J&K, Ladakh to become part of UTs Security Commission

Guidelines to be framed for promoting responsive policing
Step to help in evaluating performance of Police Service

Mohinder Verma

JAMMU, Sept 17: Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh will become part of the Union Territories Security Commission which has already been established by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for framing broad policy guidelines to promote efficient, effective, responsive and accountable policing in accordance with the law.
Official sources told EXCELSIOR that Supreme Court Bench headed by the then Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal vide judgment dated September 22, 2006 in a Writ Petition titled Prakash Singh and Others Versus Union of India and Others had issued directions for establishment of State Security Commission at State level on the lines of the National Security Commission.
“The State Security Commission will ensure that concerned State Government doesn’t exercise unwarranted influence or pressure on the State Police and lays down the broad policy guidelines so that the State Police always act according to the laws of the land and the Constitution of the country”, the Apex Court had mentioned in the judgment.
It was further mentioned by the Supreme Court that the functions of the State Security Commission would include laying down the broad policies and giving directions for the performance of the preventive tasks and service oriented functions of the police, evaluation of the performance of the State Police and preparing a report for placement before the State Legislature.
Though majority of the States acted on the directions of the Supreme Court either by enacting new laws or by issuing Government orders/notifications yet Jammu and Kashmir chose not to act, sources said while disclosing that this was also pointed out with serious concern by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) in its study conducted last year.
As far as Union Territories were concerned, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had in the year 2010 constituted Union Territories Security Commission with jurisdiction over all the Union Territories existing at that time.
“Now, with Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are set to become separate Union Territories from October 31, 2019 as per the provisions of the Jammu and Kashmir State Reorganization Act, 2019 passed by the Parliament early last month, there is no need for setting up of State Security Commission and they will become part of the Union Territories Security Commission”, sources said, adding “formal orders in this regard will be issued by the Union Territories Division of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in due course of time”.
It is pertinent to mention here that Union Home Secretary heads the Union Territories Security Commission while as Chief Secretaries of some Union Territories are its members and representatives of other Union Territories are included in the Commission as member as per the requirements of the agenda of the meeting. Joint Secretary (Union Territory) in the Ministry of Home Affairs acts as convenor of the Commission.
As per the office memorandum of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the copy of which is available with EXCELSIOR, the functions of the Union Territories Security Commission are to frame broad policy guidelines for promoting efficient, effective, responsive and accountable policing in accordance with the law.
Moreover, the Commission identifies performance indicators to evaluate the functioning of the Police Service. These indicators inter alia include operational efficiency, public satisfaction, victim satisfaction vis-a-vis police investigation and response, accountability, optimum utilization of resources and observance of human rights standards.
The Commission also reviews and evaluates organizational performance of the Police Service in the concerned Union Territory as a whole as well as district-wise against the Annual Plan; performance indicators as identified and laid down and resources available with and constraints of the police.
The Union Territories Security Commission is also having some independent members nominated by the Central Government and the objective behind this is to ensure that Commission is able to function independent of the Government control/influence.
“Major improvements are expected in the functioning of the State Police after the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh become part of the UTs Security Commission”, sources said, adding “this will also help in overcoming the problems in meeting the parameters fixed by the Bureau of Police Research and Development”.