Law enforcement in India
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Law enforcement in India is performed by numerous law enforcement agencies. Like many federal nations, the nature of the Constitution of India mandates law and order as a subject of the state, therefore the bulk of the policing lies with the respective states and territories of India.
At the federal level, the many agencies are part of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, and support the states in their duties. Larger cities also operate metropolitan police forces, under respective state governments. All senior police officers in the state police forces, as well as those in the federal agencies, are members of the Indian Police Service (IPS). Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers serve in the federal police agencies.
- 1 Central agencies
- 1.1 Ministry of Home Affairs
- 1.2 Central Armed Police Forces
- 1.2.1 Border Security Force (Central Armed Police Force), Law of enforcement, Ministry of Home Affair, Govt. of India
- 1.2.2 Central Industrial Security Force
- 1.2.3 Central Reserve Police Force
- 1.2.4 Indo-Tibetan Border Police
- 1.2.5 National Security Guards
- 1.2.6 Railway Protection Force
- 1.2.7 Special Protection Group
- 1.2.8 Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)
- 1.3 Central investigation and intelligence institutions
- 1.4 Central forensic institutions
- 2 State police
- 3 Selection and Training
- 4 Transport
- 5 Weapons and equipment
- 6 See also
- 7 References
The central agencies are controlled by the central Government of India. The majority of federal law enforcement agencies are controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The head of each of the federal law enforcement agencies is always an Indian Police Service (IPS). The constitution assigns responsibility for maintaining law and order to the states and territories, and almost all routine policing—including apprehension of criminals—is carried out by state-level police forces. The constitution also permits the central government to participate in police operations and organisation by authorising the creation of Indian Police Service.
Central police forces can assist the state's police force, but only if so requested by the state governments. In practice, the central government has largely observed these limits. During the Emergency of 1975-77, the constitution was amended (effective 1 February 1976) to permit the central government to dispatch and deploy its Central Armed Police forces without regard to the wishes of the states. This action proved unpopular, and the use of the Central Police Forces was controversial. After the Emergency was lifted, the constitution was amended in December 1978 to make deployment of central Police forces once again dependent on the consent of the state government.
Ministry of Home Affairs
The principal national-level organisation concerned with law enforcement is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which supervises a large number of government functions and agencies operated and administered by the central government. The ministry is concerned with all matters pertaining to the maintenance of public peace and order, the staffing and administration of the public services, the delineation of internal boundaries, and the administration of union territories.
In addition to managing the Indian Police Service, the Ministry of Home Affairs maintains several agencies and organisations dealing with police and security. Police in the union territories comes directly under MHA. The Central Bureau of Investigation investigates crimes that might involve public officials or have ramifications for several states.
Central Armed Police Forces
Border Security Force (Central Armed Police Force), Law of enforcement, Ministry of Home Affair, Govt. of India
The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) is responsible for guarding India's land borders during peacetime and preventing trans-border crimes. It is a central police force operating under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 demonstrated the inadequacies of the existing border management system and led to the formation of the Border Security Force as a unified central agency with the specific mandate of guarding India's international boundaries. The BSF's policing capabilities were used in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 against the Pakistani Armed Forces in areas where the Indian Armed Forces was thinly spread; BSF troops took part in the Battle of Longewala.
BSF has own Tear Smoke Unit situated at BSF Academy, Takenpur, Gwalior (M P), which supplies to all state police forces for riot prevention. All state police (Maharashtra, GJ,UK, UP, RJ,J & K, TN, Punjab,Delhi,Bihar, WB,AP,HP etc. Police) have demand all Tear Smoke bomb and powder, which is used by their Vajra Vehicles and has also exported to foreign countries.
BSF is one of the Indian Police Force have his own Air Wing, Water Wing and also provides Choppers, Dogs and others useful service to all State Police. BSF have Dog Squad with National Dog Training and Research, Takenpur.
Although originally charged with guarding India's external boundaries, the BSF has more recently been given the task of aiding the Indian Army in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. When the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir broke out in 1989, the Jammu and Kashmir state police and the thinly-deployed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) struggled to cope with the spiraling violence, and the Indian government deployed the BSF to Jammu and Kashmir to combat Islamic militants.
