Police: India

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Attitude towards work

Non-registration of crime/ 2017

Neeraj Chauhan, `75% of people do not report crimes as cops are unfriendly', November 9, 2017: The Times of India

Reported and registered complaints by the police, India and the world, 2012
From: Neeraj Chauhan, `75% of people do not report crimes as cops are unfriendly', November 9, 2017: The Times of India

Police Biased Against Women, The Illiterate & Poor, Finds Govt Study

A 19-year-old allegedly abducted and raped by four men in Bhopal is not the only woman to have been turned away by police instead of registering a case immediately . Around 75% of the population avoids reporting a crime as they feel unhappy with the way cops behave with complainants, especially women and marginalised sections, a study on “Non-registration of crimes: Problems and solutions“ has stated.

The study conducted by a team led by Dr Arvind Tiwari of Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, for the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), concludes that treatment of women complainants needs considerable improvement and that the poor do not get a fair shake.

Police seems to be “overlooking“ illiterate and poor people and 33% of their complaints were either registered as non-cognisable offences and 25% as daily diary (DD) entries.They were not apprised of fate of their complaints either.

The study says management of crime statistics by police functionaries is linked to performance appraisals and this was an important reason for non-registration of crimes.“Burking (smothering) of crime is rampant all over,“ it says, adding that if non-registration of crimes is computed, it may mean that less than 10% crimes are being registered.

About political influence as a reason for the reluctance of the police to register cases, the study says, “The crime graphs have had negative impact on the performance of not only the police but also governments in power. In certain states, the political executives openly insisted on burking of crime in order to show lowering of crime.“ The research cites the example of BSP leader Mayawati stating that as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, she suspended senior officers for inability to control crime.

The study particularly comments on Uttar Pradesh that there is a lot of interference from local-level politicians and duty officers (in police stations) are vocal about their discontent. It adds that “there was a tradition to touch feet of a person in authority or senior in rank (in UP police). In police stations also, generally complainants as well as accused were found touching feet of sub-inspector and SHO“.

Another major problem highlighted in the study is dilemma of cognisable and non-cognisable nature of offences and general public's ignorance about the difference between them.

After talking to several police officers, general public, lawyers, judges, NGOs and media persons, researchers found that “victims usually nurse a grudge against the police that gravity of their cases were either reduced or made into non-cognisable, in a bid to control the crime graph“.

The non-cognisable and cognisable offences are classified separately according to Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The study says the nicety of this classification is not known to an average citizen and sometimes even educated ones, leading to police minimising the complaint.

Another major problem cited for non-registration of crimes is lack of adequate manpower and heavy workload in police stations, which prompted the cops to avoid more work by registering all the crimes.

“Strangely , but as a matter of fact, police continue to be under `non-plan' budget and governments are always less inclined to spend more money on police,“ the study says.Shortages of staff, infrastructure and transport impact crime registration, investigation and filing of charge-sheets resulting in almost 50% cases ending in acquittals.

Civilian injuries in police action


Bharti Jain, Sep 20, 2021: The Times of India

Civilian fatalities down 33%: NCRB
From: Bharti Jain, Sep 20, 2021: The Times of India

Among all states and Union territories, Delhi recorded the highest number of civilian injuries in 2020 due to police actions.

As many as 65 of the 67 people injured in police operations here last year — an eight-fold rise over 2019 — had faced lathicharge by cops, according to the latest crime data published by the National Crime Records Bureau. It said as many as 76 police personnel in Delhi were injured on duty, including 45 while dealing with mobs.

Though the NCRB data does not give details on the timing of these police actions resulting in injuries, it is possible that many of these coincided with the violence during anti-CAA protests in the national capital in early 2020. Civilians injured in police operations across Delhi constituted over 29% of the all-India figure of 226.

Of 526 police personnel casualties, 70% accidents

In J&K, a hub of civilian protests in the past, 43 people were injured in police operations last year, just about onefifth of the 201 hurt in 2019.

The all-India count of police personnel killed on duty during 2020 was 24% higher than in 2019, even though the number of injured personnel fell by the same margin.

Of the total 526 fatal casualties suffered by all uniformed police personnel last year, 372 or 70% were on account of accidents, 59 were caused by Leftwing extremists, 36 by jihadi terrorists, 21 each by riotous mobs and criminals, nine due to border firing and eight by accidents involving self-weapon. Also, 1,506 police personnel were injured last year, of which more than one-third had been attacked by riotous mobs. Another 474 police personnel were injured by criminals, gangsters and dacoits, 311 in accidents, 88 by Maoists, 61 by jihadi terrorists, 20 in accidents due to self-weapon and eight in border firing.

In 2019, 424 police personnel were killed and 1,997 injured on duty, including 980 by riotous mobs.

As per the NCRB report, civilians killed and injured in police operations went down by 33% and 44% respectively, as compared to 2019. Civilian fatalities fell from 71 in 2019 to 47 in 2020, of which 23 were in J&K alone, and civilians injured in police operations dipped more sharply from 406 to 226.

Civilian fatalities in police operations in J&K too fell to 23 from 33 in 2019. The number of police fatalities in the newly-created UT however rose to 52 in 2020 from 16 in 2019, even though a lesser 137 police personnel were injured as compared to 247 in 2019.

Of the 526 police personnel killed in the country, more than 50% were constables and 23%, head-constables. Others killed on duty in 2020 included 52 assistant sub-inspectors, 40 subinspector, 5 Inspectors and 6 gazetted officers.

Among the states, Chhattisgarh recorded the highest police casualties last year at 78, possibly on account of the Maoist attack in April in which 22 personnel were killed; followed by Tamil Nadu (60, of which 55 died in accidents); and UP and J&K that lost 52 police personnel each. Most police personnel were injured in Kerala (176), followed by Rajasthan (162), Karnataka (144) and J&K (137).


Number of complaints: 2013

Number and rate of complaints, state-wise; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India

The Times of India

May 12 2015

Deeptiman Tiwary

Visuals of a Delhi traffic cop hitting a woman with a brick may have shocked the city , but Delhi Police has for long carried the `bad boy' image, going by the government records.

According to data compiled by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) for 2013, Delhi Police topped the charts in “complaints against police“, accounting for 24.3% of all complaints across the country . It also has the highest rate of such complaints with every sixth policeman in the city having some complaint against him.

Delhi Police also have maximum human rights violations FIRs against them with 141 cases ( 79% of all such cases in the country).And as amplified by Monday's incident, maximum cases (23) are registered against the city police under the charge of “indignity to women“.

However, in a reflection of how seriously the police brass takes these complaints, Delhi also recorded the highest number of dismissals (103) of police personnel, accounting for over 18% of all dismissals in the country in 2013, followed by Jharkhand with 57 dismissals.

According to the data, total number of complaints, both non-cognizable and cognizable, reported to the au thorities against police personnel from various states and Union Territories in 2013 stood at 51,120. Of these, 12,427 (24.3%) were against Delhi Police personnel alone.This was followed by Madhya Pradesh which accounted for 18.1% (9,297) and Maharashtra with 14.2% (7,280).Curiously , Uttar Pradesh accounted for only 7.9%(4,086) of the total complaints.

The highest number of complaints per 100 policemen was also reported from Delhi (16.4) followed by Chandigarh (12.9) and Madhya Pradesh (11.1) against the national average of 3.0 during in 2013.

It must be noted though that over 52% of the complaints against police personnel across the country were found to be false.

In the case of more serious allegations such as extortion, false implication, indignity to women etc--which NCRB clubs under human rights violations and counts only FIRs-Delhi cuts a rather sorry figure. Of 178 such FIRs across the country , Delhi accounted for 141 (79.2%). As many as 23 of such FIRs are under the category of “indignity to women“ while nine are for “extortion“.

However, an NCRB official said that Delhi had high figures also because it is difficult to brush complaints under the carpet in the national capital and police brass ensures that genuine complaints are registered.

Crimes by policemen


Chandrima Banerjee, July 2, 2023: The Times of India

The first major change in how our legal systems addressed sexual assault was in response to a rape by the police.

It was the Mathura rape case, in which a teenaged Adivasi girl was raped by two policemen but the Supreme Court let them go because “her conduct in meekly following [the accused] and allowing him to have his way with her to the extent of satisfying his lust in full makes us feel that the consent in question was not a consent which could be brushed aside as ‘passive submission’.”

Outrage followed, then a joint parliamentary committee report, heated legislative debates and finally an amendment in 1983, more than a decade after the crime. During these debates, Bhilwara MP Girdharilal Vyas raised a question, translated from Hindi here: “Who will investigate a rape that takes place under the aegis of the police? Our recent history shows how often custodial rapes are perpetrated but the offenders are not punished. Because the investigation is not seen through the way it should have been. Because police officers don’t prosecute other police officers.” This was in 1983.

In June 2023, two crimes were reported within days of each other. A 20-year-old Dalit woman was abducted, gangraped and murdered in Rajasthan — two police constables were among three charged. And a 19-year-old Dalit woman, also in Rajasthan, was allegedly held against her will inside a shop and raped by a head constable.

They go on a list of crimes by the police — each case briefly unsettling because of who the perpetrator is and then gradually blotted out.

A trainee cop raped by her colleague. A 13-year-old raped by a police officer to whom she was reporting her gangrape to file a complaint. A gangrape survivor’s mother raped by a police inspector who was investigating her daughter’s case. A Mumbai model raped by an assistant police inspector after a “raid” on a hotel. And, as a disturbing indicator of the enabling power dynamic, a 17-year-old gangraped by men pretending to be the police.

And then there are those which are celebrated quietly (and, sometimes, not even that).

Gangster accused of killing police officers killed by other police officers. Four men suspected of rape and murder shot dead by police. A former MP’s son, accused of killing a witness to a murder, killed by the police.

This story is not just about the prevalence of crimes by the police but also what comes after a case is registered.

Crime data in India is never exhaustive. Not all data points are available for each year because the format changes often but the primary ones — cases, convictions, acquittals, and so on — are consistently published. Not all offences are even reported as complaints — but it might be the only indicator we have for now.

So, with all these caveats in place, we went over 20 years of data from the government’s National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on complaints against the police and investigation into those cases to try and understand how, and if, there has been any change in how things go.

A conviction takes place for every 152 cases registered against cops

Every day, on an average, about 153 complaints against the police come in. They may or may not warrant investigation, or might be dropped. Of these, just about 19 make it to actual cases. By the time we come to conviction numbers over the past 20 years, the average is a little more than 0.1 a day.

That’s 153 complaints a day → 19 cases every day → one conviction every eight days.

What happens to the rest?

If we look at the two-decade average of those against whom there has been some form of action taken, it turns out only 3.5% police personnel are dismissed or removed from service. About 23% get a major punishment. And the largest share by far, 73%, get minor punishment.

Recent trends are no different. In 2021, more than 72% of police personnel against whom action was taken received a minor punishment or warnings and ‘admonitions’. The highest share was in Goa (91%), followed by Rajasthan and Uttarakhand (89% each), Uttar Pradesh (85%) and Karnataka (84%).

This is not because the police personnel charged with these crimes are acquitted. Taking into account that the number of cases registered every year cannot be taken as the baseline to compare the number of acquittals — because investigations take time and what happens in one year might be the conclusion of a case registered years before that — we use time for comparison. About 177 cases against the police end in acquittal or withdrawal every year, or one every two days.

(It seems important to make a point here that acquittals of police personnel accused of crimes in Madhya Pradesh jumped suddenly in 2011 — when it went from 1 the year before that to 216 — and in 2017 — from 0 to 254 in a year. The number of acquittals has been as high every year since then, with the exception of 2019 when Uttar Pradesh overtook the state briefly. As of 2021, almost 75% of all police acquittals were in Madhya Pradesh.)

The rest are just pending. At the end of 2021, more than 8,000 enquiries against the police were still pending — the numbers have been in this range for as far back as the data is available, since 2014.

A telling instance came up in June 2023, when the Delhi high court sentenced five police officers to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment for the custodial death of a 26-year-old — 17 years after the killing. The long time it takes is no revelation.

Encounter killings, for instance. The government told the Rajya Sabha that between 2016 and 2022, a total of 813 cases were registered against the police. Of them, 459 have been disposed of and 354 remain pending. That’s still 56% cases that have been dealt with. But in these seven years, the National Human Rights Commission (to which state DGPs have to send in their encounter killing reports every six months) has recommended disciplinary action once — in Assam in 2018. It has never recommended prosecution.

Why does this happen?

A 2019 report, Status of Policing in India, said that nearly one in five police personnel surveyed for the study thinks that gender-based violence complaints are largely “false and motivated”. In six states — Delhi, Punjab, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Assam — half or more cops said they believe this. In fact, many police stations themselves don’t have committees against sexual harassment — the worst was Bihar (76% women said so), followed by Telangana (47%), Chhattisgarh (34%), Assam (32%) and Jharkhand (31%).

The same report also found biases against people from all marginalised communities. One in five police personnel believed complaints under the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act are often false. About a quarter said migrants are more likely to commit crimes. Nearly half said Muslims are very much or somewhat prone to committing crimes. And more than one-third said mob violence was justified in cases of cow slaughter.

