Law enforcement in India

Maharashtra Police personnel keeping a vigil during a public protest, 2012

Law enforcement in India is performed by numerous law enforcement agencies. Like many federal nations, the nature of the Constitution of India mandates law and order as a subject of the state, therefore the bulk of the policing lies with the respective states and territories of India.

At the federal level, the many agencies are part of the Ministry of Home Affairs, and support the states in their duties. Larger cities also operate police commissionerates, under respective state police. All senior police officers in the state police forces, as well as those in the federal agencies, are members of the Indian Police Service (IPS).

Central agencies

The central agencies are controlled by the central Government of India. The majority of federal law enforcement agencies are controlled by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The head of each of the federal law enforcement agencies is always an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. The constitution assigns responsibility for maintaining law and order to the states and territories, and almost all routine policing—including apprehension of criminals—is carried out by state-level police forces. The constitution also permits the central government to participate in police operations and organisation by authorising the creation of Indian Police Service.

An exhibit at the National Police Memorial and Museum in New Delhi. Visible are representations of various law enforcement agencies such as the Railway Protection Force, Rapid Action Force, National Security Guard, Intelligence Bureau.

Central police forces can assist the state's police force, but only if so requested by the state governments. In practice, the central government has largely observed these limits. During the Emergency of 1975-77, the constitution was amended (effective 1 February 1976) to permit the central government to dispatch and deploy its Central Armed Police forces without regard to the wishes of the states. This action proved unpopular, and the use of the Central Police Forces was controversial. After the Emergency was lifted, the constitution was amended in December 1978 to make deployment of central Police forces once again dependent on the consent of the state government.

Ministry of Home Affairs

The principal national-level organisation concerned with law enforcement is the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), which supervises a large number of government functions and agencies operated and administered by the central government. The ministry is concerned with all matters pertaining to the maintenance of public peace and order, the staffing and administration of the public services, the delineation of internal boundaries, and the administration of union territories.

In addition of being the cadre controlling authority of the IPS, the Ministry of Home Affairs maintains several agencies and organisations dealing with police and security. Police in the union territories comes directly under MHA.

The Minister of Home Affairs is the cabinet minister responsible for Ministry of Home Affairs, whereas the Home Secretary, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, acts as the administrative head of Ministry of Home Affairs.

Central Armed Police Forces

Border Security Force

The Indian Border Security Force (BSF) is responsible for policing India's land borders during peacetime and preventing trans-border crimes. It is a central police force operating under the MHA. It performs a variety of duties ranging from VIP security to election duties, from guarding of vital installations to counter-naxal operations.

Women personnel of Border Security Force

The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 demonstrated the inadequacies of the then existing border management system and led to the formation of the Border Security Force as a unified central armed police force with the specific mandate of guarding India's international boundary with Pakistan. The BSF's policing capabilities were used in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 against the Pakistani Armed Forces in areas which were least threatened. During wartime or upon orders from the central government BSF operates under the command of the Indian Army. BSF troops took part in the Battle of Longewala in 1971 in this capacity. After the 1971 war which led to the creation of Bangladesh, the responsibility for policing the border with Bangladesh was also assigned to Border Security Force.

Although originally charged with guarding India's external boundaries, the BSF has more recently been given the task of counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. When the insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir broke out in 1989, the Jammu and Kashmir state police and the thinly-deployed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) needed extra force to cope with the spiralling violence, the Indian government deployed the BSF to Jammu and Kashmir to combat Kashmiri militants.

BSF operates a Tear-Smoke Unit situated at BSF Academy at Takenpur, Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh which supplies tear gas and smoke shells for riot prevention to all of the state police forces. BSF operates Dog Squads and runs the National Dog Training and Research Centre. BSF is one of several Indian police forces which has its own Air and Water wings. It provides helicopter, dog and other support services to the state police.

Central Industrial Security Force

The primary task of CISF is providing industrial security.[1][better source needed] The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is used to guard industrial installations around the country owned by the Central government as well as securing seaports and airports. CISF also provides security to certain NGOs. They provide security for atomic power plants, space installations, mints, oil fields and refineries, major ports, heavy engineering plants, steel plants, barrages, fertilizer units, airports, hydroelectric/thermal power plants and other installations partially or wholly run by the government.[2][better source needed]

Central Reserve Police Force

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is one of the largest Central Police organisations in the world.[citation needed] Its main objective is to assist and help states and union territories' law enforcement agencies in maintaining law and order and to contain insurgency. It is also deployed as anti-terrorist unit in various regions. It is even operating abroad as part of United Nations peacekeeping missions. It performs a variety of duties ranging from VIP security to election duties, from guarding of vital installations to the counter-naxal operations.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is one of the five main Central Armed Police Forces, responsible for security along the Indo-Tibetan Border, covering 2115 km. The ITBP personnel are trained in the fields of law and order, military tactics, jungle warfare, counter insurgency and internal security

ITBP is an elite and agile force with a strength of about 90,000 personnel. It is involved in war-time and peace-time duties at the border and the surrounding areas.