Central Industrial Security Force
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is used to guard industrial installations around the country owned by the Central government as well as securing seaports and airports. CISF also provides security to certain NGOs.
Central Reserve Police Force
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is one of the largest Central Police organisations in the world. Its main objective is to assist and help state and union territories' law enforcement agencies in maintaining law and order and to contain insurgency. It is also deployed as anti-terrorist unit in various regions. It is even operating abroad as part of United Nations peacekeeping missions. It is performing a variety of duties ranging from VIP security to election duties, from guarding of vital installations to the counter-naxal operations.
Indo-Tibetan Border Police
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is one of the five main Central Armed Police Forces, responsible for security along the Indo-Tibetan Border, covering 2115 km. The ITBP personnel are trained in the fields of law & order, military tactics, jungle warfare, counter insurgency and internal security
ITBP is an elite and agile force with a strength of about 90,000 personnel. It is involved in war-time and peace-time duties at the border and the surrounding areas.
National Security Guards
The National Security Guards (NSG) is a commando unit originally created for counter-terrorism and hostage rescue missions. Raised in 1986, it is popularly known as the "Black Cats" for the uniform worn by its operators. Like most military and elite security units in India, it is media-shy and the general Indian public is largely unaware of its capabilities and operational details.
The NSG draws its members from the Indian Army and various central police units. It is India's premier counter-terror outfit and is typically deployed in situations that would be beyond the capabilities of regular police units. An NSG team with a dedicated transport aircraft is always stationed at Palam airport in New Delhi, ready to deploy in 30 minutes. The NSG has also been increasingly tasked with protection of VIPs. This role has expanded in recent years, as several politicians have come to view NSG protection as a status symbol. This has caused some concern among senior NSG officers and Home Ministry officials.
Railway Protection Force
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) is responsible for law enforcement on Indian Railways. They maintain discipline on platforms as well as travel inside trains to keep passengers secure. Railway accidents are also handled by them.
Special Protection Group
The Special Protection Group (SPG) is the executive protection agency of the Government of India. It is responsible for the protection of the Prime Minister of India, and his/her immediate families. The force was established in 1985 after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. It provides the security 24 by 7 all over India to Prime Minister and his/her Family Members at any location across India. After retirement, the protection & security is provided for the next 10 ( Ten ) years. Afterwards, it is the responsibility of the respective State Government in which the Prime Minister is residing.
Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)
The Sashastra Seema Bal, formed in the year 1963, is one of the five main Central Armed Police Forces, deployed at the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders. SSB is an elite and dedicated Central Armed Police Force having more than 82,000 personnel. The SSB personnel are trained in the fields of law & order, military tactics, jungle warfare, counter insurgency and internal security. SSB personnel also serve in the Intelligence Bureau(IB), Research and Analysis Wing(RAW), Special Protection Group(SPG), National Security Guards(NSG) etc. on deputations. The officers start from the level of an Assistant Commandant(A.C), equivalent to the Deputy Superintendent of Police(Dy.SP) in a state and retire at the rank of Inspector General(IG).
Central investigation and intelligence institutions
Central Bureau of Investigations
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 Pensions 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.
Indian Income-tax Department
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.The CBDT is a part of Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance. On one hand, CBDT provides essential inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India,at the same time it is also responsible for administration of direct tax laws through the Income Tax Department. The Central Board of Direct Taxes is a statutory authority functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963. The officials of the Board in their ex-officio capacity also function as a Division of the Ministry dealing with matters relating to levy and collection of direct taxes and matters of tax evasion and revenue intelligence.It is India’s official FATF unit. The Income tax Department draws its officers from the Indian Revenue Service officers around the country. It 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 DCI is headed by the Director General of Intelligence (Income Tax) which was created 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. 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.
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 the Indian Revenue Service (I.R.S.).
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 its officers from IRS and IPS.
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 IPS and IRS.
Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D)
The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) was set up on 28 August 1970 in furtherance of the objective of the Government of India for the modernization of Police Forces. It is involved in a research, relating to problems confronting the Indian police, the training of different ranks of Police in India, and the introduction of technology at both federal and state levels.
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)
The National Police Commission in 1979 recommended the creation of a "Nodal Agency" which suggested the maintenance of criminal records at all the police stations in the country and to create shareable databases at police stations and districts and at state and federal Level.
