Indian Police – An Overview on Reforms Happening in the current system


Antarctica is a continent yet not a country. There is land but no citizens. It is the people who transform a piece of earth in to a motherland. Thus it is the citizens who can make a country worth living. There are many countries which have flourished in spite of antagonistic climatic conditions on the other hand countries which are self sufficient in themselves have faced numerous economic difficulties. I believe that citizens play an important role in the development of a country. They can build or destroy a nation’s future.

Why is it needed?

India’s population was about 1,129,866,154 in 2007. The statistics reveal that there is less than one i.e. 0.956207 police officer per 1,000 people whereas in Mauritius it is 7.28432 per 1,000 people. Therefore it is the responsibility of the citizens to help the country to prevent crime.

Recently I had a discussion about the image of police with an Inspector General of Police. He expressed his concerns about the corruption prevailing in the system. But he also mentioned that the morale of the police is highly affected by the reaction of public. “Even though both men in army and police are provided with uniform, former is given out most respect whereas the latter is belittled by all. It is a reality that many of our officers have tainted the image of the entire police force but some of them have also sacrificed their lives for the nation. Why is every police officer assumed to be corrupt or tyrant? Shouldn’t the public cooperate with the police to make India a better country?”

How can it be done?

The police of various states have initiated community policing programs in their areas. Most of them include:

1. Family Counselling Centres

2. Town/ Urban Defence Societies

3. Village Defence Societies

4. Child Friendly Police

5. Medical Relief to the Injured

6. De addiction Camps

7. Police help for Visually Challenged

Thus, police has been instrumental in protecting the interests of people by involving them. The Village Defence Societies have proved a great asset in combating menace of dacoity in villages. Due to V.D.S there has been an increase in rural education, plantation of trees and construction of roads. This has also reduced crime rates and communal tensions in the villages.

The police have been working for providing free immediate relief to an accident victim, a victim of domestic violence and a child in distress. With the commendable efforts of police visually challenged people were provide with talking books i.e. the notes of the class were recorded in a cassette and writers books consisting of hundreds of student volunteers including a large number of family members of policemen. These volunteers offered their services as writers for visually impaired students during examinations including Board of Secondary Education.

One of the major community policing initiative is the launch of De-addiction camps. These camps have provided treatments to the addicts. Camps are organized by the government and private doctors for about 45 days. The treatment includes medical, psychological and psychiatric treatment including sessions of Yoga. These camps are generally launched with active support of National Social Services, Red Cross Society and Doordarshan.


It is strange that the police are blamed for most of the crimes done in the society. We usually forget that most of the criminals sprout out amongst us. Most of us must have had a bad experience with them. But there are officers who are continuously working for the benefit of the society. It is essential that these officers are responded with faith by the public, otherwise their efforts would be ruined. It is even our duty to protect the people around us. On commission of any offense we must inform the nearest police station. It is a shame that we act as mere spectators on the site of an accident instead of helping the victim. We are as much accountable to the nation as any other politician or police man.

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The Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Bill, 2010: Will It Change the fate of accident victims?

The 201st Law Commission report states that “Road accidents are increasing at an alarming rate of 3% annually. About 10.1% of all deaths in India are due to accidents and injuries. A vehicular accident is reported every 3 minutes and a death. A trauma-related death occurs in India every 1.9 minutes.”

In India, the witnesses of an accident become mere spectators due to the fear of subsequent legal procedures and their lack of awareness about pre-medical care. Often the doctors ignore such victims by denying the authorization of these medico-legal cases. There is a lapse of almost 35 to 45 minutes time between the accident and the arrival at the hospital. This is usually because public is very scared to offer any help to the victim. The people are frightened that the same would turn out to be a police case. Very few people take up the responsibility to help him. Some formalities have to be addressed when the victim arrives at the hospital. Ultimately the patient is provided with some treatment. But at times the delay may even result in his death. In such cases the responsibility lies not only on the hospital but on the entire system.

The Court has not remained silent on the issue either. In Parmand Katra v. Union of India the Supreme Court observed that “Every injured citizen brought for medical treatment should instantaneously be given medical aid to preserve life and thereafter the procedural criminal law should be allowed to operate in order to avoid negligent death.” “The patient whether he be an innocent person or be a criminal liable to punishment under the laws of the society, it is the obligation of those who are in charge of the health of the community to preserve life so that the innocent may be protected and the guilty may be punished. Social laws do not contemplate death by negligence to tantamount to legal punishment.”

Samantha Mukherjee a 20 year old student died. The hospital had discontinued his treatment when a fee of RS 15,000 could not be arranged. The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on hearing the case, stated that medical aid cannot be refused on the grounds that victim is unable to pay the fee.  The victim’s family was subsequently compensated with Rs.10 lakhs.

Fortunately, the enactment of a new legislation is on the cards. Movies like Munna Bhai M.B.B.S and others have always drawn our attention towards the miserable condition of accident victims who are often left unattended by the doctors.  Favorably on 22 February things might change.

The Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Bill, 2010 if passed by the Parliament would bring smiles to the face of many people. Although it primarily provides a legislative outline for the registration and regulation of clinical establishments in the country. It would also make it mandatory for doctors, hospitals and other medical establishments to treat and stabilize victims of road accidents and other emergency conditions. The act would apply to all systems of medicines and not only particularly to allopathy. The act would also apply to small clinics and even single doctors. The act would however not apply to Armed Forces Medical Service. The Act would primarily be applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Sikkim and all the union territories. It is expected to be implemented by other states as well. Similar legislation have already been passed by Delhi, Maharashtra, Punjab, Nagaland, Andra Pradesh and Orrisa. It would also set minimum standards of facilities and services which surely improve the health services in the country.

It is definitely an optimistic step put forth by the legislature. It would highly benefit the accident victims. The victims would not only be given initial medical care but if the hospital is found  incompetent to provide the same the patient would be transferred to another hospital with adequate facilities. The doctors would no longer be allowed to leave such patients in agony. They would be obligated to provide them with due medical assistance.

The people must be made aware of the Act by advertisements and other means.  The notices should also be displayed in all clinics, dispensaries and hospitals. There is an urgent need for well-equipped and well-maintained ambulances in the country. Pre-medical training must be given at governmental and educational institutions.

In United States the person giving pre-medical assistance to accident victims is not subjected to any kind of damages. Similar position must be adopted in India as well. The common notion that prevails in the country that helping an accident victim would result in problems must be addressed. Law has only a minimum role to play when the moral responsibility of the citizens is involved. The constant fear of the public must be addressed both by the government and the police. For this more and more Community Policing schemes must be encouraged. The people who help accident victims must be given credit and recognition. Saving life is not only by saving people from drowning or murderers but also by providing the adequate medical help at the time of need.

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