The first session of the Indian Democracy at Work Conference 2021 on Rule of Law saw a distinguished panel deliberate on ways of addressing the numerous challenges of modern policing. Shri K. Padmanabhaiah, Former Union Home Secretary, was the chair for the session, with him the panelists were Smt. Maja Daruwala - Senior Advisor, Commonwealth Human Rights, Shri Kamal Kumar, Former Director SVP National Police Academy, Mr Raj S Kohli, Chief Superintendent, Metropolitan Police London, Shri. Jacob Punoose, former DGP of Kerala and State Police Chief and Shri. V. N. Rai, former DGP of Uttar Pradesh.
Shri Padmanabiah began his address by stating that the police are tasked with the duty of enforcing the Rule of Law, failing which any state would regress to the status of a failed state. On the other hand, excessive use of force and coercion would turn the state to a police state. He then proceeded to give an overview on the experience of police reforms in India and broad areas in a dire need for reform. He continually appreciated the police reforms done in Kerala and suggested that every police force in the country learn from them. Smt. Maja Daruwalaspoke next on the issue of the public’s perception of the police, elucidating the pressing issue with references from various reports on policing. She stated that increasing negative perceptions must be immediately addressed. Shri Kamal Kumar highlighted the essential requisites of a modern police force that a vibrant democracy like India urgently requires. He also illustrated the issue of the inhuman and unenviable working condition of the police in India and that they should be immediately improved. Mr Raj S Kohli spoke about the differences between Indian Police and the police of the United Kingdom. He asked an important question in "we never ask the people how they want to be policed". Shri. Jacob Punoose started out by talking about how fear can never be a source of policing, rather the basis for policing should be co-operation and friendliness. He went on to emphasise that police should be friendly with the people firstly, which would be reciprocated by the people. He shared his experiences in community policing in the state of Kerala. Shri. V. N. Rai, former DGP of Uttar Pradesh, spoke about how the most essential parts of policing in recruitment and training are being neglected. Excess political interference and arbitrary transfers of police personnel makes policing job difficult.
The Second session of the Indian Democracy at Work Conference 2021 on Rule of Law saw a distinguished panel deliberate on ways of addressing the numerous challenges of modern policing. Smt. Aruna Bahuguna, Former Director of National Police Academy is the chair for the session, with her the panelists are Dr. Gandhi P.C. Kaza - Senior Advisor, founder of Truth Labs and prominent forensic expert, Shri M. Mahender Reddy DGP of Telangana State, Shri.Mohit Rao, Independent Journalist, and Dr. Vipin Mudgal, Director of Common Cause.
Smt. Aruna Bahuguna started with Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence has a big role to play. Mr. Mohit Rao mentioned that police response to large unrest was mostly political and that the technological applications of police are mostly in urban and it is not being used in rural areas as much. He also talked about contamination of crime scenes and mishandling of investigations. Dr. Gandhi, top forensic expert shared his experiences on forensic investigations and expressed displeasure on the lack of budget, equipment and resources to tackle investigations and said that some cases are investigated for many years.