Former IGP labels NPC a failure | Sunday Observer

Former IGP labels NPC a failure

21 July, 2019

Former Inspector General of Police Chandra Fernando has labelled the National Police Commission a ‘failed experiment’. In an interview, this week with an online news outlet Fernando said despite being functional for nearly 15 years the NPC has failed to deliver. The Former Police Chief narrowed down the Commission’s lack of success to the body’s inability to understand the principles of Policing. “The issue is, even later the NPC has not understood the principles the Police is based on,” he said adding that the organization must also understand the sub-culture within the Police.

“Without understanding this how can they work towards making the police service independent?” the Former IGP questioned adding that this knowledge cannot be obtained by merely talking to a few policemen. Calling the NPC an unsuccessful experiment, Fernando said it is indirectly politically influenced as the Commission is appointed by the Constitutional Council. “For example, the former Chairman of the NPC was removed without his knowledge” he said.

“So the question is whether it is the NPC or the Police that must be made independent?” Fernando added.

Meanwhile, the NPC earned more flak this week when it was reported that a member of the Commission had written to Acting IGP Chandana Wickramaratne asking for the investigations into the Dr Shafi Shihabdeen case to be taken away from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and handed over to the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). The letter noted that the NPC had received a complaint from an Attorney at Law stating the CID is not conducting the investigations satisfactorily and that he suggested teams from the CID, SIU, Investigations Department (TID) and the Kurunegala Police jointly carry out the investigations. The directions to the Acting IGP by the NPC was seen as interfering with investigations being carried out.

However, SP Gunasekara clarifying the reports said the letter sent by the NPC was unclear. The letter had merely requested the Acting IGP to submit a report from the SIU after investigating, but failed to mention what they should investigate. “It was unclear if the NPC had asked the SIU to investigate into Dr Shafi’s case or into the complaint made by the Lawyer about the CID” he added. Responding to the NPC letter the Acting IGP on Friday said he would not recommend the investigations to be taken away from the CID as it had been handed over to them according to proper procedures set out by the provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code and would pose legal as well as practical issues going forward.