CHRI seeks transparency, public debate over AP Police Bill

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New Delhi, Feb 1 (UNI) The Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) today sought transparency and a public debate over the Andhra Pradesh Police Bill, likely to be introduced in the forthcoming budget session of the state Legislative Assembly.

The Bill is being drafted by the Police Act Drafting Committee set up by the Andhra Pradesh government.

In the absence of credible information from the Andhra Pradesh government, CHRI said rumours were rife about a draft Police Bill that would be introduced in the forthcoming budget session of the state Legislative Assembly.

''CHRI fears that the unhealthy trend observed in many states will be played out yet again in Andhra Pradesh. A Police Bill will be hurriedly passed with no questions raised on the floor of the Assembly, and the people of the state will continue to remain unaware of this significant development,'' it said.

CHRI said policing in Andhra Pradesh would continue as usual with no visible evidence of reform, as envisaged by the Supreme Court, and as such called for widespread public consultation by the Andhra Pradesh government to seek input on improvements to policing services across the state.

It also called for the Andhra Pradesh Police Act Drafting Committee to hold public consultations to seek specific input which would inform a new and comprehensive Police Act for the state and demanded the state government withhold tabling a police bill in the Legislature until such time as civil society organisations and the public have had the opportunity to critique the draft bill and make submissions.

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