New Delhi Police Act on the anvil, before Cabinet this month

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) A brand new legislation thatgoverns all aspects of policing in the Capital envisagingamong other objectives insulating police from politicalpressure while doing "normal duty" will be placed before theUnion Cabinet for approval by the end of this month.

According to Union Home Secretary G K Pillai, the newDelhi Police Act will not be just amendment oriented but willsee a "complete revamp" of several of its provisions. The newact is expected to serve as a model for other states tofollow.

"It is a complete revamp of this (existing DelhiPolice Act). It is not an amendment of sorts. That was what alot of civil society and others wanted. They did not wantamendments, they wanted a fresh, new police act. That willcome," Pillai said.

The draft bill has been submitted to Union HomeMinister P Chidambaram for final approval following which itwill go to Cabinet by this month-end, Pillai told PTI in aninteraction.

Asked whether the bill will make it to the budgetsession beginning on February 21, Pillai said it is unlikelyas there were a number of legislations pending beforeParliament as the Winter Session did not function properly.

Earlier, the Home Ministry had prepared a draft DelhiPolice (Amendment) Bill, 2009 for which views from public wereelicited.

The new Bill is likely to suggest setting up of anauthority to look into complaints against police independentlybesides fixing tenures for Police Commissioner and othersenior officers.

The bill also envisages insulating police frompolitical pressure while "doing normal duty", Pillai said.

Emphasising that the new Bill demarcatesresponsibilities "very clearly", he said it is likely topropose setting up of a State Security Commission havingmembers from government, opposition and civil society.

"The Leader of Opposition (of Delhi Assembly) will bethere (in the Commission) and those from the Delhi governmentwhich will look at the policy as such," the Home Secretarysaid.

The proposed Bill proposes "considerable amount" ofautonomy to Police Commissioner and police in terms ofinvestigation. "It separates normal law and order andinvestigation," he said.

Pillai said the bill will incorporate most of thethings recommended by Police Commissions and will serve as arole model for other states.

He said the proposed Police Complaint Authority willbe headed by a retired High Court judge and have members fromthe civil society plus some retired police officers.

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