January 17, 2022
Alerts & Bugs

Drone attacks, cyber attacks, narcotics trafficking biggest challenges for police: Amit Shah – ET CISO

NEW DELHI: Home minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that suggestions of 14 states, three Union territories, eight Central police organisations, six Central armed police forces (CAPFs) and seven NGOs regarding possible changes in British-era laws like Indian Penal Code and Indian Evidence Act as well as the Criminal Procedure Code enacted in 1973, had been received by the government thus far. Various stakeholders are being consulted by the home ministry on a proposal for a major overhaul of the criminal justice system through amendments to IPC, CrPC and Evidence Act.

Addressing the 51st Foundation Day of BPR&D here, Shah shared that BPR&D, a key stakeholder in the consultation process that has been on for nearly two years now, had offered some “constructive suggestions” as part of Narendra Modi government’s efforts to overhaul archaic laws like CrPC, IPC and Evidence Act and bring them in sync with the modern times and Indian conditions. Suggestions have also been received from other stakeholders including state and UT governments, Central police forces and NGOs, he said.

According to sources, the home ministry’s consultation exercise also covers the courts and bar associations. “It is a work in progress,” said a government functionary.

Though Shah did not elaborate on the suggestions received, stakeholders including civil rights activists have been demanding scrapping of Section 124A(sedition) of IPC on grounds of being vague and open to misinterpretation and misuse to stifle free speech. A section has also sought review of bail provisions to protect disadvantaged and sections who cannot arrange bail money. Another key reform sought relates to hate crimes like lynching, which currently are dealt under IPC provisions relating to murder.

There is also a view among a section that misuse of mercy petition provisions by death-row rape convicts, to buy time before facing the gallows, should be stopped by suitably amending the relevant laws.

During his speech at the BPR&D event on Saturday, Shah also referred to drone attacks, cyber attacks, narcotics trafficking, fake currency and hawala trade as the biggest challenges for the police forces and asked the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) to assess the nature of these problems and study the best practices worldwide to devise effective and timely solutions.

The foundation day event on Saturday was attended by MoS(home) Nityanand Rai, home secretary Ajay Bhalla; Intelligence Bureau director Arvinda Kumar, BPR&D DG Balaji Srivastava and several senior serving and retired officers of MHA and Central armed police forces.

Congratulating the BPR&D for having retained its relevance for 50 years since its inception, Shah advised the Central police organization to keep reinventing itself and suggested that it work on modernization of and upgrading the training and operational capabilities of the Central armed police forces, particularly in the light of challenges they face at the international borders including maritime borders.

Impressing upon the need to strengthen the ‘beat ‘system, Shah asked BPR&D to step up efforts to revive, update and technically upgrade this mechanism for better ground-level policing.

Alleging a campaign to spoil the image of the police by highlighting negative stories and ignoring the positive developments, Shah suggested that the good work of police forces during Covid times should be documented by the Central forces as well as all state police”.

In the last five years, BPR&D has trained around 42,000 Indian police personnel, 4,000 foreign police officers from friendly countries, especially SAARC.

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