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Law and Order Administration: British legacy; National Police Commission; Investigative agencies; Role of central and state agencies including paramilitary forces in maintenance of law and order and countering insurgency and terrorism; Criminalisation of politics and administration; Police- public relations; Reforms in Police.

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Law and order administration is one of the most important function performed by the Government. In fact,the survival of administration depends upon maintenance of law and order in a country. The functioning of law and order administration comes under the state list with the Union/Central government having advisory and coordinating role(discussed in last post on this blog). Rapid growth of population,industrialisation,urbanisation,growing political consciousness lead to law and order problems. Agrarian and tribal revolts,political caste and communal violence,labour and student unrest and terrorism are indications of law and order problems.

Law and Order comes under the Ministry of Home affairs' Department of Internal Security in India. As such law and order and internal security are managed under one umbrella at the level of the Union Government. The Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for matters relating to the internal security of the country and enacts laws for the functioning of the criminal justice system. Refer -

However, 'Police' and 'Public Order' are matters of State Governance and not Union governance, according to Schedule VII, making the management of law and order in India complex.

The First Police Commission, appointed on 17 August 1860, contained detailed guidelines for the desired system of police in India and defined police as a governmental department to maintain order, enforce the law, and prevent and detect crime.
The present Indian Police system is based on the Police Act of 1861. Under this act the police was made subordinate to the executive government. Later several changes were brought about in the structure as well as functioning of the police system in the country,but the basic structure and characteristics are enshrined in the Police Act of 1861 and it continues to dominate over the police system in India. Similarly, the Indian Penal Code(1860) and Criminal Procedure Code(1861) and the Indian Evidence Act were compiled and enacted for effective law and order.
Much before the Independence, superior police officers belonging to the Imperial Police (IP) were appointed by the Secretary of State on the basis of competitive examination. The very first open civil service examination for the service was held in England in June, 1893 and the top ten candidates were appointed as probationers of the Indian (Imperial) Police. However, it is not possible to pinpoint a date on which it could positively be claimed that the Indian Police came into being.
In around 1907, the Secretary of State's officers were directed to wear the letters "IP" on their epaulets to distinguish them from the other officers not recruited by the Secretary of State. In this sense, 1907 could be regarded as the starting point for the Indian Police. However, one must note that the

The Indian Police Service is not a force itself but a service providing leaders and commanders to staff the state police and all-India para-military forces. Its members, who are all at least university graduates, are the senior officers of the police.
With the pas­sage of time Indian Police Service's objectives were updated and redefined, the roles and functions of an Indian Police Service Officer are as follows:
» To fulfill duties based on broader responsibilities, in the areas of maintenance of public peace and order, crime prevention, investigation, and detection, collection of Intelligence, VIP security, counter- terrorism, border policing, railway policing, tackling smuggling, drug trafficking, economic offences, corruption in public life, disaster management, enforcement of socio-economic legislation, bio-diver­sity and protection of environmental laws etc.
» Leading and commanding the Indian intelligence agencies like Research and Analysis Wing (R& Intelligence Bureau (IB), Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), Crime Investigation Department (CID) etc., Indian federal law enforcement agencies, civil and armed police forces in all the and union territories.
» Leading and commanding the Para-Military Forces of India (PMF) which include the Central P Organisations (CPO) and Central Paramilitary Forces (CPF) such as Border Security Force ( Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), National Security G (NSG), Rashtriya Rifles, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Vigilance Organisations, I Federal Law Enforcement Agencies, Assam Rifles, etc.
Serve at head of the departments in policy making in the Ministries and Departments of C and State Governments and public sector undertakings both at centre and states, Government India.
» To interact and coordinate closely with the members of other All-India Services and Central Services and also with the Indian Armed Forces
» Last but not the least, to lead and command the force with courage, uprightness, dedication a strong sense of service to the people.
» Endeavour to inculcate in the police forces under their command such values and norms as help them serve the people better.
» Inculcate integrity of the highest order, sensitivity to aspirations of people in a fast-changing and economic milieu, respect for human rights, broad liberal perspective of law and justice and standard of professionalism.

The District Collector's office was formed to be in charge of the police and maintain law and order at the district level as he also functions as a District Magistrate. This has been discussed in previous post on this blog, refer dist admin.

