January , 2004
Introduction of urban policing system in Orissa
PUCL Bhubaneswar seeks information
on the working of the police commissionerate system in Indian cities
-- By Pramodini Pradhan
The Govt of Orissa is going to introduce the urban policing sytem in
some urban centers of the State in place of the prevalent ‘normal’
police system, on the line of police commissionerate system prevailing
in other major cities of the country like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Calcutta,
Recently the Orissa Assembly has passed the Orissa Urban Police Bill 2003
to this effect which has given some draconian powers to the police. This
has elicited protests from various quarters.
The arguments in support of this bill are (a)
that it is badly required to meet the challenges of increasing
crimes and other problems due to urbanization and industrialization and
under the new provision it would install a superior and more professional
policing system and (b)
that it is working smoothly in 34 major cities all over the country, including
the ones referred to above, without any allegation of major abuse. While,
prima facie opposing it, we are trying to prepare a critique of the new
police bill passed by the Orissa Assembly. We would be immensely aided
in our effort if we can get any feedback on working of the police commissionerate
system in the cities of your state wherever it is operating.
may kindly share your experiences, particularly on the following areas
- How far the police gets scope to abuse its power and indulge in corruption,
torture, extortion etc by being conferred with some extra powers - the
licensing power for various purposes like advertisement, places of amusement,
eating houses etc, magisterial powers, power of externment, various
regulatory powers like that of traffic and other civic amenities, power
to compound offences etc.
- If the police has been granted any extra immunity under such system
in your state against abuse of its power, over and above the existing
ones under the normal provisions of law like 197 of CRPC. If so, how
far it has helped increasing the audacity of the police.
- Use, abuse and effectivity of the systems of appointing additional
police officers temporarily from the common people at the time of emergent
needs like communal riots etc or appointment of special police officers
at the requisition of some private party on user-paid basis.
- Use and abuse of Community Defence Committees set up by the police
and that of the system of community penalty in disturbed areas .
- How far the urban police system is more effective in addressing the
challenges of urbanization and industrialization in comparison to the
normal policing system, in proportion to the scope for abuse under both
- Is it at all required to be newly introduced in other cities.
Besides, if any study has been conducted on the working, effectivity,
abuse and reform of the urban policing system in your state by any govt
or non-govt body, and any other article/ information is available with
you , kindly share the same with us .