Prejudice is bad enough — and when it’s deep-rooted in people working in positions of authority, violent use of power will not always be dictated by legal ‘compulsions’. The 2018 edition of this survey had found that people’s relationship with the police is primarily based on fear. When asked what they were afraid of while interacting with the police:

44% said they were very or somewhat afraid they would be beaten up

38% were in fear of being falsely arrested

38% were anxious if police visited their house

27% were afraid of sexual harassment by the police

The big-picture explanation is that it has a lot to do with how policing systems are set up — with the underlying acceptance of the use of force to impose order. Impose, not effect. Coercion is built into the understanding of how law enforcement works.

Right now, in France, mass unrest over the police shooting of a 17-year-old driver is spilling onto the streets — the French-Algerian teen was shot at point-blank range as he drove off during a traffic stop (when a driver is stopped by police for a document check, not necessarily because of a law violation). Reuters reported that since 2017, the majority of people killed by the French police after not complying with a traffic stop were Black or of Arab origin.

What makes the police justify violence to themselves though? In a 12-month study, a researcher asked 33 officers in India what they thought of torture. Going beyond “the effect of wearing a uniform”, the study concluded that it was not moral disengagement but an alternative idea of moral action that helps them explain torture as a form of ‘good’ violence.

One police officer in the study said, “A criminal is a person without a soul and the standard techniques for people without souls cannot be applicable.” Another said, “We do away with evil powers. We fight those with ravana-pravatti (demon nature).”

Is this just how things are everywhere?

Not quite.

While developed economies like the US also deal with police brutality and racist attacks by the police, there are many countries where law enforcement does not carry a firearm on them at all — like most parts of the United Kingdom, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand and even, closer home, Bhutan.

Instead, law enforcement forces in these countries carry pepper sprays, batons and tasers. The guns come out only when there is a plausible terror threat — and in many cases only by a section of specially trained armed officers. For instance, in New Zealand, firearms have been used against a total of 39 people — in eight years. And in Norway, seven people have died in police shootings since 2009.

It’s based on Peelian principles, a set of ideas by the 19th century UK prime minister Sir Robert Peel — policing by consent. It has been distilled into nine broad points (listed here by the UK Home Office), one of which is especially relevant here:

“To refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.”

Supported by socially sound policies, it can work. But a lot depends on public legal awareness as well.

The law is, by definition, a codified document which may or may not be accessible to even those with primary levels of education. Court judgments are not known for their clarity. And updated versions of amended laws or information on junked laws is not always easily available — and sometimes, they are even used by the police.

There is no measure of legal literacy in India that I know of, but it is safe to say that few people know all their rights when dealing with law enforcement. And it is worsened by how separated our legal and cultural contexts are. People engage with the law only in response to a need, not as a matter of course.

That’s not the case everywhere. For instance, reading of the Miranda Rights in the US, or what a person under arrest is entitled to, has been represented in films and shows so often that a basic awareness can be assumed. Those endless runs of American crime procedural shows are not quite accurate and valorise police brutality often — but there might be some merit to engaging with the law in a non-compulsive cultural context.

The most radical example of a turnaround in public trust might be that of Georgia. In 1993, its schoolchildren said in a survey that they wanted to be a thief-in-law when they grew up. Corruption was seen as a way of life. But when a new government came in around 2003, police reforms became its primary pitch — if one police officer was found taking a bribe, everyone in the entire shift was fired. The former president of Georgia who saw this through, Mikheil Saakashvili, wrote in 2020:

“Those who enforce the law cannot be above the law. The doctrine of ‘qualified immunity’, which has drawn criticism for protecting officers accused of misconduct from legal repercussions, can undermine trust in police. While acknowledging that officers must sometimes make split-second, life-or-death decisions, and that human error is inevitable, the legal system should not enshrine double standards … Distrust of police is symptomatic of a widespread sentiment: The system is built to protect the interests of elites.”

None of this can happen without resources.

In 2022, the money spent on police training was a sliver below 1% of the total police expenditure, and training expenditure across states was Rs 240 crore less than the previous year. While the central and state governments set aside a total of almost Rs 2,000 crore for modernization of police, only Rs 260 crore was spent by all states combined — just 13% of the available grant. And there are still 63 police stations in the country that don’t have any vehicle of their own, 285 don’t have wireless or mobile units, and 628 don’t have telephones.

This is not to make a reductive point about resource-strapped police forces being pushed to criminal behaviour but to draw a line — from how little the government does to maintain an efficient police force to how little it does to address criminality within the police. If it doesn’t seem to care about efficient and fair policing, the police won’t either. ‘No one’s looking.’

2016-20: crime and punishment

Nov 11, 2021: The Times of India

The number of convictions in cases involving police personnel in India, 2016-20
From: Nov 11, 2021: The Times of India
The number of cases, arrests and chargesheets, 2016-20
From: Nov 11, 2021: The Times of India
Human rights violations cases against police, 2016-20
From: Nov 11, 2021: The Times of India

A look at the statistics for the number of cases registered against police personnel across India shows that the number of arrests and convictions is low.

However, the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data isn’t clear on the nature of cases registered against police personnel. While the annual conviction rate is very low compared to the cases registered, there’s no data on the current status of cases pending against police personnel. In case of the Uttar Pradesh Police, NCRB data shows that there’s been a fall in the number of cases, and a corresponding fall in arrests and chargesheets filed against personnel since 2016. Again, data on the kind of cases filed is not available.

Since 2017, the NCRB has documented cases of human rights violations filed against police personnel across India. This includes crimes like fake encounter killings, extortion, illegal detention and torture among others, but there’s no state-specific data. However, the data does show that the number of cases filed against police for cases of human rights violations have been falling since 2017. The number of chargesheets filed in the cases has also been falling, implying that either there are fewer cases in which there’s enough evidence or that there’s slow movement on these cases.

The argument for police reforms to free it from political influence has been a long-standing one. However, governments have shown little interest in implementing suggestions that include fixed tenures for senior officials, separate police force handling law and order from those handling investigations and an independent board that decides transfers. A study by the Centre for Law and Policy Research had pointed out that in the case of criminal cases against police personnel there is a procedural safeguard against false cases in the form of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). However, previous judgments in cases involving police torture and other violations have stated that no police official can justify the violation of a person’s human rights while performing their duties.

While the procedural safeguard wasn’t used by the police in the recent Gorakhpur case, the study notes that in many cases police misuse the section of law to prevent complaints or First Information Report (FIRs) from being filed. As a result, aggrieved citizens are often forced to turn to courts to seek action against police personnel but as the conviction and chargesheet rate in such cases shows, the wait can often be a long one.

Death/ injuries on duty

2014: Police personnel killed on duty in 2014, state-wise

Police personnel killed on duty in 2014, state-wise; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, April 5, 2016

See graphic:

Police personnel killed on duty in 2014, state-wise

2011-15: mobs harmed policemen more than criminals, terrorists

December 7, 2018: The Times of India

Police personnel killed or injured on duty by riotous mobs, criminals- 2011-15
From: December 7, 2018: The Times of India

WHAT'S NEW? Riotous mobs are behind most of the injuries to policemen (43% of 3,486 in 2015). The other big reasons are ‘attacks by other criminals' (33%), accidents (17%) and ‘terrorist/extremists operation’ (4%).

COMPENSATION: On death, the compensation paid to the family of a policeman depends on which state he dies in (Delhi gives Rs 1 crore, UP Rs 50 lakh) or how charged the political atmosphere is. When the family of Subodh Kumar Singh met UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, apart from the Rs 50 lakh compensation (paid to every UP cop killed on duty), it was told it will have its Rs 25-30 lakh loans paid off, it was promised a road and (possibly) a college named after the slain cop. That doesn’t happen to all policemen killed in the line of duty.

2017: 60% killed in ops were victims of accidents

Bharti Jain, Oct 23, 2019: The Times of India

A whopping 60% of the total 840 state police personnel killed in 2017 were victims of accidents occurring during operations.

As per NCRB crime statistics for the year 2017, the maximum personnel killed were of constable rank (472), followed by head constables (150), assistant sub-inspectors (88), sub-inspectors (15) and gazetted officers (8).

After accidents, which accounted for the death of 502 state police personnel, the maximum police casualties were inflicted by riotous mobs (218). As many as 79 police personnel were martyred at the hands of terrorists/extremists/jihadis; 17 by left-wing extremists, 13 after accidentally shooting themselves with self-weapon, nine by criminals/gangsters and two in anti-dacoity and other raids.

Another 2,684 state police personnel, including 1,539 constables, were injured in police operations during 2017. Over 56% of the injuries were caused by riotous mobs while 591 police personnel were hit by criminals and gangsters. Around 350 were injured in accidents.

Another section in the NCRB report reveals that 1,845 arms, including 66 AKseries rifles and 1,154 pistols, were taken away from the police and central armed police forces (CAPFs) by anti-national elements in the year 2017.

The arms snatched or stolen from the police personnel included 111 rifles (66 AK rifles, 18 INSAS, 10 SLRs, eight .303) , 3 LMGs, 1,154 pistols, 98 revolvers and 225 carbine/stun guns. In addition, anti-national elements walked away with 13,094 items of police ammunition — meant for AK-series rifles, LMGs, SlRs, INSAS, .303, carbine/stungun, muskets, pistols and revolvers — in the year 2017.


VIP duties, as in 2017

Neeraj Chauhan, 3 cops for each VIP, but just 1 for every 663 aam aadmi, Sep 18, 2017: The Times of India

India Short Of 5 Lakh Police, Says Govt Data

Despite promises by politicians year after year, VIP culture continues to thrive in India. The latest data reveals some 20,000 VIPs have on an average three cops to protect each of them while there is a huge shortage of police personnel for ordinary citizens.

Data compiled by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) under the home ministry shows that out of a total 19.26 lakh police officers in the country , 56,944 are deployed just for the safety of 20,828 VIPs across 29 states and six Union territories.

That makes an average of 2.73 cops for every VIP in the country . Lakshadweep is the only stateUT where no one has been given dedicated police protection.

For ordinary citizens, however, India remains among the least policed countries in the world, with one cop looking after every 663 Indians.

More than threat perception, having a police officer around for security has become a status symbol for many .Although the Centre has taken steps such as banning red beacons, states make their own rules and use police to provide personal security to many , often citing `threat to life' as the reason. The BPR&D data shows that VIP culture is more prevalent in north and east India. Bihar, which has one of the poorest police-to-population ratios, has the maximum number of 3,200 `VIPs' being given protection by 6,248 cops.

West Bengal is another state that makes full use of police for such privileges. The state has 2,207 `VIPs' protected by 4,233 cops, while only 501 cops were originally sanctioned for such duties. Bengal is followed by J&K, which has 2,075 `VIPs' getting security from 4,499 policemen.

Uttar Pradesh, whose CM Yogi Aditya Nath has vowed to prune VIP culture, is not far behind. There are 1,901 protectees in the state with 4,681 cops at their service.

Punjab has 1,852 VIPs protected by as many as 5,315 cops. Delhi, home to dignitar ies such as the PM and President has only 489 protected persons but has the maximum number of cops, 7,420, deputed to secure them.

Official say the number of cops on VIP duties in Delhi is justified because all important movements and highprofile institutions such as Parliament, Supreme Court, ministries etc run from here.

The BPR&D data shows that southern states fare better when it comes to saying no to VIP culture. Maharashtra has only 74 protected persons secured by 961cops, while Kerala has only 57 VIPs and 214 policemen deployed for them.

Officials TOI spoke to said problems arise when MLAs, local politicians and bureaucratsjudges in states are provided police protection. “In states such as Bihar, UP, West Bengal and Punjab, it is seen as a status symbol and is encouraged by the administrations,“ said an officer.

Directors General of Police

SC’s 2006 judgment in Prakash Singh case being misused

Centre: States misusing order on DGP appointment, February 20, 2018: The Times of India

Seeking modification of an 11-year-old judgment on police reforms, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that states were misusing the SC direction to give two-year tenures to directors general of police and were appointing officers nearing retirement to the posts to give them two additional years in service.

The SC, in its 2006 judgment in Prakash Singh case, had ordered the Centre and states to implement reforms in the police structure, including fixed tenure to police chiefs and separation of investigating wing from those tasked with maintaining law and order. However, most states have not implemented the reforms as directed by the SC, leading to filing of three contempt petitions by Singh’s counsel Prashant Bhushan.

Attorney general K K Venugopal told a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud that the modus operandi adopted by states on the basis of the Prakash Singh judgment was interfering with the directive issued in another case relating to police reforms.

Bhushan objected to it and said the other judgment in T S R Subramaniam’s case did not deal with police reforms at all and that it was a ploy by the Centre to stall police reforms as the SC had already dismissed petitions seeking review of the 2006 judgment.

The bench told the AG that if the SC had already dismissed the Centre’s review petition, the court could not entertain a modification application. The AG said the court should consider directing states not to appoint officers on the verge of retirement as head of the police department to give them an additional two years.

The SC postponed hearing on the matter to April 2.

SC bans ‘acting’ DGPs to end misuse of fixed-tenure rule

Dhananjay Mahapatra, SC bans ‘acting’ DGPs to end misuse of fixed-tenure rule, July 4, 2018: The Times of India

You Are Trying To Destroy Prakash Singh Judgment, States Told

The Supreme Court banned the appointment of acting director general of police (DGP) by state governments, insisting that state police chiefs must be chosen from a panel of three officers prepared by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

Referring to the scheme for appointment of DGPs outlined in its 2006 judgment in Prakash Singh case, a bench of CJI Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud took exception to certain states saying they had already enacted laws for a different scheme for DGP appointments. It said, “You (states) are trying to destroy the Prakash Singh judgment.”

