Welcome to the
National Police Commission
People’s aspirations in Policing
Following the political transition in January 2015, the public demand for re-establishing independent commissions to oversee vital areas of wider public interest such as law enforcement, public service delivery and prevention of bribery and corruption etc became very strong. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed paving the way for the establishment of independent commissions with the main purpose of depoliticizing institutions, strengthening the rule of law and promoting good governance in the country. National Police Commission was established accordingly in response to the growing public demand for a more people friendly Police service. The need for a transformation in the service orientation was also emphasized.
Our Mandate given by the 19th Amendment
The National Police Commission,
- Appoint, promote, transfer, disciplinary control and dismiss police officers, in consultation with Inspector -General of Police;
- Entertain and investigate public complaints against police officers and the Police Services and provide redress provided by law; and,
- Formulate schemes of recruitment, promotion & transfer for police officers, improve efficiency and independence of the Police Service; and implement codes of conduct and disciplinary procedure.
Statutory Powers and Functions of the Commission
Powers and functions of the Commission are enumerated in Article 155 of the Constitution.
Article 155G. (1) (a) provides for the appointment, promotion, transfer, disciplinary control and dismissal of police officers, in consultation with the Inspector General of Police. According to Article 155G (1) (b), the Commission shall not, in the exercise of its powers, derogate powers and functions assigned to the Provincial Police Service Commissions as and when such Commissions are established under Chapter XVlIA of the Constitution.
Article 155G (2), provides for the establishment of procedures to entertain and investigate public complaints and complaints of any aggrieved person made against a police officer or the Police Service and provide redress as provided by law. In the event of the Commission providing redress, the Commission shall forthwith inform the Inspector-General of Police.
Article 155G (3), provides for and determine all matters regarding police officers, in consultation with the Inspector General of Police, including:- (a) the formulation of schemes of recruitment, promotion and transfers, subject to any policy determined by the Cabinet of Ministers pertaining to the same; (b) training and the improvement of the efficiency and independence of the Police Service; (c) the nature and type of the arms, ammunition and other equipment necessary for the use of the National Division and the Provincial Divisions; and (d) codes of conduct and disciplinary procedures.
Immunity from Legal Proceedings
Article 155C of the Constitution
Subject to the jurisdiction conferred on the Supreme Court [under Article 126 and the powers granted to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal under Article 155L, no court or tribunal shall have the power or jurisdiction to inquire into, or pronounce upon or in any manner call in question any order or decision made by the Commission or a Committee, in pursuance of any power or duty, conferred or imposed on such Commission or Committee under this Chapter or under any other law.
Interference with the Commission
Article 155F. (1) of the Constitution
Every person who, otherwise than in the course of such person’s lawful duty, directly or indirectly by himself or by or with any other person, in any manner whatsoever influences or attempts to influence or interferes with 120[any decision of the Commission or a Committee or any police officer to whom the Commission has delegated any power under this Chapter or to so influence any member of the Commission or a Committee or any police officer to whom any power has been delegated], shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand rupees or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years, or to both such fine and imprisonment. (2) A High Court established under Article 154P of the Constitution shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine any matter referred to in paragraph (1).
Security is a right of the people. Security and order are supreme for them. Police is the core mechanism established by the State, to protect people’s rights, establish and maintain order and guarantee stability and security of the public. For carrying out these functions, Police use power. The use of power, place the Police in a unique and sensitive position in a democratic state. As such, adequate controlling mechanisms are required to ensure that Police always use power in the public interest and operating impartially.
The National Police Commission through its role of oversight of policing and ensuring its accountability, tasked to ensure that police personnel are of high professional standard and the right of the public for a peaceful and secured life is guaranteed through sound policing.
Accountability process facilitate evaluating effectiveness of police and the police service to ensure that Police officers perform to their full potential, instilling confidence in the government and being responsive to the community they are meant to be serving.
Accountability in policing involves a system of internal and external checks and balances aimed at ensuring that police perform functions expected of them to a high standard and are held responsible if they fail to do so. The Commission attempts to achieve these objectives through constitutional functions of human resource management of police service and management of public complaints. It aims to prevent the police from misusing their powers, to prevent political authorities from misusing their control over police and most importantly to enhance public confidence and build police legitimacy.
P H Manatunga
Attorney-at-Law, Chairman, National Police Commission.