The National Police Commission (NPC) said today the age factor of its members had no bearing whatsoever on fulfilling its mandate.
It said this in response to the recent remarks made by Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe who described the NPC as a home for the aged and that it served no purpose.
The NPC, issuing a statement pointed out that it was detrimental to express an opinion about the performance of the Independent Commission without an objective, evidence-based assessment of its work duly comparing it with its mandate.
“The age factor of the members of the Commission has had no influence whatsoever on the accomplishment of the expected task. In fact, the probability of a decision to be correct, objective and unbiased is high when the decision is taken by a team of seven matured, experienced persons,” it said.
The NPC said the NPC members had been appointed by the Constitutional Council, a body above party politics at the national level under the provisions of the Constitution, which is the basic law of the land.
“The minister himself has been a member of the Council when these appointments were made. As such his statement in a way questions the rationality of the decisions made by the Supreme body,” the NPC said.
It said said the view of minister is that the National Police Commission has become a home for the aged and the tasks expected from the establishment of the Commission were not fulfilled.
“The Commission's mandate as stated in Article 155 of the Constitution is (a) to appoint, transfer, promote and discipline Police Officers and (b) to investigate public complaints against police. The Commission had 155 sessions at which more than 5,000 decisions were taken during the past 3 years relating to these functions. All decisions have been taken by all the 7 members assembling together and after careful consideration of the facts. A Code of Ethics and transfer Policy for police officers, performance evaluation system for officers in charge of Police Stations, a scheme for the increase of women representation in the police are some of the major work of the Commission. Commission has disposed of 4,415 appeals made by the Police Officers including 2,500 appeals carried forward from the past. A large number of delayed promotions of Junior Police Officers expedited. 86% of 4,805 public complaints received by the Commission have been investigated,” the NPC said.
It said a publication with details of Commission's accomplishments during the past three years has been released and would be made available to media shortly.