Police Reforms | UPSC

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IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 2nd July 2020

“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” –Albert Einstein

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020.

EDITORIAL HUNT 101 :“Police Reforms | UPSC

Police Reforms | UPSC

Abhinav Sekhri

Abhinav Sekhri is a lawyer practising in New Delhi

      HEADLINES:

Police reform and the crucial judicial actor

      CENTRAL THEME:

The lesson from Thoothukudi is that constitutional courts must attempt to change the practices of magistrates

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS : Police Reforms in India

      MAINS QUESTION:

Act of violence inside a police station in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, evokes, is of extreme weariness.Critically Comment on the urgent reforms needed -(GS 3)

      LEARNING: 

  • Thoothukudi Incident is violence beyond imagination .
  • How Judicial reforms should take place.
  • Some cases and the verdict.
  • How far we have evolved in Policing roles .

      INTRODUCTION: 

The newest episode of sensational brutality has gripped public imagination.

  • EXTREME VIOLENCE : Act of violence inside a police station in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, evokes, is of extreme weariness.

      BODY: 

JUDICIARY AS BEACON

  • BEACONS OF DEMOCRACY : When the conversation veers in this direction it becomes natural to look towards the judiciary as the source of hope and action.

TOP COURT’S INTERVENTIONS

  • JOGINDER KUMAR V. STATE OF UP [AIR 1994 SC 1349] and
  • D.K. BASU V. STATE OF WEST BENGAL [(1997) 1 SCC 416],

  Where guidelines were passed to try and secure two rights in the context of any state action — a right to life and a right to know.

  • GUIDELINES : The Court sought to curb the power of arrest, as well as ensure that an accused person is made aware of all critical information regarding her arrest and also convey this to friends and family immediately in the event of being taken in custody.
  • AMENDMENTS : It took a decade, and in the form of amendments, as the Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2008 to give statutory backing to these judicial guidelines; it remains part of the law today.
  • PRAKASH SINGH V. UNION OF INDIA : Prakash Singh v. Union of India [(2006) 8 SCC 1], where it pushed through new legislation for governing police forces to be passed by States across India.
  • KEY COMPONENTS : A key component of the new legislation was a robust setup for accountability that contemplated a grievance redress mechanism.

SYSTEMIC FAILURES

  • CURBING BRUTALITY : Constitutional courts have seemingly tried to change our reality of police brutality for well over two decades.

Yet, we are still here ! India there are as many as five custodial deaths a day.

  • INSTITUTIONAL APATHY : While this is undoubtedly a product of continued institutional apathy towards the issue of police reform.
  • HELPLESS MAGISTRATES :  It is the ordinary magistrate, and not the constitutional court, who is the judicial actor wielding real power to realise substantial change in police practices.
  • SERIOUS ENERGY : Constitutional courts must seriously contend with the concrete cases that come their way and expose how hard it is for a common man to get justice against police violence, either through compensation claims or prosecutions.

      IASbhai Windup: 

CULTURE OF IMPUNITY

  • INSTITUTIONAL BAGGAGE : Constitutional courts must shed the institutional baggage which often leads to them protecting the supposedly vulnerable morale of police.

EXAMPLE
Thoothukudi incident as the result of a “few bad apples” ruining a system’s reputation.

  • SANCTIONS AND PENALTIES : Rather than minimise, perhaps it is time to consider sanctions at a larger scale and impose monetary penalties at the district level.
  • REORIENTATION OF GUIDELINES : Finally, constitutional courts could strike an inspired move by reorienting their guidelines to try and change the practices of magistrates, over whom they exercise powers of superintendence.
  • RULE OF LAW : For it is the local magistrate before whom all arrested and detained persons must be produced within 24 hours, and thus becomes the point of first contact for a citizen with the constitutional rule of law that Indians take so much pride in.
       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL | Police Reforms | UPSC

 

TRENDING NOW : Important The Hindu Editorials 

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