On this recommendation NCRB was created in 1986 with amalgamation of the Directorate of Coordination Police Computers, Central Finger Print Bureau, Data Section of Coordination Division of Central Bureau of Investigation and Statistical Section of the Bureau of Police Research and Development.
Central forensic institutions
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 seven 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.
National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences (NICFSC)
The National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science (formerly the "Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science") came into existence on 4 January 1972 on the recommendations of a Committee appointed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to look into the applied aspects of education, training and research in the fields of Criminology and Forensic Science to commensurate with the growing needs of the country in general and the Criminal Justice System in India in particular. In September 1979, the Institute was constituted as a separate department under the Ministry of Home Affairs headed by a full-time Director.
Each state and union territory of India has a state police force, headed by the Commissioner of Police (State) or Director General of Police (DGP). Each state is controlled by the Chief Minister and Home Minister. The state police is responsible for maintaining law and order in townships of the state and the rural areas.
States such as West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have taken steps to get their police force trained by advanced police training schools notably the Scotland Yard, Atlanta City Police of the USA and the World Police Academy of Canada. The Tamil Nadu state police is at the forefront of advancement with the Tamil Nadu Police Academy which now is seeking university status. Kerala Police is also the first police force in South Asia, to adopt community policing for effective and pro-public friendly initiatives and action.
The Police Act of 1861 established the fundamental principles of organisation for police forces in India, and, with minor modifications, continues in effect. Consequently, although state-level police forces are separate and may differ in terms of the quality of equipment and resources, their patterns of organisation and operation are markedly similar.
A Director-general or inspector general, answerable to the home secretary of the state, heads each state, union territory, or national capital territory police force. Under the inspector general are a number of police "ranges" composed of three to six districts, headed by deputy inspectors general. District police headquarters are commanded by superintendents. District superintendents have wide discretionary powers and are responsible for overseeing subordinate police stations as well as specialty elements, such as criminal investigation detachments, equipment storehouses and armouries, and traffic police. Many large districts also have several assistant district superintendents.
Most preventive police work is carried out by constables assigned to police stations. Depending on the number of stations there, a district may be subdivided and, in some states, further divided into police "circles" to facilitate the supervision from district headquarters. Most of the major metropolitan areas such as New Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras have separate municipal forces headed by commissioners. Police in the states and union territories are assisted by units of volunteer Home Guards, maintained under guidelines formulated by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
In most states and territories, police forces are functionally divided into civil (unarmed) police and armed contingents. The former, staffs police stations, conduct investigations, answer routine complaints, perform traffic duties, and patrol the streets. They usually carry lathis—bamboo staffs weighted or tipped with iron.
Contingents of armed police are divided into two groups, the district armed police and the Provincial Armed Constabulary. The district armed police are organised along the lines of an army infantry battalion. They are assigned to police stations and perform guard and escort duties. Those states that maintain distinct armed contingents employ them as a reserve strike force for emergencies. Such units are organised either as a mobile armed force under direct state control or in the case of district armed police (who are not as well equipped) as a force directed by district superintendents and generally used for riot-control duty.
The Provincial Armed Constabulary (Pradeshik) is an armed reserve maintained at key locations in some states and active only on orders from the deputy inspector general and higher-level authorities. Armed constabulary are not usually in contact with the public until they are assigned to VIP duty or assigned to maintain order during fairs, festivals, athletic events, elections, and natural disasters. They may also be sent to quell outbreaks of student or labour unrest, organised crime, and communal riots; to maintain key guard posts; and to participate in antiterrorist operations. Depending on the type of assignment, the Provincial Armed Constabulary may carry only lathis.
At all levels, the senior police officers answer to the police chain of command and respond to the general direction and control of designated civilian officials. In the municipal force, the chain of command runs directly to the state home secretary rather than to the district superintendent or district officials.
Working conditions and pay are poor, especially in the lower echelons of the police forces. Recruits receive only around ,9000 per month (about US$150). Opportunities for promotion are limited because of the system of horizontal entry into higher grades. Allegations of bribery, attributable to the low pay and poor working conditions, have been widespread.