The National Police Commission (NPC) was appointed by the Government of India in 1977
with wide terms of reference covering the police organisation, its role, functions,
accountability, relations with the public, political interference in its work, misuse of powers,
evaluation of its performance etc. This was the first Commission appointed at the national
level after Independence. The Commission produced eight reports between 1979 and 1981,
suggesting wide ranging reforms in the existing police set-up.

For the major recommendations,implementations and status refer -  And also refer to this link for other committees and commissions set up after the National Police Commission -

Lack of political will still comes in between implementing the recommendations of the above as the abovementioned Commissions and Committees recommendations lie unimplemented.


1) Central Bureau Of Investigation - The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is India's premier investigative agency, responsible for a wide variety of criminal and national security matters. It was established on 1 April 1963 and evolved from the Special Police Establishment founded in 1941. The Central Bureau of Investigation is controlled by the Department of Personnel and Training in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension of the Union Government usually headed by a Union Minister who reports directly to the Prime Minister. It is India’s official Interpol unit. The CBI draws its officers from the best IPS and IRS officers around the country. It is responsible for investigation into various crimes and national security. The agency specializes in investigating crimes involving high ranking government officials and politicians.

2) The Indian Income-tax Department: Is India's premier financial agency, responsible for a wide variety of financial and fiscal matters.The Tax department is controlled by the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance of the Union Government headed by a Union Minister who reports directly to the Prime Minister. It's officers are drawn from the Indian Revenue Services across the country. The Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation is responsible for investigation into various economic crimes and tax evasion.The special agents and agents are able to carry firearms when they are posted in the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in the I-T department .The Finance Ministry has recently notified bringing under one umbrella the intelligence and criminal investigation units of the Income Tax department to effectively deal with terror financing cases and transactions that pose threat to national security.The department will now recruit special agents and agents (criminal investigation) under the new wing, half of whom would be recruited or brought on deputation from premier investigative agencies and police organisations of the country.The special agents who will form part of the premier DCI would be able to carry firearms under the rules prescribed by their parent organisation and would be able to tackle any intimidation in course of their new duty of checking and gathering intelligence on tax evasion.
The DCI will be headed by the Director General of Intelligence (Income Tax) and was notified in May this year to tackle the menace of black money with cross-border ramifications.The revamp is aimed at launching 'un-intrusive' investigations against "persons and transactions suspected to be involved in criminal activities having cross-border, inter-state or international ramifications, that pose a threat to national security and are punishable under the direct tax laws."
The commissioners of the intelligence directorate of I-T who are posted in cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Lucknow will also take up criminal investigation work under the DCI."Criminal investigation relies heavily on accurate and specific actionable intelligence and information of such activities and hence such an arrangement has been made.Separate manpower for the criminal investigation unit will be raised in the next few years when the department gets additional sanction. The intelligence wing of the I-T department has the Central Information Branch (CIB) under it, which is a repository of classified and exhaustive data on taxpayers' financial transactions.

3) Directorate of Revenue Intelligence: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is an intelligence-based organisation responsible for the co-ordination of India's anti-smuggling efforts.Officers in this organisation are drawn from Indian Revenue Service(I.R.S.)

4) National Investigation Agency: National Investigation Agency (NIA) is the central agency to combat terror in India. The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states. The National Investigation Agency Bill 2008 to create the agency was moved in Parliament by Union Home Minister on 16 December 2008.The NIA was created in response to the Nov 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as need for a central agency to combat terrorism was found. It also deals with drug trafficking and currency counterfeiting.It draws it's officers from IRS and IPS.

5) Narcotics Control Bureau - The NCB is responsible for anti-narcotic operations all over the country. It checks the spread of contraband as well as the cultivation of drugs.The officers in this organisation are drawn from both the IRS and the IPS.

6) Central Forensic Science Laboratory: The Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) is a wing of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, which fulfils the forensic requirements in the country. It houses the only DNA repository in South and Southeast Asia.
There are four central forensic laboratories in India, at Hyderabad, Kolkata,Mumbai,Rajkot, Chandigarh,Pune and New Delhi. CFSL Hyderabad is centre of excellence in chemical sciences, CFSL Kolkata in biological sciences and CFSL Chandigarh in physical sciences. These laboratories are under the control of the Directorate of Forensic Science (DFS) of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The laboratory in New Delhi is under the control of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and investigates cases on its behalf.