In 2006, the SC had said states must give a fixed tenure of at least two years to DGPs after selecting them from a panel prepared by the

UPSC. Attorney general K K Venugopal said majority of states had devised a system by which they appointed a senior police officer as acting DGP and confirmed him just before his retirement — a device to enable the officer to function as head of the police for two more years under the SC’s fixed tenure mandate.

He said Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana and Rajasthan had approached UPSC for preparation of a panel of police officers suitable for appointment as DGP.

The bench said “no state shall appoint anyone as acting DGP” and ordered that the panel of officers prepared by UPSC should have a reasonable tenure left for superannuation so that they benefit from a fixed tenure of two more years. Persons on the verge of retirement should generally not be appointed as DGP, the bench observed.

In the Prakash Singh case, a bench headed by then CJI Y K Sabharwal had ordered, “The DGP of the state shall be selected by state government from among the three senior-most officers of the department who have been empanelled for promotion to that rank by the UPSC on the basis of their length of service, very good record and range of experience for heading the police force. And once selected, he should have a minimum tenure of at least two years irrespective of his date of superannuation.

“The DGP may be relieved of his responsibilities by state government acting in consultation with State Security Commission consequent upon any action taken against him under the All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules or following his conviction in a court of law in a criminal offence or if he is incapacitated from discharging his duties.”

2019/ SC disagrees with states on DGP selection

Dhananjay Mahapatra, SC junks plea of states to take control of DGP selection, January 17, 2019: The Times of India

Dhananjay Mahapatra, ‘Action of some states contrary to SC judgment’, January 17, 2019: The Times of India

In a jolt to states like West Bengal, Punjab, Kerala, Bihar and Haryana, the Supreme Court rejected their attempt to wrest control over selection of the state police chief and ordered that directors general of police must continue to be selected from among senior officers empanelled by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

To step around the apex court’s 2006 judgment in the Prakash Singh case — it mandated selection of DGPs from a panel of IPS officers drawn up by the UPSC — some states had enacted laws allowing setting up of an internal committee headed by the chief secretary to empanel senior cops, from whom the state could select one.

The Supreme Court said attempts of some states to usurp the process of empanelling police officers for the post of DGPs ran counter to the Prakash Singh judgment, which wanted to ensure that “commitment, devotion and accountability of the police have to be only to rule of law”.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L N Rao and S K Kaul said given the spirit behind the directions issued by the SC in the Prakash Singh case in 2006, which were “wholesome”, it would serve public interest “if the same are implemented until such time that the matter (challenge to state police Acts) is heard finally”. Attempting to free police force from noxious political-bureaucratic influences, an SC bench headed by then CJI Y K Sabharwal had said, “Supervision and control has to be such that it ensures that police serves people without any regard, whatsoever, to the status and position of any person while investigating a crime or taking preventive measures. Its approach has to be service oriented, its role has to be defined so that in appropriate cases, where on account of acts of omission and commission of police, the rule of law becomes a casualty, the guilty cops are brought to book and appropriate action taken without any delay.”

The SC had also stipulated a fixed tenure of two years for the DGP irrespective of his date of retirement. “The DGP may, however, be relieved of his responsibilities by the state government, acting in consultation with the State Security Commission, consequent upon any action taken against him under All India Services Rules or following his conviction in a court of law in a criminal offence or in a graft case, or if he is otherwise incapacitated from discharging his duties,” it had said.

The states, represented by counsel P Chidambaram, Ranjit Kumar, Vijay Hansaria, Anand Grover and Ajay Bansal, argued that the 2006 judgment had mandated that the guidelines laid down in Prakash Singh case would operate till states enacted laws in this regard.

Officers with 6 months’ tenure left can be made DGP: SC/ 2019

Police officers having minimum of 6 months tenure left should be considered for DGP post: SC, March 13, 2019: The Times of India

The Supreme Court clarified its last year order on police reforms and said officers who have a minimum of six months tenure left in service can be considered for the post of director general of police (DGP). A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the recommendation for post of DGP by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) and preparation of the appointment panel should be purely on the basis of merit.

The apex court passed the verdict on a modification plea filed by former Uttar Pradesh DGP Prakash Singh.

Singh had alleged that the July 3, 2018, directive, asking the UPSC to consider only those IPS officers for appointing as DGP who have two years of service left, was being misused by state governments who were ignoring competent senior officers for appointment as DGPs.

The court had in July last year passed a slew of directions on police reforms and restrained all states and Union territories from appointing any police officer as acting DGPs to avoid favouritism and nepotism in such high-level appointments.

It had taken note of the Centre's submission that some states have adopted a practice to appoint DGPs on the last date of retirement as a consequence of which the person continues for two years after his date of superannuation.

Besides giving due weightage to "merit and seniority", it had directed the UPSC to consider those IPS officers "who have got clear two years of service" for appointment as DGPs.

Singh, on whose PIL the directions on police reforms were passed, had filed a fresh plea before a bench headed by Gogoi alleging that the specific direction that IPS officers should have minimum two years of services left for being considered for the post of DGPs was being used to deny the promotion to "competent" and "honest" officers by states for their vested interest.

"Due to this, brilliant police officers have been overlooked just because they do not have two years of services left. The UPSC says that it will not consider these officers," lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the former DGP, had said.

The consequences of the direction were coming to the fore now, Bhushan had said.


K9 test

Bharti Jain, February 25, 2021: The Times of India

For promotion, police dogs will have to take K9 test

New Delhi:

Police dogs that are part of canine squads of Central para-military forces shall now be evaluated annually based on ‘K9 proficiency evaluation test’ developed by the home ministry in line with global performance standards. All young dogs will be put through ‘K9 behaviour assessment test’ at the entry level to evaluate their suitability for detection purpose or patrol work or for both, and get trained accordingly, a top official in the home ministry told TOI. The K9 proficiency evaluation test (PET) and K9 behaviour assessment test (BAT) have been devised by the MHA Police K9 cell, a dedicated wing established last year under the police modernisation division of the home ministry with the mandate of mainstreaming and augmentation of police K9s.

“With BAT it would be easy to screen the most suitable pups or young adults and PET would help in evaluating serving police dogs. These test models were shared with central para-military forces in September for implementation,” Col P K Chug, consulting director of the MHA Police K9 cell, told TOI.

BAT consists of 12 subtests that evaluate the behaviour/reaction of a dog on counts such as affability, handling, visual startle, acoustic startle and gunshot reaction, etc. “A dog displays less or no reaction to these sub-tests. Based on results, one can determine if the dog is suited to and has a flair for detection or patrol work, or both,” said Chug.

Regarding PET, he said the MHA has given the central forces two years for compliance. “This means that dogs who fail to clear the test can be put through refresher courses to enhance their proficiency to the level demanded by the test, which they must clear,” he said.

An advantage of the yearly evaluations is that testimony of the dogs shall be admissible in the court. This means that the evidence gathered by the canines in the form of narcotics, explosives, etc. shall be admissible in a court of law since their proficiency would have been certified within a legally accepted timeframe.

Extra-judicial killings/ ‘Encounters’

See Extra-judicial killings/ ‘Encounters’


2017: BPR&D survey findings

Neeraj Chauhan, Not even a phone in over 400 police stations in India: Bureau of Police Research and Development, January 15, 2017: The Times of India


There are 15,555 police stations in the country

Madhya Pradesh has 111 police stations without any telephone line, followed by Meghalaya and Manipur at 67 police stations each

As on January 2016, there were 22,80,691 police officers across all states and Union territories

Rising crime in the country gets extensive coverage, but what gets overlooked is the state of police forces, who have to cope without even basic infrastructure to fulfill their duties.

Many police stations lack vehicles, phones and wireless. There are 188 police stations without a single vehicle, 402 lack telephone lines, 134 don't have wireless sets and there are 65 which neither have a telephone line nor wireless sets, as per data compiled by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D). There are 15,555 police stations in the country.

Manipur has 43 police stations without phones or wireless sets, the maximum for any state, while Chhattisgarh has 161 police stations without vehicles.

Madhya Pradesh has 111 police stations without any telephone line, followed by Meghalaya and Manipur at 67 police stations each. Uttar Pradesh also has 51 police stations without a telephone line and 17 without wireless.

Of the total number of police stations in India, 10,014 are rural and 5,025 urban. The rest are railway police stations. BPRD figures reveal there are only 10.13 vehicles for 100 policemen at the national level, with 1,75,358 vehicles in all available for law enforcement. Maharashtra has the maximum number of vehicles (17,131), followed by Tamil Nadu (15,926) and UP (13,452). Home ministry officials admit that insurgency-struck Manipur has police stations with inadequate facilities in remote areas which are an urgent reminder that the Centre and the states should work to create infrastructure. "In the case of Chhattisgarh and MP, most police stations are in Maoist-affected areas where wireless sets or vehicles are often snatched by Naxalites. This cannot be an excuse as police need at least phones, vehicles and wireless sets for communication and mobility," said an official.

As on January 2016, there were 22,80,691 police officers across all states and Union territories. In a reflection of how successive administrations failed to provide housing to police personnel, only 5,56,539 cops have family quarters.

The problem doesn't end with the lack of facilities. Most police officers are overworked. According to the data, there is only one cop for every 729 people, despite multiple challenges, such as cyber crime and the significant threats of terrorism, communal violence and Naxalism.

The problem is particularly acute in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Dadar & Nagar Haveli and Delhi where there is one policeman for 1,100 people. Senior officers say the central paramilitary forces are better off than the civil police in terms of facilities and daily routines if the diversity of workload is compared.


Incentives in UP

Piyush Rai, Growing moustache to be more rewarding for UP cops, January 18, 2019: The Times of India

What’s common among Chulbul Pandey, Singham and Simba? Apart from being no-nonsense cops, they all sported trademark moustaches. Now, in a bid to encourage policemen in Uttar Pradesh to grow and ‘maintain’ moustache ‘which adds gravitas to their personality’, the police department has floated a proposal to raise the ‘mooch allowance’ given to PAC personnel. Sources claimed that a proposal has been sent to increase the monthly allowances for the upkeep of the facial crops from Rs 50 to Rs 250. ADG, PAC, Binod Kumar Singh, who has sent the proposal, confirmed his recommendation about the hike, but was non-committal on the quantum.

The move is being dubbed as an attempt to revive the old tradition of cops sporting robust moustache, that is supposed to add a dash of machismo to a policeman’s personality. “I have asked all the unit commanders to take stock of their men and highlight the fact that the ones with moustaches will be rewarded. The idea has been accepted in principle but the financial modalities are yet to be finalised,” he said.

Museum and memorial

2018: establishment

October 22, 2018: The Times of India

The National Police Memorial and museum was established in Delhi in 2018
From: Richi Verma, First police museum: An ode to fallen heroes, 2,000 yrs of policing, October 22, 2018: The Times of India

Day 1: Scores Turn Up At Memorial In Chanakyapuri

A large number of visitors thronged the National Police Memorial museum, the first one in the country dedicated to police officers, on the first day after its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As soon as you enter the corridor of the museum, which has five galleries focussing on different segments, you will be able to see examples of over 2,000 years of policing from the ancient till the recent times. These include the Kautilya system of law and order in 310BC, southern literature on policing and constables of Lanka.

The first thing inside the museum is the rank structure, starting with constable, head constable, leading up to director general of police and director of intelligence bureau.

The next installations are dedicated to the forces guarding the border and Indo-Tibetan Border Police. The central protection forces make up most of the next segment, with installations focusing on CISF, SPG, NSG, RPF, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, CPRF and IB.

The displays of weapons like 5.56mm and 7.62mm rifles, .455 bore revolver and 9mm carbine are expected to be huge hit among youngsters. There are other installations about police bands and buglers and Indian police in postal stamps/philately.

The 1,600 sq m museum takes visitors on a walkthrough describing police forces in each of the 30 states and six Union territories. There are special sections dedicated to role of women in police and the animal squads — dog squad, camel squad, mounted police (horses) and pigeon post.

For those inclined towards research-oriented work, there is a section highlighting the role of Bureau of Police Research and Development, LNJN National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science and National Technical Research Organisation.

The most interesting segment is the one dedicated to martyrs and outstanding police operations. Sources said this is an evolving section and more stories would be added over time.

Currently, there are about nine stories laid out in the martyrdom section, including Hot Springs Ladakh in 1959 where three police officers were killed, Akshardham attack in 2002 (Operation Vajra Shakti), Maoists attack Dantewada in 2010, and martyrs of Uttarakhand floods in 2013. A special film on 26/11 and an installation on Vandana Malik, the first woman IPS officer martyred in 1989, are also displayed in this section.

Other police operations include Operation Puttur (2013), Noorbagh encounter (2003), and killing of forest brigand Veerappan. A section is also dedicated to gallantry awards and police contribution in international operations.

