all gazetted officers up to the rank of Deputy Inspector General of Police.

These Committees would have powers to deal with all matters of postings and transfers, promotions and also grievances relating to establishment matters. Recommendations of these committees shall normally be binding on the Competent Authority. However, the Competent Authority may return the recommendations for reconsideration after recording the reasons.

Similarly, a District Police Establishment Committee would be constituted under Superintendent of Police with full powers in all matters of non-gazetted police officers. For inter-district transfers of non-gazetted officers, state level establishment committee may deal with it or delegate it to Zonal or Range level Committee. All officers and staff should have a minimum tenure of three years.

If the Competent Authority wishes to make pre-mature transfer, it should consult the concerned establishment committee for their views. If the views of the establishment are not acceptable to the Competent Authority, the reasons should be recorded before the transfer is affected, and put in the public domain. The Board of Investigation should have full and final control on all personnel matters of Crime Investigation Agency.

Therefore, Board should act as the establishment committee for all senior functionaries in investigation and prosecution. An appropriate committee may be constituted at the district level by the Board, for dealing with non-gazetted officials.

A system of District Attorney should be instituted. An officer of the rank of District Judge should be appointed as the District Attorney. District Attorney shall be the head of Prosecution in a District (or group of Districts). District Attorney shall function under the Chief Prosecutor of the State. The District Attorney should also guide investigation of crimes in the district.

 

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