Police Commissionerate System


    In News

    • Recently, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to introduce the police commissionerate system in Agra, Ghaziabad and Prayagraj after it was implemented in Noida, Varanasi, Lucknow and Kanpur.
      • The three districts would be declared as metropolitan cities as per the rules of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) before implementing the police commissionerate system.

    Commissionerate System

    • Empowerment of police under commissionerate system:
      • The commissioner of police under the commissionerate system exercises the powers and duties of a District Magistrate. These powers are also available to any officer under the commissioner who is not below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police.
      • This essentially means that such police officers now have powers of preventive arrest, imposing Section 144 of the CrPC Act.
      • The police are also empowered to conduct externment proceedings and issue written orders to remove a person from their jurisdiction of the commissionerate for a maximum of two years.

    • Need to introduce the commissionerate system
      • Various committees constituted to suggest police reforms: They have recommended implementation of a police commissioner system in cities which have witnessed rapid urbanisation and have a population of more than 10 lakhs.
      • 6th report of the National Police Commission: It noted that as compared to police in districts, police in commissionerate in small areas had a better account of themselves.
      • Changing dynamism and growing complexities of security threats: It further pointed out that in urban areas, the changing dynamism and growing complexities of security threats required a swift and prompt response.
      • Solves the issue of lack of understanding: However, in districts where the SPs and DMs do not have an understanding, orders to swiftly act are rarely issued in time which aggravates the situation.
      • Additional powers: Police officers under this commissionerate system will be given additional powers by amending certain sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), Police Act, Motor Vehicles Act, National Security Act, State Security Act (externment from districts), Prisoners Act, Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, Government Secrets Act etc. 
    • Issues with commissionerate system:
      • Delegation of authority and better integration: Issues like delegation of authority and better integration will have to be addressed.
      • Immense power: This will lead to immense power in the hands of police which already lacks public confidence.
      • Civil administrative officials have an edge: because people are more comfortable in interacting with them as they create balance in society.
      • Works well where literacy ratio is higher: This system works better in states where the literacy ratio is higher and people have wide knowledge about law and their fundamental rights.
    • Structure of commissionerate system:
      • A deputy inspector general of police (DIG) rank or above officer will be appointed as Commissioner of Police (CP).
      • And, CP will be assisted by special commissioner, joint commissioner, additional commissioner and deputy commissioner.
      • According to the commissionerate system implemented in various states, the CP will directly report to the government, in place of DM.
    • How many states have it?
      • Almost all states barring Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, UT of J&K, and some Northeastern states have a commissionerate system.
      • The British brought the system first in Kolkata and followed it in Mumbai and Chennai presidencies.
      • Delhi turned into a commissionerate during the Morarji Desai regime. 

    Difference between the Dual System of Control and the Commissionerate System

    Commissionerate system

    Dual system

    The commissioner of police under the commissionerate system exercises the powers and duties of a District Magistrate along with policing.

    Separation of powers of the DM and the police.

    Concentration of the power is under the single authority.

    DM is entrusted with issuing arrest warrants, licenses while the SP has powers and responsibilities to investigate crime and make arrests.

    Higher concentration of power.

    The system is designed to ensure a lower concentration of power and making the police more accountable to the DM at the district level.

    Source: IE