Notes on Law and order machinery at the union level (India)


Though the Constitution of India has mandated ‘Police’ and ‘Public Order’ to be State subjects, there certain provisions in the Constitution, which empower the Central Government to intervene in s’ situations or perform special functions in police matters.

It is the duty of the Centre to protect the st against internal disturbances and to ensure that the governance of every state is carried on in ac dance with the provisions of the Constitution (Article 355). As per List 1 of the 7th Schedule, the P- ment has exclusive powers to make laws with respect to:

» The armed forces of the Union, which includes the Central Para-Military Forces (Entry 2A);


» The Central Bureau Investigation and Intelligence Bureau (Entry 8);

» The Union agencies and institutions for training of police officers, promotion of special studies research, scientific and technical assistance in the investigation or detection of crime (Entry 65),

» All-India Services (Entry 70); and

» Extension of the powers and jurisdiction of members of one state police force to another with consent of that state or to outside railway areas (Entry 80)


Union ministry for home affairs

The Union Ministry for Home Affairs controls the nationwide Indian Police Service, most of paramilitary forces, and the internal intelligence bureaus.

The Police are a civil authority subordinates the Executive, represented in the Union Government by the Prime Minister and in the States by Chief Minister, and their respective Councils of Ministers. Prominent among the Union police forces the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police F (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). Each these forces are headed by a Director/Director-General with the status of a three-star General in Army. The CBI is controlled by the Department of Personnel of the Union Government headed by

Minister of State who reports to the Prime Minister the other forces are controlled by the Union Minis- I try of Home Affairs headed by a Cabinet Minister.


To enable the police have greater and speedier reach and the public to gain easier access to police help, police posts have been set up under police stations, particularly where the jurisdiction of the police station, in terms of area and population, is large.

The rapid growth of the internal intelligence bureaus and the increased use of paramilitary forces against separatist insurgencies and communal unrest have given the Home Ministry increasing day-to­day control over law and order operations.

Centrally controlled paramilitary forces are deployed throughout India and have been responsible for significant human rights abuses in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast. These abuses ultimately raised questions about the effectiveness of civilian oversight and the extent of the Government’s willingness and ability to prosecute offenders vigorously.

Army units are also deployed for internal security duty in Kashmir and the northeast, and generally show greater re­spect for human rights than the paramilitary forces, although they have also been responsible for some abuses.


The Union Ministry for Home Affairs controls most of the paramilitary forces, the internal bureaus, and the nationwide police service; it provides training for senior police officers for state-organized police forces.

The armed forces are under civilian control. Security forces have co ted significant human rights abuses, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and in the northeastern stat:

The Central Police organization today includes the Assam Rifles, Border Security Force, Reserve Police Force, Central Industrial Security Force, Rapid Action Force, and Indo- In addition, there exist a number of Bureaus like the National Crime Records Bureau, Bu of Police Research and Development which looks after research, development, training and under it a number of Forensic Science Laboratories.

Moreover, India is a permanent member of t International Police Organisation (INTRERPOL) and has been taking active part in its, symposia and meetings. India is also a member of the Interpol’s 13 member executive committee.


Centre’s Role in Policing

» Recruiting and managing the Indian Police Service; » Operating the Intelligence Bureau, the Central Bureau of Investigation and other Central Police Organisations;

» Raising, maintaining and deploying Central para-military forces to assist the civil police;

» Maintaining a Directorate of Coordination of Police Wireless to provide an independent channel of communication to police forces in the country and a National Crime Records Bureau to ensure computerisation of police forces;

» Establishing and maintaining institutions for research, training and rendering of scientific aids to investigation;

» Enacting laws for the functioning of the criminal justice system in the country;

» Rendering advice and assistance to the state governments in dealing with crime, law and order and other related matters;

» Coordinating the activities of various state police organizations; and » Providing financial assistance for the modernisation of state police forces.

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