Central Association of Private Security Industry (CAPSI) and Association of Private Detectives and Investigators (APDI) recently held their Governing Council Meeting, which brought together national office bearers and members of CAPSI from across the country, and provided them a valuable networking opportunity to discuss, explore and set the stage for further cooperation a large number of issues pertaining to the private security industry.
The conference began with the opening remarks of Kunwar Vikram Singh, Chairman, CAPSI & APDI, and continued with interactive panel discussions, presentations, and briefings on various topics of interest like GST, Code of Conduct, matters related to principle employers etc.
The Meeting was graced by the presence of Vivek Bharadwaj, IAS, Joint Secretary (PM), MHA who actively indulged in a meaningful discussion with the industry representatives and invited their comments on current issues being faced by the industry. The Chairman welcomed Mr. Bhardwaj and apprised him of the current issues which the industry faces such as renewal of licenses, license of gunman, immunity to PSA owner against cognizable offences committed by guards, formation of an internal committee to tweak some rules in order to ensure better growth of the industry, requirement of upgrading skills of guards to match with international standards, uniform standard of training across the country, nonPSARA compliant PSAs to be dealt with a heavy hand, and so on.
The industry representatives raised following issues to the Joint Secretary:
Grant of license to an agency needs to be simplified, registration of Aadhar Card of the owner be linked with KYC forms and get antecedents verified.
- Provision for permission to operate in multiple states.
- PSARA be enforceable across the country, and provisions for licenses for all India be formulated.
- Documentary evidence of being born at a particular place, especially for the older person as the registration of birth at that time was not mandatory.
- Delhi police firing range to be made available to the licensed armed security guards for practice through the security agencies.
- DGR model to determine the minimum service charges to be included in the tendering process by the PSAs.
- Delhi PSARA mandates a training centre to possess minimum one acre of ground for physical activities. This can be offset by conducting physical training in government schools which have playground of one acre or more. The training activities can be carried out after school hours.
- Validity of PSARA license be enhanced from the present three years to five years. In case it is applied for renewal in stipulated time frame before the expiry date, and renewal not received, the agency’s license may be considered renewed. It was informed that the Govt of Bihar has started the process of auto renewal of licenses, and submission of documents is done on line.
- Considering the fast turnover of security guards in the industry, present verification procedure followed by the police is very time consuming. It was recommended that e-portals like that of NCRB be developed and used to identify the criminal records of the applicants, if any. If there are no adverse entries, it may be deemed clear.
- That police stations located in remote areas of the country can be asked to work in collaboration and share information of any agency operating from that area, which otherwise is a difficult and timeconsuming task for CAPSI.
- That in Maharashtra it is compulsory for agencies to register with Maharashtra Security Guard Board and employ only those who are cleared by them. It was recommended that Maharashtra Guard Board be brought under PSARA.
- That if an agency submits the application in accordance with the check list of the State Controlling Authority, then the new license should be given within 60 days and renewals within 30 days.
- Though the validity of the license in one of the states i.e., Jharkhand is for five years, but the Controlling Authority demands a yearly renewal charge of INR 25,000/- which needs to be stopped forthwith.
- That in AP/ Telengana, the Controlling Authorities are officers who perform the task in addition to their various other assigned tasks, thereby they get little time to resolve issues pertaining to the industry.
- Controlling Authority in one of the states has enforced training of MDs in the state as part of the condition to renew license. If other states also do that, MD will require to be attending the same course in all states where his agency is functional.
- It was informed that Government of J&K has passed an Act wherein only those individuals who are the domicile of the state and have 51% share of the company will be able to run a security agency in the State. This debars Indians not belonging to the State of J&K from conducting business in the State.
Based on the discussions held, it is envisaged that MHA may issue certain recommendations to State Controlling Authorities which will eventually pave the way towards ease of doing business by the security agencies.
Professionalism and compliance of PSARA will bring credibility
Mr. Bharadwaj stated that he has been very keen to interact with CAPSI members as they were the true representatives of the security industry. He expressed his satisfaction on the way the deliberations took place and made a note of a few valid points that have been brought to his notice and assured all present that he will certainly follow up on these issues. He took note to examine the current procedure of grant of new license & renewal of existing licenses, utilization of police firing range for practice, and whether J&K Govt can enact the model rules in the manner that they have.
He stated that there is a need to understand the Constitution of India. PSARA is a model Act and rules formulated by states are within the broad contours of the Act. So far as checking of criminal records/ antecedents of prospective guards are concerned, these could be obtained from the CCTNS portal which connects all operational police stations in the country except 80. Citizen service portal is another point that can be exploited. He was in favour of corporate licences for companies, and the service charges should not be below the minimum wages.
Association of Private Detectives & Investigators of India
Subhash Wadhawan, National President, APDI addressed the audience and enumerated the road map envisaged for APDI. He stated that there is a need to restructure the organization so as to have meaningful interactions and enhancement of the membership. He also stressed on the need to improve the quality of service rendered to clients and being ethical and transparent.
He informed the Governing Council that the Ministry of Home Affairs is seriously considering to re-table the Private Detective Agencies (Regulation) Bill in the Rajya Sabha in the next session of the Parliament. A highlevel meeting of the MHA was called by the Special Secretary (BM) MHA to discuss the issues related to the pending legislation. National office bearers of APDI were invited to participate in the discussion. High ranking officers of the MHA and state police attended the meeting and expressed their expert opinion. He along with Kunwar Vikram Singh, Chairman, APDI; Mahesh Sharma, Secretary General; Pawan Ahluwalia, member of Board of Governers, C Pal Singh, Honorary Director General, and V. M. Pandit, Former President, APDI attended the meeting.
Chairman welcomed the idea and stated that present office bearers may be given another chance to build up APDI and reconstitution must be completed within the next 15 days. A decision was taken to organize APDI Seminars and workshops in Jaipur and Chandigarh for inculcating a cohesive working ethos.