Since the late 1980s, women have entered in larger numbers into the higher echelons of the Indian police, mostly through the Indian Police Service system. Women police officers were first used in 1972, and a number of women hold key positions in various state police organisations. However, their absolute numbers, regardless of rank, are small. Uniformed and undercover women police officers have been deployed in New Delhi as the Anti-Eve Teasing Squad, which combats sexual harassment against women ("Eves"). Several women-only police stations have also been established in Tamil Nadu to handle sex crimes against women.
Police uniforms vary widely according to grade, region, and kind of duty performed. Among the armed police, uniforms tend to resemble army dress rather than conventional police uniforms. The khaki uniforms of the Indian Police Service officers are similar in all states, but headgear varies widely, especially among metropolitan areas.
- Some state forces are organised into ranges which consists of two or more districts, headed by a Special Inspector General of Police(Spl.IG) or Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) or Additional Commissioner of Police, who controls several Police Districts.
- Each district of the state is headed by a Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police or Superintendent of Police (SP). In many states an SP is assisted by one or more Additional SPs.
- Each district is divided into sub-Divisions and will be under the command of an Assistant Commissioner of Police or Deputy Superintendent of Police.
- Each sub-Division is made up of one or more circles, and is under the command of an Inspector of Police often referred to as the Circle Inspector (CI).
- Under the circles are the police stations, generally under the control of a Sub-Inspector (SI). As per the various Indian laws, Sub-Inspector (and above) are the only officers who can file a charge sheet in the court.
- Criminal Investigation Department, (CID) is constituted in each district under a Deputy Inspector General of Police for the purpose of collating and distributing information regarding organised crimes.
In addition to the state police, major Indian cities have their own police forces which follow the Police Commissionerate System like Barrackpore Police Commissionerate in Kolkata. The Chief of Metropolitan Police is the Police Commissioner. Reporting to the Police Commissioner are the Joint Police Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner of Police and Assistant Commissioner of Police.
The majority of metropolitan police forces are subordinate to the state government. The exception are the Delhi Police, which as part of the Union Territory Cadre are directly under the federal Ministry of Home Affairs . All other metropolitan forces report to their respective state governments.
Highway Police and Traffic Police in the small towns come under the state police, but Traffic Police in the cities come under the metropolitan police. The Traffic Police are responsible for maintaining the smooth flow of traffic and stopping offenders in the city or town, whilst the Highway Police are responsible for securing the highways and for catching speeding offenders.
State Armed Police Forces
The State Armed Police Forces are organisations which provide the state with policing in particularly violent or serious situations. Such forces are often involved with combating banditry and Naxalites. Like the Central Armed Police Forces, they are sometimes known unofficially as "paramilitary forces". Each state police force maintains its own State Armed Police Force (known by names such as Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), Special Armed Police, etc.) which is responsible for emergencies and crowd control issues. They are generally activated only on orders from the Additional Commissioner of Police, and higher-level authorities. The armed constabulary do not usually come into contact with the general public unless they are assigned to VIP duty or to maintain order during fairs, festivals, athletic events, elections, and natural disasters. They may also be sent to quell outbreaks of student or labour unrest, organised crime, and communal riots; to maintain key guard posts; and to participate in anti-terrorist operations. Depending on the type of assignment, the Armed Police force may carry only lathis or lethal weapons.
Selection and Training
The recruitment process differs according to the level of the position, and direct entry (where an applicant does not have to start at the lowest level) is possible. The educational requirements increase with recruitments for higher posts.
The Superintendents of Police (SP) are recruited every year by the UPSC (a wing of the central government) by an extremely competitive exam and are appointed into the Indian Police Service. The IPS officers are then assigned to a state force. Superintendents of Police undergo rigorous training for 44 weeks. The training programme also involves external invitees such as lawyers and management consultants. At the end of probation, they undergo an orientation training of few weeks at the assigned state's police academy.
