State Police Forces at Loggerhead with One Another Benefit None!

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  • The federal structure unambiguously enunciated in the Indian Constitution has allowed the functioning of the system wonderfully all these years save for trivial issues cropping up sporadically. As is its wont, those prickly issues invariably necessitate the higher judiciary to step in to correct the anomaly satisfactorily. The modern society must progress based on sound fundamental principles, and it is here that the Indian Constitution has clearly demarcated responsibilities for the respective governments, the Central and State. As is known without any uncertainty, the law-and-order enforcing agency like the police comes under the state government to maintain peace and security.

PC: Prof Upendra Baxi

  • Sadly, the unholy nexus between the political masters and the bureaucrats is so profound that the original charter of upholding neutrality is forsaken in the bargain going by the occurrences. Now, there is a growing tendency of the police department from different states diligently follow the instructions of political masters over voices of criticism and opposition without caring a dime about the possible repercussions of such arbitrary moves. Increasing incidents of police highhandedness are posing great challenges to the time-honored federal structure of the nation. Undoubtedly, the futility of using police to serve as an instrument of political vendetta should dawn on political parties after the unedifying confrontation witnessed last week between Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi police.
  • The spectacle unfolded was reminiscent of no less than a fast-paced crime thriller that succeeded in getting the undesired attention of the whole country. Let’s look into the reason for the trigger. Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) resolve to punish the Delhi BJP spokesperson for his tweet against chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and the BJP’s unapologetic interest in freeing him played out in full public glare through the mentioned actions of the three police forces. Somebody mentioned bending over backward to please the political masters. Indeed, it is. But after the spokesperson’s detention in Haryana and repeated judicial setbacks, Punjab police have been left red-faced with no cover to hide their besmirched persona.

PC: Chemonics

  • People in the know would recall how in the recent past Assam police’s ignominious turn over the arrest of Jignesh Mevani from Gujarat played out. In doing so, various state police forces seem to have thrown procedure and mutual organizational courtesy to the wind. Remember, the Criminal procedure Code has safeguards like police requiring an arrest warrant from magistrates before effecting arrests and securing transit remand from a magistrate after arrests in another jurisdiction. Additional Delhi high court guidelines require cops from other jurisdictions effecting arrests to also intimate local police officers.
  • Of course, these norms allow for exceptions but following the procedures would have saved the Punjab police the blushes. Assuming India’s hyper-competitive politics and bitter, the person-targeted political rhetoric will continue to intensify, and police will be frequently used to settle scores and make points, the near future frankly looks anything but rosy. Make no mistake, worse may yet happen in standoffs between politics-driven state police forces. Don’t be surprised if that happens. Will better sense prevail amongst the powers-that-be, your guess is as good as mine.

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Krishna MV
Krishna is a Post Graduate with specialization in English Literature and Human Resource Management, respectively. Having served the Indian Air Force with distinction for 16 years, Armed Forces background definitely played a very major role in shaping as to who & what he is right now. Presently, he is employed as The Administrator of a well known educational institute in Bangalore. He is passionate about sharing thoughts by writing articles on the current affairs / topics with insightful dissection and offering counter / alternate views thrown in for good measure. Also, passionate about Cricket, Music – especially vintage Kannada & Hindi film songs, reading – non-fictional & Self-Help Books, and of course, fitness without compromising on the culinary pleasures.