Police should be given power to impose KAAPA, recommends reforms committee
Thiruvananthapuram: The Police Prison Reforms Committee recommended in its report that more power should be given to the police department to stop crime. It also demanded that district police chiefs should be given power to charge Kerala Anti-social Activities (Prevention) Act (KAAPA) against criminals.
Currently, the power to impose KAAPA on criminals lies with the District Collector. Since Collectors are facing workload and pressure, they may not be able to look into these cases. Hence, this power should be given to district police chiefs, the report said.
The committee including Dr. CN Ramachandran as head and former Jail Superintendent Dr. Alexander Jacob and cyber expert Vinod Bhattathiri as members prepared the report. The report was handed over to the Chief Minister on Thursday morning.
Kerala should follow the footsteps of Maharashtra to introduce laws to curb criminal activities, said the 162-page report. The officers on duty who make serious mistakes should be removed from service. Corrupt police officers should also not be allowed to continue in service, the report suggested.
There have been instances in which criminals escaped from custody when they were being taken to the court for trial. Hence, a video conferencing system should be started in prisons so that the criminals can appear for trial from the prison itself.
Major recommendations in the report
- The case diaries should be converted to digital format completely.
- Data collection and awareness programmes should be organised with the help of local bodies to prevent crimes.
- A special system should be arranged to complete the unsolved cases.
- Law and order and investigation should be divided into two separate departments.
- Try to solve minor issues like property disputes and family problems with the help of Legal Services Authority.
- Form an economic offences monitoring cell in Kerala Police to stop financial crimes.
- Cyber evidences and cyber checking should be utilised in investigation.
- Improve treatment facilities in prisons and increase number of male nurses.
- Increase agricultural activities and food production in prisons.
- Provide incentive to the prisoners.
- Form Prison Advisory Committee in state level with a retired judge as head.
- Initiate mobile forensic labs in all districts and modernise fingerprint bureaus in all committees.
The Kerala Anti-social Activities (Prevention) Act (KAAPA) came into force in 2007. According to this act, people who cause threat to the safety and peaceful existence of the society can be imprisoned for upto an year. The offenders will be treated as rowdy or goons. An amendment was made in this act in 2014.
The procedures begin with the recommendation of district collector to impose the act on a person as he/she is a threat to the social security. These people can be stopped from entering an area for upto one year. Also a place can be announced as problematic with this act.