The new Kerala Police Act provides for metropolitan police system in cities with population above 10 lakh. Hence the system is being introduced only in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi which meet the standard.
"The home department will now be coming out with the specific guidelines about the powers and changes for the two cities," said chief minister Oommen Chandy after the cabinet meeting. The elevation in grade of both commissionerates means the commissioners in these cities will be officers in the rank of inspector-general of police.
Granting magisterial powers to top cops was a long-pending demand of the state police. There was no prompt action on the request by the police in this regard as there were strong opposition from the side of bureaucrats. Until now, the magisterial powers were vested only with the district collectors.
With this system, the commissioner will be of someone of ranks of Add.DGP of Police, with wide range of Executive powers. In addition, the city police force will now eligible to receive key funding from center govt as part of Metropolitan police funding. Having magisterial powers to city police commissioners would help the police execute detention warrants under the Goonda Act without delay and take immediate steps like opening firing to control riots. The state police will have to issue a notification to bring the metropolitan system into effect.