Lower, non-managerial positions are selected by the state or central government and are trained at Police Recruit Schools. The duration of training for inspectors is roughly a year, and for constables is nearly 9 months. The training staff for these schools are drawn from the police force itself.
|Tata Safari||India||Used by Special Forces and Senior Bureaucrats/Police Officers|
|Mahindra Scorpio||India||Used by Special Forces and Senior Bureaucrats/Police Officers/Income Tax Officers|
|Mahindra XUV500||India||Used by Special Forces and Senior Bureaucrats/Police Officers/Income Tax Officers|
|Toyota Innova||India||Used by Special Forces and Senior Bureaucrats/Police Officers/Income Tax Officers|
|Toyota Qualis||India||Used as Squad Car and for Highway Patrol|
|Chevrolet Chevrolet Tavera||India/ United States||Used as Squad Car and for Highway Patrol/Conducting Income Tax Raids|
|Toyota Fortuner||Japan/ India||Used by Ministers|
|Honda Civic||Japan / India||Used by Judges, Ministers,Income Tax Appellate Tribunal Members|
|Toyota Corolla||Japan / India||Used by Judges, Ministers,Advisors to TRAI|
|Tata Sumo||India||Used as Squad Car and for Highway Patrol|
|Tata Indigo CS||India||Used as Squad Car and by Senior Bureaucrats like Commissioner of Income Tax,Police,Customs and Central Excise|
|Maruti Suzuki SX4||India||Used by Senior Bureaucrats|
|Chevrolet Captiva||India||Used by Ministers|
|Hindustan Motors Ambassador||India||Used by Senior Bureaucrats, Police Officers/Income Tax Officers and Ministers|
|Ford Endeavor||India||Used by Ministers|
|Mitsubishi Pajero||India||Used by Ministers|
|Maruti Suzuki Gypsy||India||Used as Squad Cars|
|Mahindra Bolero||India||Used as Squad Car|
|Hyundai Accent||India||Used as Squad Car,Additional Commissioners of Income Tax,Police|
Unlike in many other countries, the various state police forces in India extensively use SUVs. The Mahindra Legend Jeep used to be the most common police car in India. In recent years, other SUVs have been employed by the police, such as the Maruti Gypsy, Mahindra Bolero, Tata Sumo, Tata Safari, Maruti Versa, Chevrolet Tavera and Toyota Qualis. SUVs are known for their capabilities to move around in any sort of terrain.
MUVs are used by police in cities, including metropolitan areas like Delhi and Mumbai where Chevrolet Taveras and Toyota Qualiss are extensively used. Though most cities use SUVs and MUVs, some cities like Chennai have adopted sedans like the Hyundai Accent. Depending upon the state, police vehicles may have individual revolving lights, strobes or light bars etc. An extensive modernisation drive has ensured that these vehicles are equipped with two-way radio sets in communication with a central control room. Highway Police vehicles generally also have equipment like speed radars, breath analysers and emergency first aid kits.
For traffic regulation and patrolling in cities, motorcycles are also used. Most of them were the Indian version of Royal Enfield Bullet. Of late, other motorcycles like the Bajaj Pulsar and TVS Apache have also started being used by the police forces. This is because of increasing congestion in cities where the heavier Bullets would prove to be unwieldy when compared to the nimbler handling the newer bikes were capable of. The bikes are provided with two-way radios, strobes and sirens & are generally painted white.
Weapons and equipment
The weapons and equipment issued vary from state to state and agency to agency.
The standard equipment for a constable on their beat is the lathi (not to be confused with traditional 6 to 8 ft long ones) or baton which is generally made of bamboo, but recently polymer ones are also being issued.
Indian police officers generally do not carry firearms when on regular duty, though they are always available at police stations. Officers of and above the rank of Sub-Inspector or Head Constables are authorised to carry a sidearm, generally a Pistol Auto 9mm 1A or a Glock 17.
The firearms stocked at police stations include .303 Lee Enfield rifles (being phased out), 7.62 1A Self Loading Rifles, and SAF Carbine 2A1s. The Ordnance Factories Board is the sole supplier of arms, ammunition, uniforms, bullet-proof vehicles, mine protected vehicles to the Indian police.
Some special units in the state and federal level police forces may also have additional automatic weapons such as A-7, AKM, INSAS assault rifles and Bren guns. Police commandos and newly raised SWAT units also use Heckler & Koch MP5s, Brügger & Thomet MP9s, AK-103s, and M4A1 Carbines.
- Indian Police Service
- Crime in India
- Paramilitary forces of India
- Indian military
- West Bengal Police