The Indian Police is governed by the archaic and colonial law of 1861. The law basically governs the structure of the police force, their ranks and responsibilities, the do’s and don’t, etc. Frankly, this law should be thrown out into the dustbin and for some reason (not honest ones obviously) the law hasn’t changed much since 1861, except for very few states that enacted their own laws since as per our constitution, police is a state subject. Don not confuse with CrPC & IPC, they are different.
Let’s jump to some facts:
- There are about 1.6 million police officers in India.
- Of this only 1.4 million are part of the sanctioned strength and that’s a shortfall of about 15% roughly.
- There are about 125 police officers for every 100,000 people, well below the 230 mark prescribed by the UN.
- The women police officers comprise roughly over 5% of the total force.
* I got this information from Maharashtra police’s website
Now where does it gets really bad is the bad state of working conditions for the police officers. The conditions that they work in and the compensation they get is horribly inadequate. The term “Work-Life Balance” is alien stuff for them. Here are some hard and dark facts:
- Sadly, about an average 1000 police officers die each year on duty and most of them are police constables.
- The compensation at the lowest rung (constable) starts at mere Rs 5000 per month, that’s less than a 100 dollars. Checkout the revised pay scales for Delhi Police salary. No wonder they need to find alternative means to run their households.
- The law of 1861 lays down that a police officer is always on duty whether on-duty or off-duty. Combine this with shortage of staff, the police officers usually do 12-14 hours a day.
- This is equivalent to a consultant in a Big 4 in terms of number of hours. Although the consultant seldom worries about getting shot or injured at work. He doesn’t have to do rounds at 45 degrees Celsius.
- They seldom get time to sit and relax with their families, enjoy a weekend together or regularly check on their kid’s progress report.
This was just a glimpse of the pity state of affairs of the Indian police. There is much more to talk about and much more to discuss, particularly the Police Reforms that are being talked about (only recently, since last 30 years).