Explained: What is the commissionerate system

News:Recently,the Uttar Pradesh Cabinet has approved the commissionerate system of policing for state capital Lucknow, and Noida.



  • Under the 7th Schedule of the Constitution,‘Police’ is under the State list, meaning individual states typically legislate and exercise control over this subject. 
  • In the arrangement in force at the district level,a ‘dual system’ of control exists in which the Superintendent of Police(SP) has to work with the District Magistrate(DM) for supervising police administration.
  • However,at the metropolitan level, many states have replaced the dual system with the commissionerate system as it is supposed to allow for faster decision-making to solve complex urban-centric issues.

About the commissionerate system:

  • In the commissionerate system,the Commissioner of Police(CP) is the head of a unified police command structure and is responsible for the force in the city, and is accountable to the state government. 
  • The office also has magisterial powers including those related to regulation, control and licensing.
  • The CP is usually drawn from the Deputy Inspector General rank or above, and is assisted by Special/Joint/Additional/Deputy Commissioners.

Where is the system in force?

  • In 1983,the sixth National Police Commission report recommended the introduction of a police commissionerate system in cities with a population of 5 lakh and above as well as in places having special conditions.
  • Initially,only four cities had the system namely Kolkata, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai.But by 2016,53 cities had implemented this system.