//An inside view of police force

An inside view of police force

ABOUT THE SYSTEM: Wilson Isaac, a constable attached to the Kochi City Police, with his book on democratisation of the police force. – Photo: Vipin Chandran

Wilson Isaac, who is attached to the Kerala Police for the last 13 years, is the right candidate to write about the merits and the flaws of the system.

And he has not taken the task lightly, as his book Janathipathiyathile Police (Police in Democracy) shows.

The book is a critique on the police personnel who violate the law during its implementation.

For explaining points, Mr. Isaac draws from various sources — from a speech by Sir Robert Mark, former Commissioner, Metropolitan Police Service, London, to the Travancore State Manual to Osho’s writings.

As Sebastian Paul, MP, in the foreword to the book notes Mr. Isaac exhibited a sense of history, legal knowledge and democratic vision as well as a commitment to public not usually expected from a police constable.

"The existing system is based on the concept that an element of fear is required for the police to maintain law and order in society. This misconception has been handed down through generations, starting from the Colonial rulers. While the British society changed the basis of police from force to service while forming the Metropolitan Police, we continue with the militarism of Royal Irish Constabulary, on which our force was originally modelled," says Mr. Isaac.

The book deals with a whole spectrum of issues related to policing, which includes flaws in the system, those in the outdated laws, denial of justice to certain segments and concepts of community policing.

"I wanted this book to initiate a discussion on a comprehensive revision of the concept of policing," Mr. Isaac says.

As an example he refers to Section 48 (c) of the Kerala Police Act 1960, which gives the power to take into custody anyone found under suspicious circumstances between sundown and sunrise.

"This is one of the most misused rules," he says.

He also attacks the Kerala Police Departmental Inquiries Punishment and Appeal Rules 1958, for it being used as a tool by senior officers to violate the rights of police personnel.

The new role of police should be linked to other service sectors such as education and social work, is the theory presented by Mr. Isaac in his book. Eminent jurist V.R. Krishna Iyer released the book by handing over the first copy to writer Sarah Joseph.

Mr. Krishna Iyer himself noted that this book should be made part of the syllabus for training police personnel.