National Security Guards

The National Security Guards (NSG) is a commando unit originally created for counter-terrorism and hostage rescue missions. Raised in 1986, it is popularly known as the "Black Cats" for the uniform worn by its operators. Like most military and elite security units in India, it is media-shy and the general Indian public is largely unaware of its capabilities and operational details.

The NSG draws its core members from the Indian Army and the balance support staff from various central police units. It is India's premier counter-terror outfit and is typically deployed in situations that would be beyond the capabilities of regular police units. An NSG team with a dedicated transport aircraft is always stationed at Palam airport in New Delhi, ready to deploy in 30 minutes. The NSG has also been increasingly tasked with protection of VIPs. This role has expanded in recent years, as several politicians have come to view NSG protection as a status symbol. This has caused some concern among senior NSG officers and Home Ministry officials.[citation needed]

Special Protection Group

The Special Protection Group (SPG) is the executive protection agency of the Government of India. It is responsible for the protection of the Prime Minister of India, and his/her immediate families. The force was established in 1985 after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. It provides the security 24 by 7 all over India to Prime Minister including ex prime Ministers and their Family Members at any location across India.

Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)

The Sashastra Seema Bal, formed in the year 1963, is one of the five main Central Armed Police Forces, deployed at the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders. SSB is a dedicated Central Armed Police Force having more than 82,000 personnel. The SSB personnel are trained in the fields of law and order, military tactics, jungle warfare, counter insurgency and internal security. SSB personnel also serve in the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), Special Protection Group (SPG), National Security Guards(NSG) etc. on deputations. The officers start from the level of an assistant commandant (A.C), equivalent to the deputy superintendent of police (Dy.SP) in a state and retire at the rank of inspector general(IG).

Central investigation and intelligence institutions

Central Bureau of Investigation

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is India's premier investigative agency, responsible for a wide variety of criminal and national security matters. It is often cited to have been established from The Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946. However it must be noted that it was formed not by the Delhi state government but by the Central Government (Home Ministry) which controls the police in Delhi. The CBI thus, was formed by a mere resolution by the Central government than by legislation. This led to a case whereby the constitutionality of this government agency was questioned in the Narendra Kumar vs Union of India case in the High Court of Gauhati, Assam because the matter of all areas of policing (arrests, searches, etc.) is exclusive to state governments whereas the CBI was formed by the Central government with all the areas of policing when such powers regarding policing, are not given to the Central Government. The Gauhati High Court ruled that despite the lack of legislation, the CBI is a formal and authorized agency of the Central government to carry out policing all across the nation. The case was appealed to The Supreme Court of India which also stayed the High Court order in light of the fact that not only does India need a Central Police Force for policing for better integration in law and order but also the fact that the CBI had helped to carry out several pending cases and led to successes in investigations regarding infamous events such as the Anti-Sikh riots, the 2G spectrum scam, etc.

The Central Bureau of Investigation is controlled by the Department of Personnel and Training in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions of the Government of India usually headed by the prime minister as the Minister of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions. It is India's official Interpol unit. The CBI draws its officers from the IPS and IRS officers around the country. It is responsible for investigation into various crimes and national security matters. The agency specializes in investigating crimes involving high ranking government officials and politicians and in some instances, criminal cases that don't necessarily involve politicians or high-ranking officials, have been referred to the agency for investigation because of media and public pressure because of incompetency from the local police investigations.

Indian Income-tax Department

Helicopters of Directorate of Income tax (Criminal Investigation) are supplied by the Indian Air Force.

The Indian Income-tax Department is India's premier financial agency, responsible for a wide variety of financial and fiscal matters.The Tax department is controlled by the Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance of the Union Government headed by a Union Minister who reports directly to the Prime Minister. The CBDT is a part of Department of Revenue in the Ministry of Finance. On one hand, CBDT provides essential inputs for policy and planning of direct taxes in India, at the same time it is also responsible for administration of direct tax laws through the Income Tax Department. The Central Board of Direct Taxes is a statutory authority functioning under the Central Board of Revenue Act, 1963. The officials of the Board in their ex-officio capacity also function as a Division of the Ministry dealing with matters relating to levy and collection of direct taxes and matters of tax evasion and revenue intelligence. It is India's official FATF unit. The Income tax Department draws its officers from the Indian Revenue Service officers around the country. It is responsible for investigation into various economic crimes and tax evasion.The special agents and agents are able to carry firearms when they are posted in the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in the I-T department.

