In the recipe to cook democracy, the rule of law is one of the essential ingredients, if not the most. Police officials play a vital role in maintaining the rule of law. They make certain that everyone abides by it and play a central role in our criminal justice system as police officials are the face of this system and are the first point of contact whenever someone’s rights are violated. Police officials are expected-off to maintain peace and harmony in society, protect citizens’ rights and liberties, and enforce the laws of the land. In every country, Police officials have to perform such diverse duties, which they can’t perform efficaciously without a sound policing infrastructure, efficient internal structure, and well-trained and sensitised personnel who are healthy mentally and physically.

India is determined to become an economic superpower, though the current criminal justice system often causes hindrance rather than catalysing this transition. According to many critics, our criminal justice system has become obsolete, and it is need of the hour to revitalise it, and for this to manifest into reality, we, as a society, need to deepdive and pinpoint the issues plaguing our criminal justice system, starting with our police forces so that police officials
can perform their duties efficaciously.

Most studies in this area are purely observational, in the sense that the issues they focus on aren’t determined by the ones who face these daily. A true and vibrant democracy requires a well-functioning criminal justice system, and for that, police officials and all stakeholders of the system need to be heard, from the lowest rung to the highest decisionmakers in the country.

This study entails providing insights on the aforementioned issues. The objective of this study is to conduct offthe-record interviews of people who are/were police officials or are/were associated with the police in India to understand the issues they face. This study focuses on six overarching themes and how they play a role in determining how the policing system works. These themes are:

  1. Motivational Factors
  2. Structural Issues
  3. Mental Health
  4. Political Interference
  5. Infrastructural Issues
  6. Physical Health