Indiscriminate Arrests Reflect Colonial Mindset! Bail, Not Jail Should be Observed!

Criminal Codes
  • Reams and reams have been written about how the often-repeated mantra like bail, not jail, should be observed by law enforcement agencies simply falling on deaf ears. As you are aware, no less than the Supreme Court has time and again emphasized the necessity to observe the sanctity of an individual’s freedom of expression as guaranteed by the Constitution. Despite SC pulling up the Centre and States alongside law enforcement agencies, the arbitrariness and ad-hocism so widely prevalent in the Indian context must be bothering the conscientious citizens and civil rights activists, alike. The lower courts also appear to be not heeding the diktat from SC going by the increasing number of under-trials languishing in various jails across the country.


PC: LiveLaw

  • Little wonder that thousands of under-trials are waiting to be heard and the humongous pending cases across the courts only exacerbate the plight of the families expecting justice to be served. Did someone mention that justice delayed is justice denied? No one bothers about it anymore. On its part, regardless of which law the police invokes, courts have repeatedly held that any arrest should be the last option and that indiscriminate arrests violate human rights. In the latest reiteration of this principle, Allahabad HC recently granted anticipatory bail to a man accused in a cow slaughter case, observing that arrests should only be carried out when custodial interrogation of an accused is required.
  • Allahabad HC further said that courts have repeatedly held arrest should be the last option and that irrational and indiscriminate arrests are gross violations of human rights. SC has stressed that even in exceptional cases, the need for arrest should be proportional to the gravity of the alleged offense. The paramountcy of procedural safeguards that flow from the Constitution to ensure arrests are not arbitrary has been emphasized yet again. India’s plethora of preventive detention laws have arbitrariness almost inbuilt in terms of their loose wording and expansive interpretation. Given the burden of undertrials across India’s prisons SC in 2022 even urged the Centre to frame a law to restrain probe agencies from arresting any accused unnecessarily.

Allahabad Highcourt

PC: India Legal

  • It said indiscriminate arrests reflect a colonial mindset and create the impression of a police state. Perhaps no sector has seen as many arbitrary FIRs and arrests as social media posts. If arrests of students celebrating a Pakistan match win were jaw-dropping, various state police forces have crisscrossed the country to swoop down on young people over their online viewpoints, taking them into custody on the flimsiest of excuses. Eventual bail or quashing of charges is not the point. The point is police get away scot-free for the trauma they induce, working only to please political masters – across party lines. This must stop forthwith. Placing people behind bars on trivial matters should be completely avoided. The practice in vogue is simply inhuman.