No organisation should have power to influence police operations: CP

Commissioner of Police (CP) Mohamed Hameed has urged not to structure the police service bill in such a way that any organisation has the power to influence the independent operations conducted by the police based on the information that the authority receives.

The police service bill submitted for the parliament’s approval vests some power to the 241 Committee of the parliament such as the power to adjust salaries and allowances of the police and instruct to bring changes to the procedures followed in detaining people for investigation. The same bill is evaluated by the 241 Committee.

The Police Commissioner and some senior officers attended a meeting held on Tuesday that was held in the process of evaluating the bill.

Speaking in the meeting, MP Hisaan Hussain said the proposed bill outlines the extention of responsibilities of 241 Committee, and asked if there are any concerns over it within the police.

Responding to Hisaan’s question, CP Hameed said that no organization should have the power to exert influence on the independent investigations carried out by the police. The power to issue instructions to conduct operations in a certain manner should to not be vested to any other organization, said the CP, noting that the proposed bill does not achieve the goal.

“I urge [other organizations] not to interfere with the independent [police] operations. No one can ask the police to investigate a certain case first, or to hold a certain case, to prioritise a particular case. Such an order cannot be given”, said CP Hameed.

He acknowledged that 241 Committee has the responsibility to hold accountable the security forces, including the police and armed force, which the committee can do within the existing Police Act. However, he stressed that it cannot be beyond what has been empowered within the constitution.

Heavy criticism has been aimed at the bill due to the bill proposing to vest more authority to 241 Committee. The opposition say the bill is structured in a way that the parliament members of the main-ruling MDP and the present administration can exert political influence over the police.