CENTRAL AGENCIES - Government of India is divided into the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary wings, with each performing its respective roles in management of internal security(maintaining cross border peace) and law and order of India.
National Security Council comprising of the Strategic Policy Group, the National Security Advisory Board and a Secretariat represented by the Joint Intelligence Committee (India) is the apex agency looking into the overall security (both internal and external security of India) Law and Order itself comes under the Ministry of Home affairs' Department of Internal Security in India.
For the Executive, the Ministry of Home Affairs is responsible for internal security of India and enactment of laws for the functioning of the criminal justice system in the country.
Several laws have been enacted to ensure general peace in India, maintain law and order and maintain its national integrity. Several law enforcement agencies have been created to tackle the problem of maintaining law and order in the country. Crimes are managed separately by the Criminal courts of the country.

STATE AGENCIES: To perform the task of law and order administration, a state government maintains a separate department called the Home Department. The administrative head of this department is the Secretary,drawn as a rule from the generalist Indian Administrative Service ( IAS). The Home Department administers the police. Under the administrative control of the Home Department comes the executive organisation namely the Police department headed by the Deputy - General Of Police,who as a rule is drawn from the Indian Police Service. He may have an Additional Director General of Police to assist him. The Police Hierarchy comprises Inspectors - General of Police,Deputy Inspectors General of Police,Superintendents of Police and other lower level functionaries. 
The basic unit of law and order administration in a state is the police thana headed by the Station House Officer ( SHO) who is assisted by a complement of Inspectors, sub-inspectors,head constables and constables. 
The Superintendent of Police in charge of the district police is an important functionary and is subject to control and supervision by a Deputy Inspector - General of Police, who is generally placed in charge of a group of districts.
THe overall command and control are exercised by the Director - General of Police at the state level. Officers in charge of sub units within a district like sub divisions,circles and police stations are subordinate to the Superintendent of Police. The District Police is thus an integral part of the state wide police setup,which is hierarchically structured and held togethe by bonds of strong discipline and control.

The District collector/Deputy COmmissioner who is head of the District administration and apart from his other duties is responsible for the law and order administration in the district police assisted by the police head , the Superintendent of the Police ( District). 

In Metropolitan cities, there is the Police Commissionerate system like Mumbai,Kolkata,etc who reports to the state home ministry and is assisted by Joint commissioners of police who is in charge of the city range ( north range,south range,etc),Deputy Commissioner of Police ( incharge of the district) and ACP ( who is the head of sub division),and Station House Officer ( incharge of a police station) and other junior staff.

Delhi which is a Metropolitan has the COmmissionerate system who also enjoys magisterial powers but the reports directly to the Lieutenant Governor who reports to the President ( indirectly to the Central govt.)

The reputation of a state depends on how effectively it is able to maintain law and order withing its jurisdiction as freedom and independence will not have meaning unless such basic issues are properly attended to.

Unfortunately,in view of the prevailing atmosphere of violence in the country,attention to law and order is called for,but,the sad part is that this is being neglected in favour of development administration.
Therefore,it is imperative that law and order is given adequate attention and it is built up both on the infrastructural as well as intelligence and implementation level and its grievances and issues sorted out if we want a sound welfare state where development and law and order go hand in hand otherwise development will be stalled.

A paramilitary is a military force whose function and organization are similar to those of a professional military, but which is not considered part of a state's formal armed forces.
Paramilitary forces(Except the State Armed Police Forces) in India are under the Central govt. and under their orders. The paramilitary forces are:

