Finally......? After 63 years.

3 cheers for the Indian Supreme Court, Hip hip hooray! Hip Hip hooray! Hip Hip hooray! an apt exclamation as the SCjees roll back the colonial medieval notorious Indian police into the 21st century....mix metaphors. May they prevail! Though obviously one needs a sound MONITORING and reporting back/appraisal system indicating that all is progressing and going well in terms of targets and objectives reached, and the reforms aren't merely superficial.

Have looked (copy paste) at this area before, and will continue to do so in relation to South Asia.

SC pushes for police reforms

The Supreme Court's judgment asking states to implement radical reforms in police organisation had no takers for the last five years. But the scenario changed dramatically with the apex court seeking personal presence of chief secretaries of four major states -- West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

Apart for seeking a small clarification in the rules regarding appointment of the highest police officer in the state -- Director General of Police (DGP) -- and the role of Union Public Service Commission ( UPSC) in empanelling candidates as suggested by the apex court in its 2005 judgment, all of them on Monday were seen obediently agreeing to implement the reforms.

Major achievements will be setting up of State Security Commission headed by the minister in charge of the police. A Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices Aftab Alam and K S Radhakrishnan adopted a no-nonsense approach and chided West Bengal for putting the health minister as the head of the commission. The state said the home minister would be put at the helm of affairs within four weeks.

The Bench also made it clear to these states that there would be no arbitrary transfers, and tenures attached to the posts will have to be respected at any cost. "If any transfer takes place prior to the end of the tenure, then the concerned minister heading the State Security Commission must put the reasons in writing," the Bench said.

Karnataka got the least criticism. But it apepared UP was heading for severe criticism as the Bench said, "Its a mockery in UP when it comes to segregation of law and order from investigations."

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Mayawati government, deftly turned the tide by arguing on the larger issue and saying that implementation of police reforms was a must to uphold rule of law, which was intricately linked to right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

He said separation of investigating crime from maintaining law and order was a must and had to be implemented by every state. "For this purpose, an independent directorate of prosecution must be set up and public prosecutors must be recruited on merit while giving them decent salaries," Salve said.

Though the Bench agreed with the urgency of separating law and order from investigation of crime and the need for an independent directorate of prosecution, it said for the time being the focus would remain on implementing the major directions in the 2005 judgment.