Orderly system

2017: abolished in Karnataka

Orderly system finally out in Karnataka police, March 11, 2017: The Times of India

Trained constables serving as cooks, gardeners and manual workers at the homes of senior officers of Karnataka police will now be a thing of the past.The state government, through a formal notification on March 9, has finally decided to do away with the system introduced by the British in the late 19th century. “We have formally issued a government order to end the orderly system and replace it with followers,“ said P K Garg, principal secretary , home department.

The government has authorised different arms of the state home department to directly appoint 50% of the `followers' for their eligible officials. Over 3,000 personnel work as orderlies for senior police officers.

Beards for Muslims

SC’s compromise formula declined

Dhananjay Mahapatra, Muslim cop refuses to shave to get job back, April 14, 2017: The Times of India

Constable Says No To SC's Compromise Formula

A Muslim police constable, under suspension for the last five years pending disciplinary action for not adhering to Maharashtra State Reserve Police Force's no-beard policy , on Thursday rejected the Supreme Court's offer for his reinstatement if he agreed to keep his beard only during religious periods.

Zahiroddin Shamsoddin Bedade was appointed as a constable in State Reserve Police Force on January 16, 2008.While posted in Jalna in February 2012, he applied to the commandant to keep a beard.In May 2012, he was permitted to do so. But five months later, the permission was withdrawn in view of the amended guidelines on beard issued by the Maharashtra home department. Challenging the withdrawal of permission, Bedade moved the Aurangabad bench of Bombay HC. The state responded to the petition and said he could keep a beard for a temporary period as per religious requirements. Accepting the state's stand, the HC dismissed Bedade's petition in December 2012. He filed an appeal against the HC judgment in the SC in January 2013.

Bedade's counsel on Thursday requested a bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul to list the petition, pending for the last four years, for early hearing. After consulting his colleagues on the bench, the CJI said, “We re ally feel bad for you. You should not remain out of work. If you wish, what we can do is to allow you to join back as constable if you undertake to keep a beard only during religious periods and not otherwise. It is your choice.“ Bedade's counsel said the constable was not fine withshaving off his beard.The bench said, “Then we cannot help you.“ It also refused early hearing of the petition.Bedade had said in his petition, “ ...a citizen is free to practice his religion and the commandant of Reserve Police Force cannot interfere or violate his fundamental right.“

In a December 15, 2016 judgment on a petition filed by IAF corporal Mohammad Zubair, the SC had said, “No material has been produced before this court to indicate that the appellant professes a religious belief that would bring him within the ambit of Regulation 425(b) which applies to `personnel whose religion prohibits the cutting of hair or shaving of the face of its members'.

Personnel issues


Caste-based police postings are anti-secular: HC

Mohamed Imranullah, Caste-based police postings are ‘anti secular’, says High Court, July 27, 2017: The Hindu

Refuses to enforce 1992 G.O.; fresh ruling in two days

The Madras High Court Bench termed as “anti-secular” a Government Order issued by the Home Department on August 18, 1992 stating that police officers should not be posted in places predominantly populated by a particular caste or community to which the officers belong to.

A Division Bench of Justices K.K. Sasidharan and G.R. Swaminathan made the observation and refused to issue a direction to the government to implement the G.O. The judges dismissed a public interest litigation petition filed in this regard and said they shall pass detailed orders on the issue in a couple of days.

Wondering if any Census had been conducted so far on caste or community-wise demographics of people living within the limits of every police station in the State, Mr. Justice Sasidharan wondered on what basis could a decision be taken by the authorities that a particular locality was dominated by people belonging to a specific caste or community.

‘Absurd move’

Concurring with the senior judge, Mr. Justice Swaminathan said: “We claim to be a secular country and if we begin taking caste as a basis even for transfers and postings, where are we heading towards? Once a person becomes a public servant, he cannot be discriminated against on the basis of caste. It is absurd.”

The G.O. issued by the then Chief Secretary T.V. Venkataraman stated that the decision on posting of police officers on caste and communal basis had been taken in order “to arrest the unhealthy trend of police officers predominantly working in their native districts leading to development of vested interests and favouritism based on caste and community considerations.”

It went on to state: “Police officers from the rank of Inspectors and above should not be posted in their native districts. Police officers in the rank of sub-inspectors and above should not be posted in a station which is predominantly populated by a particular caste /community or a majority caste to which the officers belong.


2017/ almost ¼th of all posts

Vacancies in police forces, state-wise: 2013; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, July 30, 2015
police vacancies
Police vacancies, statewise, in 2017; The Times of India, Jan 25, 2017
Total no. of policemen per one lakh of population as on Jan 1, 2016; The Times of India, March 13, 2017, Pradeep Thakur
Sanctioned strengthened and vacancies, as in 2016; The Times of India, August 8, 2017

Nearly 1/4th of 22L police posts vacant

Deeptiman.Tiwary @timesgroup.com New Delhi:

The Times of India Aug 18 2014

Battling crime, terrorism, communal violence and internal security threats, the country's police force is grappling with as many as 5.5 lakh vacancies in a total strength of around 22 lakh. Worst still, most of these vacancies are in areas plagued by insurgency or communal tension.

Gujarat has 40% vacancies in its police force while UP , which has been reeling under communal clashes in recent months, has more than 1 lakh vacancies, over 27% posts of its force. Chhattisgarh, racked by Maoist violence, has 30% vacancies.

States Facing Insurgency Or Communal Strife Worst Affected By Staff Crunch

Before the budget session drew to a close, Parliament discussed ways to stem communal violence in India. Leaders of various parties threw barbs at each other, but no one talked about one issue which is critical to tackle such situations -the strength of police force.

At a time when rising crime, terrorism and communal violence call for strengthening of security , government data pointed to a large number of posts lying vacant in police forces across the country . The vacancies account for nearly one-fourth (5.5 lakh) of the total sanctioned strength of over 22 lakh. Representation of minorities in the forces has been raised repeatedly . The home ministry's data show except BSF and Assam Rifles, all paramilitary forces such as CRPF, ITBP and CISF have less than 10% representation from the minorities.

Surprisingly, among the states with huge vacancies in police forces are those faced with insurgency or having a history of communal strife.

Gujarat, which is hailed as a model of development but has had a history of communal violence, is the worst performer with close to 40% vacancies in its police force. Uttar Pradesh, which has been reeling under communal clashes in recent months, has the highest number of vacancies at over 1 lakh, accounting for almost 20% of all vacancies in the country .

It has also the largest police force with a sanctioned strength of over 3.6 lakh. Chhattisgarh, which sees the highest incidence of Naxal violence, is also among the worst with 30% vacancies.

West Bengal is another laggard with 35% vacancies.

The best performer, on the basis of sheer scale of operation, is Maharashtra, another communally sensitive state. With a sanctioned strength of over 2 lakh (next only to UP), it has only 7% vacancies. Assam also has done well with only 695 vacancies, accounting for barely 1% of the sanctioned strength.

2018/ 5.4L posts vacant in India, 1.3L in UP

Bharti Jain, July 8, 2019: The Times of India

All-India police vacancies, 2016-18
From: Bharti Jain, July 8, 2019: The Times of India

As many as 5.43 lakh police posts were vacant across the country as on January 1, 2018, with Uttar Pradesh accounting for the highest number of vacancies at nearly 1.3 lakh and Nagaland being the only state where actual strength of police personnel exceeded the sanctioned strength.

As per latest data compiled by the Bureau of Police Research and Development on vacancies in police organisations, of the sanctioned strength of 24,84,170 police personnel across all states and Union territories as on January 1, 2018, only 19,41,473 posts were occupied.

The 5.43 lakh vacancies all over India at the start of 2018 were higher than the 5.38 lakh vacancies on January 1, 2017, but lower than the 5.49 lakh vacancies on January 1, 2016. The all-India sanctioned strength of police personnel has steadily gone up from 22,80,691 in 2016 to 24,64,484 in 2017 and 24,84,170 in 2018, as has the actual strength from 17,31,666 in 2016 to 19,26,247 in 2017 and 19,41,473 in 2018 (all figures as on January 1).

As per the latest BPRD report regarding data on police organisations, the states with a high shortage of police personnel included UP, Bihar (50,291 vacancies as on 1.1.2018), Bengal (48,981), Telangana (30,345) and Maharashtra (26,195). Interestingly, Delhi had 11,819 posts vacant in its police force on January 1, 2018. The sanctioned strength of Delhi Police is higher than that of police in states such as Andhra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Kerala, Odisha and Telangana. UP, despite having a sanctioned 4,14,492 posts in its police, only had 2,85,540 personnel in service, leaving 1,28,952 posts vacant.

Weekly holiday

Haryana/ 2016

The Times of India, May 02 2016

CM: Haryana cops to get a weekly off

Chetna Choudhry

Policemen in Haryana can now take a weekly off, a basic entitlement in any job in India except a cop's. Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar made this announcement on Sunday while inaugurating the new police commissioner's office in Gurgaon, also promising that his government will fill half of the 12,000 vacancies in the state police to ease pressure and make taking a weekly break possible.

Various states have been trying to reduce stress through a system of off days but systemic change has eluded police forces. “Research shows the lifespan of a policeman is five years shorter than an average person,“ said Haryana DGP K P Singh.“They often get into depression due to stress from work.The weekly offs will help them relax, spend time with famil,“ he added.

Working hours/ days

2019: MP gives a weekly break

Amarjeet Singh & Arun Singh, MP cops catch a weekly break, for some a first in 38 years, January 4, 2019: The Times of India

For the first time in 38 years as a police officer, sub-inspector Uma Shankar Mishra got a weekly off on Thursday and spent some quality time with his family. For hundreds of police personnel in Madhya Pradesh, it was their first compulsory weekly off — a manifesto promise that the Congress government implemented within three weeks of taking over.

Thus far, duty was seven days a week, all year round for MP cops. They could avail of casual leaves and earned leaves, but no weekly off. The government rolled out the poll promise on Thursday, two days after its notification on New Year’s Day.

Most cops who caught the first break went on picnics and outings with children — some were so elated that they even had their kids skip school.

“It feels awesome. I stayed with my family and even tried to finish as much pending work as I could. It’s the same feeling you get when you take a first vacation. I joined the force in 1981 and this is the first time that I got a weekly off,” Mishra, 56, who is posted at Habibganj police station, told TOI. “It helps relieve stress. I have my entire family with me today. My sons have grown up and there are daughters-in-law. Today, it really felt like family.”

SI Manoj Dave with his family at Sanchi on Thursday, his first off

One of the happiest days in my 33-year career: MP cop

Mishra wasn’t the only one rejoicing. ASI Rakesh Sharma, who is posted at Bairagarh, said he felt relaxed after years. “I have two children and we went to our ancestral home in Narsinghgarh. We will be returning early on Friday. This was the first off day, so the children also took an off from school. It was a nice outing and it feels great,” he said, adding that all this wasn’t possible earlier as cops were required to reach their police station by 10am and on most days returned home only around midnight.

SI Manoj Dave, who is posted at TT Nagar police station, said, “I joined police after retiring from the Army, and the conditions were nearly the same. It is after so many years of work that today I got an opportunity to relax with my family. We went to Sanchi with the children and some guests.”

Some police personnel in the last few years of their service see the new rule as a boon. “This was one of the happiest days in my 33-year career as a policeman. I joined police when I was just 18 years old. Till now, I never got a weekly off,” said 51-year-old head constable Harish Chandra Kaurav, who is posted at Hanumanganj police station.

DIG Bhopal Dharmendra Choudhary told TOI that 425 cops posted at different police stations were given weekly offs.

2019: Working hours, state-wise; working conditions

Police- Working hours, state-wise; working conditions, 2019
From: August 31, 2019: The Times of India

See graphic:

Police: Working hours, state-wise; working conditions, 2019

Police stations



257 police stations in the country do not have any vehicle, 638 are without a telephone, and 143 without a wireless set or mobile, a parliamentary panel noted...there are police stations without telephones or proper wireless connectivity especially in many sensitive states like Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Punjab. . . Further, a very sensitive border UT like Jammu & Kashmir also has a sizeable number of police stations which do not have telephones and wireless sets,” noted the panel in Feb 2022


Share of police stations with facilities- vehicles, telephones, CCTV cameras, as in 2021
From: Dec 28, 2022: The Times of India

See graphic:

Share of police stations with facilities- vehicles, telephones, CCTV cameras, as in 2021

Northeastern states have among the most ill-equipped police stations, with many lacking even basic utilities like telephones and CCTV cameras, according to an answer to a recent question in Parliament. In Meghalaya and Manipur, more than 10% of police stations don’t have vehicles. In four NE states, more than half the police stations lack landline telephones, relying instead on mobile phones. In Manipur, no police station has CCTV cameras installed and only one in Rajasthan has them. Nationally, there are 10 computers in every police station, but in six states — including large ones like Bihar and Tamil Nadu — there are fewer than 5 computers in each station.

2018: India’s ten best

January 7, 2018: D D News

1. R.S.Puram, Coimbatore

2. Panjagutta, Hyderabad

3. Gudamba, Lucknow

4. Dhupguri, Jalpaiguri

5. K4, Anna Nagar, Chennai

6. Banbhoolpara, Nainital

7. Ghiror, Mainpuri

8. Rishikesh, Dehradun

9. Valapattanam, Kannur

10. Kirti Nagar, Delhi

2019: Kalu police station in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district

Bharti Jain & Dipak Dash, June 26, 2019: The Times of India

Kalu police station in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district has been ranked the best in the country on its performance in crime prevention, investigation and disposal of cases, detection, community policing and maintenance of law & order.