  • Assam Rifles - Performs many roles including the provision of internal security under the control of the army through the conduct of counter insurgency and border security operations, provision of aid to the civil power in times of emergency, and the provision of communications, medical assistance and education in remote areas. In times of war they can also be used as a combat force to secure rear areas if needed.
  • Border Security Force -  For manning the land borders of the country except in the mountains.
  • Central Industrial Security Force -  It was created for the better protection and security of industrial undertakings.  It is the largest Industrial security force in the world.
  • Central Reserve Police Force - Its primary role lies in assisting the State/Union Territories in police operations to maintain law and order and contain insurgency. It has been of extreme significance in J&K especially during elections.
  • Defence Security Corps-  The role of Defence Security Corps is to ensure the protection and security of designated Defence Installations against sabotage and pilferage. The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and the Defence Security Corps (DSC) provide security at India's nuclear laboratories and Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) establishments, respectively. The CISF is purely a civilian Central government security force and though the DSC is a force under the Ministry of Defence and it comprises mainly superannuated soldiers who are re-employed for a few years.
  • Indo-Tibetan Border Police -  For manning the border with Tibet/China in the Himalaya
  • National Security Guards - Is a special force in India that has primarily been utilized for counter-terrorism activities. It's use in the Taj hotel terrorist attack in Mumbai 2008 has been the most recent and major highlighted one.
  • Railway Protection Force - The duties of the Railway Protection Force include: i) To do all conducive means for the free movement of the railways. ii) Protection and safeguarding of railway property. iii) Protection and safeguarding of passenger,their belonging and passenger area.
  • Rashtriya Rifles -A counter-insurgency/anti-terrorist force made up of soldiers deputed from other parts of the Indian Army, who receive special incentives while serving in the Rashtriya Rifles. It is deployed in J&K to tackle insurgency and terrorism.
  • Special Frontier Force - Conceived in the post Sino-Indian war period as a guerrilla force composed mainly of Tibetan refugees whose main goal was to conduct covert operations behind Chinese lines in case of another war between the People's Republic of China and India. It functions under the Research And Analysis Wing of the GOI.
  • Rapid Action Force - It was created to deal with riots & related unrest.
  • Sashastra Seema Bal -  For guarding the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan Borders.
  • Indian Coast Guard -  Its mission is the protection of India's maritime interests and enforcement of maritime law with jurisdiction over both territorial (including contiguous zone & exclusive economic zone) and international waters.

  • The State Armed Police Forces of India are the police units for dealing with serious law and order situations requiring a higher level of armed expertise than normal in states. The State Armed Police Forces exist in addition to the ordinary police services of the various states.

    The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW or R&AW) is an external intelligence agency of the Republic of India.Its creation was necessitated by the poor performance of the Intelligence Bureau(IB, which then handled both internal and external intelligence) in the recent wars against China (1962) and the Pakistan (1965) convinced the government that a specialized, independent agency was required for competent external intelligence gathering.The primary function of the RAW is collection of external intelligence, counter-terrorism and covert operations. In addition, it is responsible for obtaining and analyzing information about foreign governments, corporations, and persons, to advise Indian policymakers. It has been said that RAW is the "effective instrument of India's national power". RAW is also involved in the security of India's nuclear programme. The working of the RAW is not answerable to the Parliament of India and it works under the Prime Minister of India.

    The present RAW objectives include, and are not limited to:

    • Monitoring the political and military developments in adjoining countries, which have direct bearing on India's national security and the formulation of its foreign policy.
    • Secondly, molding international public opinion with the help of the strong and vibrant Indian diaspora.
    In the past, following the Sino-Indian war of 1962 and due to India's volatile relations with Pakistan, RAW's objectives had also consisted the following:
    • To watch the development of international communism and the schism between the two big communist nations, the Soviet Union and China. As with other countries, both these powers had direct access to the communist parties in India.
    • To control and limit the supply of military hardware to Pakistan, from mostly European countries, America and more importantly from China

    The Intelligence Bureau is India's internal intelligence agency and reputedly the world's oldest intelligence agency. It was recast as the Central Intelligence Bureau in 1947 under the Ministry of Home Affairs. Shrouded in secrecy, the IB is used to garner intelligence from within India and also execute counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism tasks. The Bureau comprises employees from law enforcement agencies, mostly from the Indian Police Service (IPS) and the military. However, the Director of Intelligence Bureau (DIB) has always been an IPS officer. In addition to domestic intelligence responsibilities, the IB is particularly tasked with intelligence collection in border areas, following the 1951 recommendations of the Himmatsinhji Committee (also known as the North and North-East Border Committee), a task entrusted to military intelligence organizations prior to independence in 1947. All spheres of human activity within India and in the neighborhood are allocated to the charter of duties of the Intelligence Bureau. The IB was also tasked with other external intelligence responsibilities as of 1951 until 1968, when the Research and Analysis Wing was formed. 

    The workings of these two and their intelligence keep the cycle of law and order going and gets the central and state law enforcement agencies, military and paramilitary forces into motion for the same.

    This post first appeared on Public Administration, please read the originial post: here

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    Law and Order Administration: British legacy; National Police Commission; Investigative agencies; Role of central and state agencies including paramilitary forces in maintenance of law and order and countering insurgency and terrorism; Criminalisation of politics and administration; Police- public relations; Reforms in Police.


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