Saturday, April 9, 2011

Modernisation Of Police Force Of India

This is a “Guest Column” by Mr. Praveen Dalal, Managing Partner of Perry4Law and leading techno-legal expert of India. In this article, Mr. Praveen Dalal has discussed the requirements of modernisation of police force of India. He asserts that ambitious projects like CCTNS, Natgrid, NCTC, Central Monitoring System (CMS), etc requires techno legal expertise. Law enforcement agencies of India must be aware of both technical as well as legal requirements in order to derive maximum benefits out of these projects, asserts Praveen Dalal.

No time in the history of India we needed modernisation of police forces of India than now. Fortunately, there is no dearth of financial resources as even the proposed 2011 budget has provided reasonably good amount for the same. Home Ministry of India recently received a large sum of money from Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. The same would be used for many national security projects of India.

Some of the national security projects that are presently launched by Home Ministry include National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID), Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS) Project of India (CCTNS Project), Central Monitoring System (CMS) of India, etc. It does not mean that Indian police force would be modernised and made more efficient immediately. Even there is no guarantee of the same for the next five years till these promises are supported by a political will to execute the same.

The indications are positive and so may be the outcomes. The need of the hour is to purse the commitment till the same is accomplished. Many crucial projects in India have failed because though they were started with the right planning and commitment yet till the end neither planning nor commitment survived.

India cannot afford to adopt this lax strategy at this crucial period of time when cyber crimes and cyber attacks, terrorism and cyber terrorism, organised crimes, trans border crimes, white collar crimes, etc are plaguing India.

With the active use of technology, these crimes have further been made difficult to trace as well as to be prosecuted. For instance, it took Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) four months to ascertain the basic level information about the attackers who defaced CBI’s website.

At this stage it would be imperative to mention the importance of suitable training to law enforcement manpower. The ambitious projects CCTNS, NATGRID, Unique Identification Project of India (UID Project), etc cannot survive in the long run in the absence of suitable Policies, Trainings and Legal Framework.

Equally important are the issues of Legal Empowerment of Law Enforcement Machinery in India. India is negligent in formulating good laws governing the law enforcement machinery. In the absence of good legislative provisions, the performance of police force cannot be expected to be good. It is only now that the Central Bureau of Investigation Act 2010 and Delhi Police Act have been drafted. They would be presented in the Parliament of India and may become enforceable law one day. Besides, political interferences in the day to day functioning of police forces in India must be minimised.

With positive hints being given by Indian Government, we can expect some good legislative steps by Parliament of India in the forthcoming session. A good law bringing transparency, accountability, flexibility and autonomy to police forces in India is the urgent need of the hour. I wish Indian Parliament all the best in this regard.