Around 20% weightage was also given to the police station’s infrastructure and citizen feedback on performance of personnel posted, in the rankings for 2018, released by the MHA.

The No. 2 rank goes to Campbell Bay police station in Nicobar district of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, while Farakka police station in Murshidabad, West Bengal, is third. The others in the top 10 are Nettapakkam in Puducherry; Gudageri in Dharwad, Karnataka; Chopal in Shimla; Lakheri in Bundi, Rajasthan; Periyakulam in Theni, Tamil Nadu; Munsyari in Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand and Curchorem in South Goa.

Over 15k police stations covered in ’18 rankings

The 2018 rankings cover 15,666 police stations. Rajasthan’s Kalu police station possesses all necessary facilities for personnel, a women help desk, drinking water facilities and is equipped with wi-fi servers. Campbell Bay, too, boasts of a separate women help desk, a child-friendly room, an IT room and a proper waiting area for complainants and visitors.

Bengal’s Farakka police station has facilities like airconditioners, besides a gymnasium and playground that provide a comfortable environment for public-police interaction. It has CCTV cameras, fire safety facilities and oxygen cylinders. While Kirti Nagar police station in Delhi was ranked 10th best police station in the country in 2017, Kashmiri Gate — the only police station in Delhi to find a place in top 50 — in 2018 was ranked 39th in a list of 87 police stations. The 2018 survey covered of a set of police stations short listed from across India and these were evaluated on the basis of how they dealt with crime against women, crime against SC/ST and property offences. The score were calculated depending on the number of FIRs chargesheeted within 60 days.


Dishank Purohit and Sukumar Mahato, February 12, 2020: The Times of India

It’s quarter to noon and very hot in Rajasthan’s Bikaner district. A young man, hassled and profusely sweating, enters a police station with an urgent plea. The duty officer gives him a glass of water and as he jots down Shravan Kumar’s complaint, chai is served.

Most police stations in India are notorious for their indifference and chronic reluctance to register complaints. But things are different at Kalu police station, recently adjudged the best after a survey of 15,666 thanas across the country by the Union home ministry. A visit to the station, 90km from the district headquarters, makes it obvious why Kalu is so special.

The premises are squeaky clean and there is no stench or paan stains. The complex itself includes a badminton court, a separate help desk for women and a tastefully done waiting space — carved entirely from wood to resemble a hut — which is used by warring families to mediate in private.

Inside, tech-savvy cops look at footage from eight CCTVs installed at key points in the area. “If a suspicious vehicle catches my attention, I check its details on the Raj Cop app on my mobile phone. The entire staff has this app on their phones. We are a digitised police station, be it E-FIR or updating chargesheets online,” SHO Devi Lal told TOI.

To put complainants at ease, officers have been told to offer tea and water to them. ASI Girdhari Lal said sometimes food is also provided to people who come from afar. Infrastructure and citizen feedback were important parameters in the home ministry study to rank police stations. Kalu topped this. Other criteria included performance metrics such as crime prevention, law and order, community policing and disposal of cases.

Kalu police is swift to act. But this cuts both ways. Sometimes phoney callers send cops on a wild-goose chase. Pointing to a heavily drunk man sitting in a corner, duty officer Ghanshyam said, “He called the control room last night and said somebody was plotting to kill him. A PCR van was sent to his house. When we asked him who was threatening him, he laughed.” Another constable recalled a call from an angry farmer a few weeks ago who wanted them to register a missing complaint since his axe had gone missing.

As dusk falls and a storm covers everything in a thin layer of dust, Devi Lal reminds his staff of the morning drill. “We will be here at 6.30 am to pick up garbage from the compound and wipe the furniture. We take turns to mop the floor. This is also why everyone here is in good shape,” Devi Lal chuckled. Indeed, none of the 25 cops present at the station has a protruding belly.

The transformation of Kalu has its roots in an incident in 2018. Former SHO Parmeshwar Suthar, then 25, was invited as a guest to a sports tournament where he spotted a contestant bleeding from his foot. He found that glass from a liquor bottle dumped in the ground had injured the player. That disturbed Suthar. “The next day there was a police patrol van near the ground driving away those drinking in public,” said Jagdish, a local resident. Several other reforms followed. CCTVs were put up and many booked under Section 510 (misconduct in public by a drunken person) of the CrPC.

Community policing is Kalu station's strong suit as cops regularly attend weddings and ceremonies in the area. Major tip-offs now come straight from locals who alert their beat constables; cops rarely have to depend on informers. To handle family discords, 28 community liaison groups (CLG), with elderly citizens and local teachers as members, have been set up.

Another police station that featured among top ones in the country was Farakka in Murshidabad, West Bengal. About 290 km from Kolkata, Farakka station is air conditioned, Wi-Fi-equipped and has a gymnasium and playground which are open to the public. Three months ago, free computer coaching was started. Around 102 students were enrolled in the first batch and the second batch that starts in July will have 93 students. Happy at the success of the initiative, the state government has now decided to pay for trainers.

Uday Shankar Ghosh, inspector-in-charge, Farakka police station, said, “A direct benefit has been the flow of information from common people. This has helped us stop nearly 80 child marriages. We have also received vital information on Fake Indian Currency Note (FICN) racketeers and arms and ammunition smugglers.” Cops have clamped down on crime with an iron fist.

In 2018, FICN seizures increased to Rs 52.7 lakh from Rs 5.4 lakh in 2017. While nine arms and 13 rounds of ammunition were seized in 2017, it increased to 32 illegal firearms and 100 rounds of ammunition in 2018.

How police stations were shortlisted

The survey was carried out in 15,666 thanas across the country Initial part of the survey included measures adopted by the police station to control crime

Detection and disposal of cases, action against anti-social elements and community policing among others featured on the list

Infrastructure of the station and approachability of personnel deployed were considered

Feedback was taken from complainants on services provided along with shopkeepers and pedestrians

How police officials tackled law and order situation in the area was considered

2019, Dec: The top 10

Sidhartha, Dec 5, 2019 Times Of India

Top police stations, as in Dec 2019
From: Sidhartha, Dec 5, 2019 Times Of India

Over 40% of those living near a police station in nearby markets have been asked to pay bribe, according to a soon-to-be-released study commissioned by the home ministry to rank the country’s top police stations. But only 9% of those leaving a police station said policemen demanded a bribe.

The survey ranked Aberdeen police station in Andaman and Nicobar Islands as the country’s best, followed by Balasinor in Gujarat’s Mahisagar and Ajk Burhanpur in MP.

A majority of those living or working near police stations or those surveyed while leaving them said they did not face any discrimination on the basis of religion or gender. Over 50% also said that the response was “quick”, indicating that police arrived within 30 minutes of an incident being reported.

While several people complained of being unable to connect to the emergency helpline number, women respondents said they faced difficulty due to lack of information on a dedicated helpline, sources told TOI.

Feedback from citizens suggested that policemen needed to change their work culture and treat themselves as service providers, besides shifting the focus from the elite to the common man. The ranking, which was based on feedback from those who dealt with the police as well as cops in the country’s 80-odd best police stations, underlined the need for improvement in the quality of lockups in north India, while the state of toilets, barracks and overall infrastructure was a concern all over the country.

Surprisingly, approachability was seen to be good across the country, barring J&K, while record upkeep was seen to be poor in J&K, Bihar, Jharkhand and large parts of the northeast. Some months ago, the home ministry had appointed Grant Thornton to rank police stations in an annual survey.

Delhi’s best PS functions out of porta cabins

Pankhuri Yadav, DEc 6, 2019 Times of India

How the best police stations were ranked
From: Pankhuri Yadav, DEc 6, 2019 Times of India

A study commissioned by the home ministry has named it the sixth best police station in the country, the only one from the capital in the Top 10. And it operates from porta cabins, not a building unlike most of the other police stations.

It’s policing that has got Baba Haridas Nagar police station the top honours. Crime prevention, good investigation and an increasing rate of case disposal. Catering to a population of over four lakh, in an area of 45 sq km, this police station had registered 685 FIRs till November-end this year. It solved 99% of the heinous crime cases. It also scored quite well in patrolling, discipline and cleanliness. A purified water facility, clean washrooms and proper seating arrangements for visitors despite the space crunch earned it good marks.

“We do not have the kind of infrastructure that a police station should have and yet we managed to find a spot on this list. Imagine where we could have gone if we had got that infrastructure,” said a senior cop posted there.

How this police station was turned around in just a year

He pointed out that they have only 114 people on staff as against a requirement of 218. And out of the 114 personnel, 28 have been assigned to people in the area as PSOs. They are guarding those who are vulnerable in the gang war that has been going on the area, which has a dominant rural profile, for many years.

The objective of the study was to rank the top 10 police stations out of 15,579 in the country through data analysis, direct observation and public feedback. The main criteria was primarily their performance in crime prevention, investigation and disposal of cases, crime detection, community policing and maintenance of law and order. Infrastructure and citizen’s feedback on the performance of the staff was given a weightage of 20% only.

The process commenced with shortlisting of the best performing police stations in each state. The CCTNS (Crime and Criminal Tracking System Network) data for number of cases registered, number of chargesheets filed and the number of cases in which the chargesheet was filed in 60 days was collected. When TOI visited the police station on Thursday, it was decked up with marigold flowers. Station House Officer (SHO) Chotu Ram Meena and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Vijay Singh Yadav were beaming as they were congratulated by visitors.

Residents give Meena, who joined in January this year, the credit for turning the police station around. “A lot has visibly changed since last year and we know we are in safe hands. Ever since he joined, Meena sir has been to his family in Jaipur only a few times. He lives at the police station and makes sure that no complainant goes back without being heard and his or her problem resolved,” said a resident, Ram Karan Dagar.

Another person pointed out that patrolling in the area had gone up which has gradually brought down the crime rate. This is remarkable because the area includes Jatdominated villages of Mitraon and Dhichaon Kalan — at a distance of 2 km from each other — which have been racked by gang warfare for years.

Recalling some memorable cases that took place during his tenure, Meena mentioned a shootout with a criminal who had murdered three people in a span of a week in Haryana. The man had killed his own grandfather, a businessman and a bus conductor on three different days for different reasons. He finally ran out of luck when there was a shootout during picket checking. In another incident case, to crack which they had to undertake intensive investigation, was that of the abduction and murder of a woman in Jhajjar, Haryana. The killer was hiding in their area and they tracked him down.

The staff also went beyond the call of duty in removing encroachments in the area which were causing fatal accidents. DCP (Dwarka) Anto Alphonse said it was a proud moment for him and the entire staff of the district. “The idea is not just to increase competitiveness among police stations but also to improve policing,” he said.

2020: Nongpok Sekmai no.1

December 4, 2020: The Times of India

Manipur dist police station rated India’s best

New Delhi:

Nongpok Sekmai police station in Thoubal district of Manipur has been rated as the best-performing one in the country for 2020. The all-women police station Suramangalam in Tamil Nadu’s Salem occupies the second slot and Kharsang police station in insurgency-hit Changlang district of Manipur is third.

Others in the list of top 10 among the country’s total 16,671 police stations are Jhimil (Bhaiya Thana) in Surajpur, Chhattisgarh; Sanguem in South Goa; Kalighat in Andaman & Nicobar Islands; Pakyong in East District of Sikkim; Kanth in Moradabad in UP; Khanvel in Dadra & Nagar Havel; and Jammikunta Town in Karimnagar, Telangana, in that order.

Home minister Amit Shah said a vast majority of the shortlisted police stations are located in small towns and rural areas.

Most thanas that made the cut from rural areas: Shah

Home minister Amit Shah said a vast majority of the shortlisted police stations are located in small towns and rural areas. This is also true for police stations that have been ranked among the top 10. “This indicates that while availability of resources is important, what matters more is the dedication and sincerity of our police personnel to prevent and control crime and serve the nation.” This year’s survey, a home ministry spokesperson said, was challenging as it was difficult to access police stations located in remote areas due to various restrictions on movement imposed in view of the Covid-19.

The rating of police stations was done on the basis of data analysis, direct observation and public feedback. The parameters for short-listing the police stations in the initial stage of the survey included property offences; crimes against women; crimes against weaker sections; and missing persons, unidentified found persons and unidentified bodies. The last parameter was introduced this year. As a result, 75 police stations were short-listed and then the top 10 among them picked, based on 19 parameters. While this process was given 80% weightage, 20% weightage was given to infrastructure of the police station, approachability of police personnel and feedback of citizens.

2021: “Police Public Library” at Jamia Nagar police station

Sidhartha Roy, Oct 11, 2021: The Times of India

If a student is looking for a quiet place for a few hours of peaceful studying, what would be the right place to head to? For a student living in south Delhi’s Jamia Nagar, the answer would be the nearest police station.

Started in 2012, the “Police Public Library” at Jamia Nagar police station is arguably the country’s first that arms visitors with books. Set up to remove a common citizen’s fear of a police station, this unique initiative of Delhi Police is being successfully managed by an NGO, Shikhar Organisation for Social Development.

