Sheila gets a say in police functioning, Chief Minister is part of guiding panel

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit will now have some say in the functioning of Delhi Police. The Chief Minister and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi have been made a part of a central panel that frames guidelines on security and effective policing in seven union territories.

In the days following the December 16 gangrape, Dikshit repeatedly regretted not having control over the police.

The security commission, set up in 2010, has so far been headed by the Union Home Secretary. However, by an order issued on January 16, the Home Ministry changed the composition of the commission for Delhi, putting the administrator of Delhi either the L-G or the CM at its head, and appointing the chief secretary of Delhi and the commissioner of Delhi Police as its members.

The change, giving the Chief Minister a role in law and order, has been made only for Delhi. The Home Ministry is working on "provisions regarding security commission being made in the Delhi Police Act". However, there will be no change in the reporting structure of Delhi Police, which will continue to work under the Home Ministry.

For the other six UTs Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry, Chandigarh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, and Lakshadweep the commission will continue to be headed by Union Home Secretary. The chief secretaries and directors-general of police of these UTs, along with five independent members nominated by the central government, will be members of the commission.

The Ministry has decided that the "independent members shall be for two years, and can be removed by the central government for reasons to be recorded in writing".

The security commission was set up on the recommendation of the Justice K T Thomas committee on police reform, and was intended to "identify performance indicators to evaluate the functioning of the police service. These indicators include operational efficiency, public satisfaction, victim satisfaction vis-a-vis police investigation, response and accountability".

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