Stuck in technical glitches, J&K police act 1862 continues to crave for amendment | KNO

Draft legislation prepared during NC-Congress regime in 2013 continues to remain stuck in technical hitches
Stuck in technical glitches, J&K police act 1862 continues to crave for amendment | KNO

Kashmir News Observer (KNO)

Srinagar, January 08 (KNO) : After a span of over 155 years, Jammu and Kashmir Police Act 1862 legislator continues to hang in balance even after several rounds of consultations. The draft legislation of the Act was made public by the government for debate after discussing its contours for more than a year in 2017 to make the legislation “more humane and acceptable to the people.” It was after more than 155 years that the state, ravaged by perpetual strife of over 20 years, will have a new police act to be called as the “Jammu and Kashmir Police (Amendment) Act, 2013.” A senior official in the State Home Department told KNO said the move to put the draft legislation the website to generate wider public debate to find “shortcomings or loopholes could not materialise for some technical glitches. “Public involvement is must as the act is for them. The government needs to know whether people would accept the new act or not. Genuine changes that people would suggest will seriously be considered,” the official said. “But unfortunately, the move remained stuck in the technical hitches as the decades old police act continues to remain in force.” In 2013, the then National Conference-Congress regime took some initiative to amend the law but “ the move never seen light of the day.” The plan was to put the new act on the website after that the same was supposed to be tabled before the State Cabinet for its consent. Sources told KNO that said many changes were been made to the existing J&K Police Act of 1862. Sources, privy to the amendments, told KNO said people-friendly changes were been made in the new act (draft). “There were clauses to deal with new nature of crime—cyber and electronic. We have also incorporated clauses to increase accountability of police besides streamline the recruitment and conduct of cops,” he said. “More focus was given to streamline policing and making the act more humane. The act, however, remained confined to the four walls only.” Pertinently, the Police Act was actually drafted by the Britishers as a direct consequence of the mutiny of 1857 against their rule. The Police Act lays down the structure and functions of the police department in the state. The current administration of police falls under the Police Act, Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1862 (amended in 1993); Indian Evidence Act (IEA) of 1872; and Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) of 1861 (revised in 1898 and 1973). Together, this forms the current, but an “outdated police system.” Ironically, the previous regime of BJP-PDP government also failed to bring the new legislation. The Governor S P Malik too couldn’t amend the old act. “We are hopeful the once the new government would be formed, the first priority will be given to amend the existing police act,” a top police officer said.(KNO)