The library was recently revamped into “Delhi Police Digital Library” with financial support from power discom BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL). The cost of running the digital library, including that of educational material, maintenance and salaries, is being borne by BRPL through its CSR programmes.

Mehjabeen Shabnam, a teacher, couldn’t believe her ears when she first heard about the library. “At first, my parents didn’t agree and even I had some hesitation about going to study among policemen,” said the 20-something Jamia Nagar resident. “However, when I visited the library, the atmosphere there was safe and more girls came there,” she added.

Devesh Chandra Srivastava, special commissioner, who was the joint commissioner of police (southern range), when this initiative was mooted, said Delhi Police was a pioneer when it came to such community initiatives. “One of the things we did to bring the student community closer to us was starting this library at Jamia Nagar. Then we got another at RK Puram and a third one at Okhla Vihar Metro police station,” said Srivastava, adding that such initiatives smoothen the relation between police and public.

Srivastava added, “BSES is sponsoring us in the smooth running of this library. The discom has also supported Delhi Police Public Schools by setting up smart classrooms.”

“‘Our CSR programmes maintain a symbiotic relationship with the society as we live and work in perfect harmony with the communities around us. We look for unique opportunities and work with like-minded partners to bring about positive changes in the society,” BSES said in a statement.

The senior IPS officer said, “We also run coaching classes in association with educators and provide books and journals.” He added that apart from senior IPS officers like himself, other senior civil servants were also called to teach students, including an IRS officer who provides regular coaching.

“The library provides facilities like study materials, Wi-Fi, laptops, etc for free,” said UPSC aspirant Ketan Singh, who loves the library’s “professional environment”.

Nadeem Akhtar, director of the library, said the idea was to provide coaching facilities to students who might not be able to afford it otherwise. “Initially, it was difficult to encourage parents from the nearby locality to send their children here. However, over time many girls and boys started coming here after finding out for themselves how safe the environment was,” he added.

Punishment for wrongdoings

2014, 2015: erring Delhi policemen seldom face penal action

Sidharth Bhardwaj, ‘Errant cops seldom face penal action’, November 24, 2017: The Times of India

Litigation came to a conclusion in just 16% of the cases that came up for trial in 2014 and in 11% in 2015. Even among the 1,73,847 cases heard in 2014, 37,534 were those that had been sent up that year from the 1,36,313 pending from earlier years, while of the 1,90,66 cases heard in 2015, 44,079 were from among the 1,46,587 pending cases.

Data accessed via RTI by NGO Praja showed that the conviction rate of the courts in crime cases across the country underwent a marginal rise between 2014 and 2015, with 47% of the cases ending in a judgment in 2015 against 42% in 2014 across the country. The number of acquittals in the country’s courts saw a steep drop, with 10,146 people being acquitted in 2015 compared with 14,671 in 2014. The data suggested that 84% of the cases in 2014 and 89% of cases in 2015 that were sent for trial are awaiting a verdict.

Praja’s data also revealed that erring police personnel in Delhi seldom faced serious penal action. “There were 12,913 complaints received against police officers in 2015 in Delhi, out of which 346 were declared false. Only 145 criminal cases were registered against police officers, but nobody got arrested,” the report said. However, 292 cops were given “major punishment” as part of the departmental action initiated against them in 2015.

The report suggested that there was a 10% shortfall in the available workforce of the police, with 8,091 positions of the sanctioned 84,685 lying vacant in 2017. The biggest deficit was in the rank of additional commissioner of police, with 58% of the posts unfilled. There were significant shortages also at the level of police Inspectors (2%) and police constable (10%), important because such shortages at these levels directly affected investigation of cases and law and order in Delhi, the report said.

The data also highlighted the fact that despite the Supreme Court passing an order and recommending the formation of a state security commissioner in September 2006, this had not been carried out. “What is more of concern is that instead of accepting that there is a problem in the city administration and governance mechanism, only promises are being made. An example of this is that since the formation of the AAP government, the proposed state security commission has not been formed,” Anjali Srivastava, assistant manager of Praja Foundation, said.

Praja’s report said that there was a 10% shortfall in the available workforce of Delhi Police, with 8,091 positions of the sanctioned 84,685 lying vacant in 2017


Undertrial can be MP, but not policeman: SC

The Times of India 2013/07/04

Undertrial can be MP, but not cop: SC

‘A Candidate Wishing To Join The Police Force Must Be Of Utmost Rectitude’

Dhananjay Mahapatra TNN

New Delhi: A person facing murder trial can contest elections, become an MP and even a minister in the Union government, but pendency of a criminal case will not entitle him to a job in the lowest rung of a police force.

This is the gist of the Supreme Court’s ruling, which set aside concurrent judgments of the Central Administrative Tribunal and the Delhi HC allowing a person, who was booked for rioting and assaulting but was acquitted after reaching a compromise with the victims, to join Delhi Police as constable.

A bench of Justice G S Singhvi and Justice Ranjana P Desai on Tuesday said, “A candidate wishing to join the police force must be a person of utmost rectitude. He must have impeccable character and integrity. A person having criminal antecedents will not fit in this category.”

Justice Desai added, “Even if he is acquitted or discharged in the criminal case, that acquittal or discharge order will have to be examined to see whether he has been completely exonerated in the case because even a possibility of his taking to a life of crime poses a threat to the discipline of the police force.”

Mehar Singh and his aides had assaulted a bus conductor in 2004 on being asked to purchase tickets. They also broke window panes and assaulted passengers who came to the conductor’s rescue. But the aggressors reached a compromise with the victims and were acquitted by a trial court in 2009, the year in which Delhi Police advertised for recruitment of constables.

Mehar Singh cleared the physical test, written exam and interview. But the screening committee, which examined his antecedents, did not recommend his appointment as constable.

Singh challenged it successfully before CAT after which Delhi Police’s appeal was rejected by the high court. But additional solicitor general Rakesh Khanna argued before the SC that the acquittal was not as honourable as was being projected. Accepting his argument, the bench said, “The police force is a disciplined force. It shoulders the great responsibility of maintaining law and order in society. People repose great faith and confidence in it. It must be worthy of that confidence.”

SC: Crime case acquittal no clean chit for recruitment

Dhananjay Mahapatra, January 10, 2018: The Times of India

Upholds Chandigarh Police Move Against 5 Who Passed Tests

Acquittal in a criminal case is no guarantee for getting into the police force despite clearing all tests prescribed for the post, the Supreme Court said while upholding the Chandigarh administration’s decision to slam the door on five people on this ground.

The five had cleared tests involving physical efficiency, physical measurement, written and interview and were looking forward to a career in Chandigarh Police as constables. They had voluntarily declared that they had been acquitted from charges involving Section 323 (causing physical hurt to others) and Section 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC by a trial court that gave them the benefit of doubt.

However, the screening committee headed by a senior superintendent of police found them unsuitable for police job because of their involvement in criminal cases. The five moved the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), which ordered the Chandigarh administration to employ them in its police force. The Punjab and Haryana HC upheld the CAT decision and said there was no concealment of criminal antecedents. The Chandigarh administration appealed against the HC decision in the SC.

A bench of Justices R Banumathi and U U Lalit said, “Acquittal in a criminal case is not conclusive of the suitability of the candidates for the concerned post. If a person is acquitted or discharged, it cannot always be inferred that he was falsely involved or he had no criminal antecedents. Unless it is an honourable acquittal, the candidate cannot claim the benefit of the case.”

Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Banumathi said entering the police service required a candidate to be of good character and integrity and have clean antecedents.

“While deciding whether a person involved in a criminal case has been acquitted or discharged should be appointed to a post in a police force, nature of offence in which he is involved, whether it was an honourable acquittal or only an extension of benefit of doubt because of witnesses turned hostile and flaws in the prosecution are all aspects to be considered by the screening committee for taking the decision whether the candidate is suitable for the post.”

The bench said the procedure followed by the screening committee could not be faulted as it was with the object of ensuring that only persons of impeccable character entered the police force. Moreover, there was no allegation of mala fide against the committee’s decision, it added, and set aside the decisions of the high court and CAT.

Acquittal does not make a person fit to join police: SC

AmitAnand Choudhary, Sep 22, 2023: The Times of India

New Delhi : Observing that the yardstick for appointments in law enforcement agencies ought to be much more stringent than in other jobs, the SC has upheld the decision to terminate a police constable who was charged for stalking a minor girl.

A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Rajesh Bindal said that mere acquittal in a criminal case would not automatically entitle a person to be declared fit for appointment in police force and the government has the discretion to terminate his job.

The court allowed a decision of the Madhya Pradesh government to sack the constable after it was revealed by him that he was charged in a criminal case before joining the force but was acquitted.

“The yardstick to be applied in cases where the appointment relates to a law en forcement agency, ought to be much more stringent than those applied to a routine vacancy. One must be mindful of the fact that once appointed to such a post, a responsibility would be cast on the respondent...Therefore, the standard of rectitude to be applied to any person seeking appointment in a law enforcement agency must always be higher for the simple reason that possession of a higher moral conduct is one of the basic requirements for appointment to a post as sensitive as that in the police service,” the bench said.

Resignation/ abandoning of duties

Personnel can’t leave forces at will: SC

AmitAnand Choudhary, July 4, 2019: The Times of India

The Supreme Court said defence force personnel cannot be allowed to quit job at will in the middle of service, saying it will adversely impact operational preparedness of the armed forces and held an airman in IAF guilty of breaking rules by applying for a bank job without informing the authorities.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta rejected the plea of the IAF personnel who contended that the Constitution has given him a fundamental right to practise any profession and his right cannot be infringed upon by Air Force rules.

“A person who has been enrolled as a member of the Air Force does not have an unqualified right to depart from service at his or her will during the term of engagement. Such a construction, as urged on behalf of the appellant, will seriously impinge upon manning levels and operational preparedness of the armed forces. With the rapid advancement of technology, particularly in its application to military operations, there has been a reconfiguration of human and technological requirements of a fighting force. The interests of the service are of paramount importance,” the bench said.

The court passed the order on an appeal filed by Amit Kumar Roy challenging IAF’s decision not to issue ‘No Objection’ certificate to him to join as probationary officer in a bank. He joined the force in 2004 and applied for the bank job in 2010 and appeared for written exam and interview without taking mandatory permission from IAF. After selection for the job, he approached Armed Force Tribunal which directed IAF to issue provisional NOC and subsequently he joined the bank.

In 2012 Air Headquarters cancelled the provisional NOC and he was directed to join the force after which he approached the apex court. The court came to the conclusion that there was no illegality in cancellation of NOC as he violated Air Force rules but said that no purpose would be solved to direct him to join the force after eight years and asked him to pay Rs 3 lakh to the government within two months for violating the rules.

Social media outreach

Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai

Sharmila Ganesan, Khaki’s killing it on social media, January 7, 2018: The Times of India

Mumbai police has wit, Kolkata woos with lit, while Bengaluru’s mastered the meme. Sunday Times takes a look at how police departments across the country are notching up followers

Actor Varun Dhawan made the Mumbai police use a word that belongs in Star Wars. Soon after their official Twitter account reprimanded Dhawan for leaning out of his car to take a selfie with a fan, it went on to describe the coincidence of a photographer being present at the same signal to capture the act as ‘galactic’. Now we don’t know about Shashi Tharoor but the word did give former crime journalist Sunchika Pandey a complex. “It came from the department,” says the sari-clad content consultant for Mumbai police about the word that popped up during her customary weekly meeting with the city police commissioner DD Padsalgikar and joint commissioner (law and order) Deven Bharti. “They’re both such good writers, I’ve told them I will hire them when they retire,” says Pandey whose unofficial department alias is ‘Twitter madam’.

Two years after Twitter madam helped Mumbai police launch its official handle, @Mumbaipolice has crossed a fan base of 4 million, higher than that of any other police department in the world including the NYPD. Its 20-odd-strong social media team has reeled in the youth by using witty pop culture references from movies like Sholay, Netflix shows like Narcos, and trending topics from Justin Beiber to iPhone X. In their recent hashtag #ifvillainswereinMumbai, a rather despondent-looking Joker from Batman answers the question ‘Why so serious?’ with two words: “Mumbai police”. Memes apart, the most significant impact of Mumbai cops’ digital footprint, according to Pandey — who is also churning out Marathi memes for Thane and Pune and Hindi messages for the massive UP police force now — is the way “it is changing how city police departments interact with citizens.”


That Rabindranath Tagore is the name of perhaps the best ice-breaker in Kolkata is a cliche that now comes with police verification. As part of their official bid to appeal to bookish Bengalis, Kolkata’s Additional Commissioner of Police (III) Supratim Sarkar recently handpicked and wrote a set of weekly special stories — both in Bengali and English — detailing how some sensational cases were cracked on the city police’s Facebook page. By the time the dozen stories were wound up, the online audience pestered the admin for more, forcing Sarkar to dig into the archives and publish the exploits of Bengali revolutionaries. One week, cops posted the story of how the great poet Rabindranath Tagore lost his favourite pen, and was asked to appear as a witness in a court to reclaim it. Finally, a magistrate had to intervene and revoke the order. The series became so popular that several online readers have asked the cops to do a book. “We wanted everyone to know that we have a literary side and a compassionate side,” says Sarkar.