The DCI is headed by the Director General of Intelligence (Income Tax) which was created to tackle the menace of black money with cross-border ramifications.The revamp is aimed at launching 'un-intrusive' investigations against "persons and transactions suspected to be involved in criminal activities having cross-border, inter-state or international ramifications, that pose a threat to national security and are punishable under the direct tax laws."

The commissioners of the intelligence directorate of I-T who are posted in cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Lucknow will also take up criminal investigation work under the DCI. The intelligence wing of the I-T department has the Central Information Branch (CIB) under it, which is a repository of classified and exhaustive data on taxpayers' financial transactions.

Directorate of Revenue Intelligence

The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is an intelligence-based organisation responsible for the co-ordination of India's anti-smuggling efforts. Officers in this organisation are drawn from the Indian Revenue Service (I.R.S.) and the Group 'B' gazetted/non-gazetted cadre of the Central Board of Excise and Customs

Central Economic Intelligence Bureau

The Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB) is an Indian intelligence agency responsible for gathering information and monitoring the economic and financial sectors for economic offences and warfare

Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence

The Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) earlier known as the Directorate General of Anti-Evasion is an intelligence-based organisation responsible for the detection of tax evasion cases related to Central Excise Duty and Service tax. Officers in this organisation are drawn from the Indian Revenue Service (I.R.S.) and the Group 'B' gazetted/non-gazetted cadre of the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

National Investigation Agency

National Investigation Agency (NIA) is the central agency to combat terror in India. The agency is empowered to deal with terror related crimes across states without special permission from the states. The National Investigation Agency Bill 2008 to create the agency was moved in Parliament by Union Home Minister on 16 December 2008.[3][4][5] The NIA was created in response to the Nov 2008 Mumbai terror attacks as need for a central agency to combat terrorism was found. It also deals with drug trafficking and currency counterfeiting. It draws its officers from IRS and IPS.

Narcotics Control Bureau

The NCB is responsible for anti-narcotic operations all over the country. It checks the spread of contraband as well as the cultivation of drugs. The officers in this organisation are drawn from IPS and IRS.

Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD)

The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) was set up on 28 August 1970 in furtherance of the objective of the Government of India for the modernization of Police Forces. It is involved in a research, relating to problems confronting the Indian police, the training of different ranks of Police in India, and the introduction of technology at both federal and state levels.

National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)

The National Police Commission in 1979 recommended the creation of a "Nodal Agency" which suggested the maintenance of criminal records at all the police stations in the country and to create shareable databases at police stations and districts and at state and federal Level.

On this recommendation NCRB was created in 1986 with amalgamation of the Directorate of Coordination Police Computers, Central Finger Print Bureau, Data Section of Coordination Division of Central Bureau of Investigation and Statistical Section of the Bureau of Police Research and Development.

Central forensic institutions

Central Forensic Science Laboratory

The Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) is a wing of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, which fulfils the forensic requirements in the country. It houses the only DNA repository in South and Southeast Asia.

There are seven central forensic laboratories in India, at Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Pune, Gauhati and New Delhi. CFSL Hyderabad is centre of excellence in chemical sciences, CFSL Kolkata in biological sciences and CFSL Chandigarh in physical sciences. These laboratories are under the control of the Directorate of Forensic Science (DFS) of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The laboratory in New Delhi is under the control of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and investigates cases on its behalf.

LNJN National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences (LNJN-NICFS)

The National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science (formerly the "Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science") came into existence on 4 January 1972 on the recommendations of a Committee appointed by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to look into the applied aspects of education, training and research in the fields of Criminology and Forensic Science to commensurate with the growing needs of the country in general and the Criminal Justice System in India in particular. In September 1979, the Institute was constituted as a separate department under the Ministry of Home Affairs headed by a full-time Director. It is headed by senior IPS officers. The present Director is Shri Sandeep Mittal, IPS, who is a renowned expert in cyber security and defence. The Institute also has capacity for training and teaching roles for cybercrime investigations. The Institute conducts research in various aspects of criminoloy and forensics including cyber forensics.The words LNJN in its name indicate Lok Nayak Jaya Prakash Narayan. It is declared as a science and technology organisation by Department of Science and Technology. Over the years, the Institute has become a dependable name in capacity building of Criminal Justice Administration in India.