This book explores the sensitive issue of police accountability to civilian oversight bodies to control police excesses. At the centre of the discourse lies the tacit ackwledgement that the ermous power and authority invested in the police does lead to corruption and excesses unless adequate checks and balances are installed. The book analyses these checks and balances and how these can be made more effective. It puts forth a cross-national study of internal and external mechanisms for enforcing police accountability, and critically appraises the effectiveness of civilian oversight bodies. It also touches upon the working of National Human Rights Commission of India. While supporting the role of civil oversight bodies in enforcing police accountability, the author also discusses scenarios of police resistance which have often paralyzed the functioning of oversight bodies in Australia, Canada and U S A. As a solution he recommends that the primary object of an oversight body should t be only to enquire into complaints against police and recommend action against the defaulting officers, but also to highlight systemic inadequacies and recommend changes in policies and procedures. This book will be extremely valuable to professionals in police academies, public administration and state security commissions, and human rights activists.
Sankar Sen is presently Senior Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi. A distinguished member of the Indian Police Service, from the Orissa cadre; he served in the Intelligence Bureau for seven years, and also as the Additional Director General, BSF, West Bengal. He was the Director of the National Police Academy, Hyderabad and the Director General (Investigation), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). As the Director he was responsible for many innovative changes in the training programs of Indian Police Service officers. He was also deeply involved in the human rights sensitization of Indian police and personnel of para-military forces and improvement of the prison administration. He built up an excellent investigation wing of the NHRC. Sen was awarded the Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 1979 and President's Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 1986. A large number of his articles on law-enforcement, terrorism, drug trafficking, custodial justice, human rights, etc., have appeared in national dailies and well-known magazines in and outside the country. His publications include Indian Police Today (1994), Police in Democratic Societies (2000), Human Rights and Law Enforcement (2002) and Human Rights in Developing Society (2009).