Predictably, each city’s timeline lays bare its unique warts. Bengaluru’s chronic traffic problem, for instance, is hard to miss on its Twitter handles (@BlrCityPolice and @blrcitytraffic). In fact, at least 25,000 of 1.5 lakh vehicles that Abhishek Goyal, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), Bengaluru East, has towed this year were thanks to photos shared on Twitter. The official handles are now the preferred place for people to point out traffic violations. Not too long ago, a mother who discovered that the driver of her son’s school bus was inebriated, tweeted about it. Within an hour, the traffic police detained him.

The spike in online traffic is caused by some well-intentioned wordplay. For instance, this New Year’s Eve, @BlrCity-Police posted this tweet: ‘Drink and drive, and we’ll show you a few new bars.’


On these platforms, women’s safety appears high on the priority list. The twoyear-old social media unit of the Hyderabad police — which is active on Facebook, Twitter (@hyderabadpolice), Instagram, its own YouTube channel and public interface apps such as Hawk Eye and Lost Report — uses its Twitter handle to educate women about SHE teams: a dedicated wing for sexual harassment complaints. On various occasions, investigations have been ordered into social media complaints by women about harassment by cab drivers, fellow motorists or co-passengers. Arrests have also been made in some cases.


Uttar Pradesh has 131 official Twitter handles, including one for each of its 75 districts. Of these, @Uppolice gets nearly 2,000 complaints, ranging from land revenue disputes to sexual harassment, daily. In fact, the state’s large-scale grievance redressal efforts recently prompted a visit from UK’s Scotland Yard to the Noida police social media cell.

Then there’s the instance — UP is the only state where the railway police also has a Twitter handle — where on receiving a molestation complaint from a train, cops immediately arrested all 50 hoodlums at the next station, says Rahul Srivastav, additional SP and public relations officer to DGP.

Last year, gauging the volume of complaints, Twitter offered UP police a software called Twitter Seva —which assigns a unique ID to each complaint, prioritizes tweets and lets the department know when a complaint has been resolved. The efforts have paid off.

“There has been a 360-degree turnaround in our image,” says Srivastav (@UPcoprahul), adding that UP police have not only won four awards for its Twitter Seva but also been invited to train other government departments.

Curiously, the UP police also boasts a handle called @UPPviralcheck where any fake news attributed to @Uppolice is demolished. It was here that people discovered that the cop who was thrashed by a couple for fining a politician’s relative earlier this year wasn’t from UP as videos allegedly suggested, but, in fact, from MP.

For all their efforts to connect, though, the cops must face their share of trolls. While in Mumbai, the focus on women’s issues sometimes makes “unhappy men write to us asking why we don’t address their complaints,” says Pandey. In Hyderabad, a politician named Amjed Ullah Khan famously ran an online campaign titled ‘Teach what you preach’ in which he tagged the city police in a series of posts showing photos of cops riding bikes without helmets. That action was subsequently taken against the defaulting police personnel was no galactic coincidence.

Additional reporting by Dwaipayan Ghosh in Kolkata, Rajiv Kalkod in Bengaluru and Mahesh Buddi in Hyderabad


Satire Meets Sensitivity @MumbaiPolice — which boasts 4.1m followers — rains puns and pop culture jokes to disseminate social messages. Besides satire, its social media cell is also lauded for its sensitive and efficient handling of complaints and timely quelling of rumours


Traffic-stopping Pop Culture Memes

Receives and resolves a daily ambush of traffic complaints on both @BlrCityPolice and @blrcitytraffic while simultaneously drawing social media traffic by mining popular TV shows and movies for public service punchlines


Bengali X-Files

‘Kolkata Police’ and ‘Kolkata Traffic police’ which were launched on Facebook last year — appeal to the city’s literati by detailing sensational police cases from the past


Multiple Avatars

Not only is the Hyderabad police active on Facebook, Twitter (@hyderabadpolice) and Instagram but it also has its own YouTube channel, not to mention public interface apps such as Hawk Eye and Lost Report


Post-Truth World

Rebuts fake news attributed to @Uppolice through a separate handle called @UPPviralcheck

Staffing pattern

Minority representation

Among paramilitary forces, while Assam Rifles has the highest representation of minorities at 16.16%, ITBP has the lowest at 6.18%. CRPF , deployed for controlling communal clashes, has 9.24% representation from minorities.

Women in police, national average 6%/ 2014

Police personnel per lakh of population in 2014; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, August 13, 2015
Women in the Police forces of Indian states, presumably in 2014-15; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, December 7, 2015

The Times of India, Aug 30 2015

Percentage of women in police force, top 5 states; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Aug 30 2015

Anahita Mukherji

Dire lack of women in police, national average a mere 6%

In 2014, Maharashtra had more women in its police force than any other state or Union territory in India.But its 17,957 policewomen formed a minuscule 10.48% of the state's total police force.Delhi ranks 12th in the list, at 7.15%, well below Chandigarh's top tally of 14.16%. The Maharashtra numbers are particularly depressing because the state was the first to introduce 30% reservation for women in police 44 years ago. Compared to the national average of 6%, Maharashtra's numbers are good and it is far ahead of neighbour Gujarat, where women make up only 3.64% of the police force.

The data forms part of a study by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. Among the top four are Chandigarh, Tamil Nadu, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Himachal. Assam is at the bottom of the list, preceded by Tripura, J&K, Meghalaya and Nagaland. When analysing quotas for women in the police force, it's important to remember that they can only be filled based on attrition and are dependent on retirements.Otherwise recruitments would be more than the posts sanctioned. For the time being, as a stop-gap arrangement in order to achieve its goal of 30% women in the police force, Maharashtra could recruit only women to fill vacant posts,“ says Devika Prasad of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, who co-edited the report on policewomen in South Asia, released earlier this month.

Despite the reservations, Maharashtra is likely to take many more decades to achieve the 30% target, she estimates. Prasad points out that the reserved positions are largely at the lowest level in the force's hierarchy and it takes women a long time to rise up the ranks.

The officers, officers belonging to the Indian Police Service, are largely men. Prasad feels more women should be encouraged to join the police force at all levels. “Currently , they're con centrated in the lower ranks,“ she adds.

Mumbai-based Dolphy D'Souza, convenor, Police Reforms Watch, believes there is no political will in Maharashtra to achieve the state's target for women in the police forces. Policewomen are expected to visit the homes of those who call on 103, the state helpline for women. “How is this physically possible when the number of women in the force is so limited?“ he asks.

He believes that in the wake of growing crimes against women and children, there is a dire need for more women in the police force. He points to the recent case of a woman domestic help from Mumbai who alleged torture at the hands of policemen last week.

“Numerous studies have shown that the presence of policewomen in large numbers exerts a general psychological pressure on policemen to behave better with citizens. This is a point that even the former DGP of Kerala, Jacob Punnoose, mentioned at the release of the CHRI report this week: he said custodial deaths in Kerala decreased with the increase of women in the police force“ says D'Souza.

Tooth-to-tail (officers: constables) ratio

As in 2015


Tooth-to-tail ratio (officers: constables) in state police forces

Various commissions/ committees for police reforms have suggested that the tooth-to-tail ratio of the police force (ratio of officers ranked assistant sub-inspector and above to constables & head constables) should be 1:4 for better policing. Data on the actual strength of police shows that out of 36 states and UTs, only five have this ratio under the recommended level

See graphic.

Transgender as SI: Madras HC approves recruitment/ 2015

The Times of India, Nov 06 2015

A Subramani

Blazing a trail through intricate governmental and judicial processes, the gritty transgender K Prithika Yashini has finally realised her dream of donning the uniform of sub-inspector of police in the Tamil Nadu police department. The Madras high court on Thursday declared that she is entitled to be appointed subinspector of police. Calling for creation of separate category to accommodate transgenders in employments, the judges further said: “We are sure that by the time the next recruitment process is carried out, TNUSRB would have taken corrective measures for including the third gender as a category .“

Though Tamil Nadu police already has three transgenders on its rolls as constables, Yashini will be the first transgender-officer in the force.

Commending additional advocate-general of Tamil Nadu P H Arvindh Pandian for his fair stand on the issue and Yashini's counsel Bhavani Subbarayan, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana hoped that Yashini would carry out the duties of a police officer with “dedication and commitment to advance the cause of other transgenders“.

The judges, who helped her clear all hurdles along the way , said: “The social impact of such recruitment cannot be lost sight of, as it would give strength to the case of transgenders. Yashini must reach the finish line, and not be stopped and disqualified in the middle.“

Yashini was born K Pradeep Kumar and remained a male till she completed her post-graduate diploma in computer application from the Bharathiar University in Coimbatore. Though she had felt sweeping changes in her gait and body even during her school days, Yashini said that she could gather courage to meet a doctor only after joining a college.

Temples, police inside

Kashi Vishwanath Temple: dhoti kurta instead of khaki uniform

Rajeev Dikshit, Cops inside Kashi temple dump khaki for dhoti kurta, March 28, 2018: The Times of India

For eight constables deployed inside Kashi Vishwanath Temple (KVT) for crowd management, there was a slight change in the work protocol on Monday evening. Before reporting for duty at the sanctum sanctorum, they all went to the nearby police control room, shed their khaki attire and put on dhoti kurta to get ready for their four-hour shift.

In a bid to project a ‘friendlier image’, Varanasi police have made the innermost part of the famous temple ‘khakifree’. The need was felt by senior officers as ‘men in uniform’ have often been criticised for ‘pushing’ devotees while managing crowds inside the temple. A change in attire, it is believed, would give the cops a ‘volunteer look’ and save them from criticism, said a police officer.

One of the constables said: “Devotees thought we were pandas (priests).” Deployment of police to manage crowd in the sanctum sanctorum is a must as most devotees tend to stay inside for a long time despite long queues outside. Police are often criticised for ‘using force’ to keep devotees moving, an act which has drawn attention ever since some TV channels started telecasting the darshan live some time ago.

SSP R K Bhardwaj told TOI, “We tried to explore options for changing the image of the police among Lord Vishwanath’s devotees, before deciding to change the attire of policemen deployed at KVT. It was decided that the constables on temple duty would wear kurta with dhoti or pyjama, while women constables have been asked to turn out in traditional dress like salwar-kurta. There are about 24 constables in the list of sanctum sanctorum duty. A separate fund has been released for each constable to buy the new attire.”

Traffic police

State-wise strength of traffic police/ 2015

The Times of India, Sep 28 2015

Traffic police, State-wise strength; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Sep 28 2015

Dipak Dash

For 20 crore population, UP has only 3,656 traffic cops

With around 20 crore people, Uttar Pradesh is the most populous state in the country . It also has the highest number of registered vehicles, but it only has 3,656 policemen to deal with traffic management. It's not much different in other states since the focus of police departments is on “body-related crime“ rather than violation of traffic norms, which claim more lives.

Admitting that the number of traffic policemen was way too less for UP's size, additional director general (traffic) Anil Agrawal said it was much lower than what big cities like Delhi or Mumbai have today .“We have started the process to increase this strength to 16,000. You need to have adequate manpower to meet the requirement,“ he added. Many states including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana Karnataka, Haryana, Hima chal Pradesh, Odisha and Pun jab have submitted details of the number of traffic police men to a Supreme Court-ap pointed committee on road safety . “Most traffic policemen are deployed in the main cities and particularly to manage VIP routes. So, you hardly find traffic policemen in small cities or towns and other roads.Lack of policemen and no fear of getting caught encourage traffic violators,“ said a road transport ministry official.

Sources said the SC-appointed panel has asked the home ministry to set norms for sanction and deployment of traffic policemen in states ­ either proportionate to population or to the number of registered vehicles. TOI has learnt that the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) has recommended a formula for deployment of traffic policemen. This will be placed before the SC panel so that the proposal can be pursued.

Shortage of staff in the states/ 2017

Dipak Dash, October 16, 2018: The Times of India

Uttar Pradesh requires an additional 45,000 traffic policemen, while Rajasthan needs 13,277 more and Maharashtra needs to add 3,000 men in uniform to its present strength to deal with the growing number of vehicles, according to an assessment done for the Supreme Court Committee on Road Safety.

Teams of IIT-Delhi, DIMTS and TERI carried out the assessment based on the norms set by the Bureau of Police Research and Development. The report mentions UP has the maximum shortfall among the eight states that were covered in this assessment. The largest state has about 3,248 traffic cops and needs to increase the strength by at least 10 times.

According to the findings, Karnataka needs about 2,700 additional traffic policemen and Kerala has a shortage of about 1,300 traffic cops.

Road transport ministry officials said while increasing the strength of traffic police for visible enforcement is a necessity, but the focus should be on IT-based traffic enforcement. “Across the world we see how technologies including intelligent traffic system are used extensively to manage traffic and to catch the violators. The proposed amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act has adequate provision for more use of technology,” one of the officials said.

2019/ 72,000 traffic policemen to manage 20 crore vehicles

Dipak Dash, Sep 8, 2019: The Times of India

Traffic policemen in five states in 2017.
From: Dipak Dash, Sep 8, 2019: The Times of India

The total strength of traffic police in India was a little over 72,000 while the number of vehicles registered was nearly 20 crore, according to the last report of the Bureau of Police Research and Development published in 2017. Sources said the number has not gone up by much in the past one-and-a-half years.

While West Bengal had the maximum of nearly 8,500 traffic policemen and Karnataka a little over 6,000 traffic cops, Delhi traffic police had a strength of 6,600 to manage the capital’s roads. Officials also admitted that the deployment of traffic cops is primarily visible in big cities and state capitals while one can hardly spot them in small towns.

Some of the top traffic police officers TOI talked to said that the average number of speed guns across India could be one per district. “The huge shortage of traffic police makes it important to go for extensive use of IT and camera-based monitoring of traffic offences,” said T Krishna Prasad, DGP (road safety) of Telangana.

“This points to how the issue of enforcing provisions of Motor Vehicle Act is only confined to urban areas and big cities while over 55% accidents and deaths take place on roads passing through villages and these include state and national highways,” said Rama Shankar Pandey, who heads the road safety cell of Confederation of Indian Industries.

The number of traffic cops has not increased despite the BPRD in 2015 suggesting the norm for deployment of policemen and equipment should be based on the number of vehicles the states and cites had. For example, it had suggested that Delhi needed 15,345 traffic policemen to monitor over 85 lakh vehicles and manage traffic mayhem, besides numerous VVIP movements. But the current strength of Delhi traffic police is just over 6,000. 

Use of force against unlawful activities

Police ‘firings,’ 2016, 2018

May 24, 2018: The Times of India

Police ‘firings’ in 2016, May 2018
The Law and use of force against unlawful activities
From: May 24, 2018: The Times of India

See graphic:

Police ‘firings’ in 2016, May 2018
The Law and use of force against unlawful activities

2010-2022: Monetary compensation for victims of firing

April 6, 2022: The Times of India

New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has, over the past 12 years, awarded a total monetary compensation of over Rs 3 crore in 46 cases of deaths due to police firing and Rs 21. 5 crore in 334 cases relating to deaths in encounters with the police, the home ministry told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Junior home minister Nityanand Rai, in reply to a written question, shared that while a total monetary compensation of Rs 13. 7 crore was awarded in 215 cases of deaths in police encounters between 2010-11 and 2013-14, when the UPA was in power, a total 119 cases of deaths in police firings received compensation worth Rs 7. 8 crore from NHRC since NDA came to power in 2014.

Regarding deaths due to police firing, monetary com- pensation of Rs 1. 3 crore was awarded in 22 cases by the NHRC between 2010-11 and 2013-14. Between 2014-15 and 2021-22 (till February 2022), the NHRC gave a total Rs 1. 7 crore as compensation in 24 cases of deaths in police firing.

Women in the police

Share in the police force


See graphic:

Women in police stations, 1939-2017

2013-2018: 53% rise in numbers

Bharti Jain, Oct 26, 2019: The Times of India

The strength of women personnel in the police force has gone up by almost 53% between the year 2013 and 2018 and by 20.95% in 2017 alone. Of the total 1.69 lakh women personnel in civil police, district armed reserve and armed police across the country as on January 1, 2018, 27,167 were in Maharashtra alone.

According to the latest BPR&D (Bureau of Police Research and Development) publication ‘Data on Police Organisations (till 1/1/2018)’ released by minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy on Friday, the total number of districts in the country affected by terrorism and extremists were 188 in 2017, most of which were in Assam (33) followed by J&K (25) and Jharkhand (21). In comparison, there were 181 affected districts in 2016, 172 in 2015 and 170 in 2014.

While the total sanctioned strength of state police forces was 24.84 lakh as on 1.1.2018, their actual strength was 19.41 lakh, leaving 5.43 lakh vacancies at various levels.

The total sanctioned strength of central armed police forces (CAPFs) was assessed at 10.82 lakh, though their actual strength was a little over 10 lakh.

The police population ratio, defined as police personnel (sanctioned strength) per lakh of population, came to 192.95 during 2017, registering a marginal rise from 192.87 in 2016. Manipur had the highest PPR of 1,255.41.

The BPR&D report states that 1,769 companies, roughly comprising 1.76 lakh central para-military personnel, were deployed for internal security duties across the country for more than six months in 2017. Of these, 71,300 personnel were deployed in J&K alone and over 26,000 personnel in Left-wing extremismhit Chhattisgarh.

The total strength of women personnel in Central para-military forces stood at 28,061 on 1.1.2018, of which maximum were in CISF (8,303), followed by CRPF (7,793), BSF (5,174) and RPF (2,250). The actual percentage of women police in comparison to actual strength of total police was 8.73%.


Bharti Jain, December 30, 2020: The Times of India

Police-population ratio, as in 2019
From: Bharti Jain, December 30, 2020: The Times of India

The strength of women personnel in state and Union Territory police forces registered a significant 16% jump last year, with their share rising to 10.3% as on January 1 this year (reflecting 2019 data) from 8.9% on January 1, 2019. Though the improvement is welcome, the cumulative percentage and numbers continue to reflect the male domination of police forces.

Among the states, Bihar police had the highest share of women personnel at 25.3%.

Bihar has highest share of women cops at 25%

Among the states, Bihar police — covering civil police, district armed reserve, special armed police and India Reserve Battalions — had the highest share of women personnel at 25.3%, followed by Himachal with 19.15%, Chandigarh with 18.78% and Tamil Nadu police with 18.5% women personnel. Overall, almost one-fifth of sanctioned positions for personnel in police forces across the country remain vacant.

On the other hand, data on police organisations released by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) on Tuesday shows the police-population ratio or the actual strength of police personnel per lakh population has fallen to 155.7 from 158.2. Sanctioned police personnel per lakh population, however, were at 195.4 as compared to corresponding figure of 198.4 as on January 1, 2019.

Statewise data on policepopulation ratio (per lakh population) — calculation based on the actual strength of police — saw Nagaland doing the best with 1,301 police personnel per lakh population, followed by Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manipur, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. The states and UTs with the lowest police-population ratio were Bihar (76.2 police personnel per lakh population), Daman & Diu, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and MP.

Another significant parameter for police coverage — police-area ratio or personnel (sanctioned) per 100 sq km — was recorded at 79.8, slightly up from 78.9 as on 01.01.2019.


February 9, 2023: The Times of India

New Delhi : Women constitute 11. 7% of India’s police forces, with Ladakh Police leading the states/UTs with a 28. 3% women component even as J&K figures at the bottom of the table with just 3. 3% women in its police organisation. 
Sharing this information in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, junior minister Nityanand Rai said according to data compiled by the Bureau for Police Research and Development, as on January 1, 2022, Andhra Pradesh had the second-highest percentage of women in its police force (21. 7%), followed by Chandigarh (21. 6%), Bihar (21. 2%) and Tamil Nadu (19. 1%). States with least share of women in police are J&K (3. 2%), Tripura (5. 3%) and Meghalaya (5. 9%). Rai said the home ministry has been impressing upon the states and UTs to increase the representation of women in their police forces to 33%. 


Dec 6, 2023: The Times of India

Share of women in police force doubles in 10 yrs

Though rising number of women in police force still well short of govt target Even though the all-India percentage of women in the police force has improved steadily over the past 10 years, rising from 5.87% in 2013 to 11.75% in 2022, it is still way short of the 33% target set by the Union home ministry.

WPS (women’s police stations)

Kozhikode, 1973

Disney Tom, Oct 26, 2023: The Times of India

Kochi : A remarkable piece of history unfolded precisely five decades ago when then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, inaugurated the country’s first women’s police station in Kozhikode. The PM then handed the station’s first sub-inspector, M Padminiamma, a pen to sign the inaugural register. 
Kerala Police takes immense pride in declaring it the first police station in Asia for women on their website, yet there’s a twist to this tale. Some assert that this trailblazing initiative might, in fact, hold the distinction of being the world’s first of its kind. 
Padminiamma, who retired as an SP in 1995, vividly recalled the historical moment from October 23, 1973, that wo uld go on to shape the way women accessed law enforcement in Kerala and across India. The idea behind the Vanitha (women’s) police station in Kozhikode was both progressive and humane, Padminiamma said in Thiruvananthapuram, where she lives with her son.

2017: a success

Ishita Mishra, Mahila thanas a big relief, but there’s too few of them, November 22, 2018: The Times of India

The ease of filing cases is one of the reasons why women police stations have gained traction in the country. Researchers Sofia Amaral and Sonia Bhalotra of the University of Essex in UK, and Nishith Prakash from University of Connecticut in US, who recently conducted a joint study on all-female police stations in the country, told TOI in an email that India’s mahila thanas are encouraging women to report crimes. The result is that there has been an almost a 22% rise in the filing of women-related cases at WPS since the time all-female police stations were set up in the early 2000s.

The study, which focuses on Rajasthan and Jharkhand but includes mahila thanas across India, said that personnel posted at WPS “are more gender-sensitive than other cops”, making women feel more comfortable to approach them. A look at mahila thanas in UP, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand by TOI teams showed that reporting of crimes by women has indeed gone up. But also that a lot still needs to be done.

First, the good news. The number of women police personnel, which was approximately 5% of the police force in 2013, has risen to 7.56% (as of 2017). This means there are more feet on the ground to look at women-related cases.

The flip side, though, is that the quality of policing in most WPSs still has some way to go. Amaral said she found that while women’s police stations did a good job in getting women to report crime, they weren’t so effective as far as policing was concerned — arrests and chargesheets were problem areas. Prakash, coauthor of the study, said that when he visited a few mahila thanas, he found that “access to resources was a binding constraint”. “Starting from limited training of officers handling violence against women cases to ill-equipped stations, there is no doubt that women’s police stations in India need attention.”

Observers say that most mahila thanas quite often turn into “counselling centres”. This is acknowledged by personnel at these police stations. “The image of mahila thanas has become like that of a mediation centre. Women come here with their husbands and ask us to resolve their domestic quarrels,” said Madhuri Nayak, in-charge of the WPS at Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh. Sapna Kumari, who heads the mahila thana in Jaipur, agreed. “We register only family-related disputes in mahila thanas across Rajasthan. Sometimes, we take cases of rape but only after special orders of the SP or SSP concerned.” But “disputes” can also mean domestic violence, harassment for dowry, marital rape.

If investigations by women cops are a problem, sub-inspector at Saharanpur, Suman Pawar, said it was obvious as to why. “Who said women police stations can handle everything? We need men’s support if we want to investigate the accused, who are mostly men. In case we want to go outstation for a probe, we still need men to accompany us,” she said.

A police officer who did not wish to be named said that the reason why mahila thanas “lack teeth” is “poor guidelines from the government and acute staff crunch in the police department”.

Mishra, the Saharanpur SP, said lack of staff was a major reason why mahila thanas were not able to function to their optimum capacity. “Every city has just one mahila thana and hence is unable to handle investigations of heinous crimes,” he said.

Considering that womenrelated crimes are on the rise — the study found that there has been a marked increase in acts of violence against women in the past few years — mahila thanas would need to mould themselves accordingly to meet the challenge. For starters, police officers said, they need many more.

The ease of filing cases is one of the reasons why women’s police stations have gained traction. A study found that personnel posted at these police stations ‘are more gendersensitive than other cops’, making women feel more comfortable to approach them

Work load

Work overload: 2013

The Times of India, Jun 01 2015

`73% of Indian cops don't get a weekly off'

Police personnel are often inefficient and offensive because they are overworked, a study said. It found 90% of police officers worked for more than eight hours a day and 73% didn't get a weekly off even once a month. Cops were called in for emergency duties during their rare off days as well, reports Neeraj Chauhan. Long duty hours were the reason why many cops were not physically fit.

Offensive behaviour of cops due to trying work hrs: Study

The Times of India, Jun 01 2015

Neeraj Chauhan

If a police officer in your area doesn't work efficiently and has an offensive attitude, it is because he is overworked, a new study has said. The study , National Requirement of Manpower for 8hour Shift in Police Stations, carried out by Bureau of Police Research and Development and Administrative Staff College of India has found that 90% of police officers work for more than eight hours a day and 73% don't get a weekly off even once a month and are called for emergency duties from their rare off days as well. The research was conducted on 12,156 police station staff, 1,003 SHOs and 962 supervisory officers, from ranks ranging from con stables to IGPs, in 319 districts in 23 states and two UTs.

“ More than 68% of SHOs and over 76% of supervisory officers stated that staff members were on duty for 11 hours or more per day . 27.7% SHOs and 30.4% supervisory officers reported that their staff worked for more than 14 hours a day ,“ the study said.

The study said the cur rent working hours were not in consonance with Indian labour laws nor in compliance with provisions of Article 42 of the Constitution. Besides, it also violated international norms as well.

Talking about impacts, the study said, “Nearly 74% of respondents have reported health problems of different kinds . It could as well be true that government expenses to treat these health consequences, along with the quality man-hours lost due to their adverse effects, would cost the police organization more than operating in shifts.“

The study said introduction of shift system would mean rationalizing the work hour norms for police station staff to more acceptable limits. According to the SHOs, there was a need of 1.68 times strength of the present sanctioned strength for the shift system. According to 2013 figures, the total manpower strength of all police stations in India was 675,115. Given that the total manpower of state police forces as on January 1, 2013 was 22, 09,027, the manpower sanctioned for police stations would represent only about 30% of the total police strength. The 8-hour shift system in Kerala has found improved performance of the police in terms of law and order, investigation, behavior and even conviction rate.

See also

Police and the law: India

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