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Permit to arrest or apprehend: Draconian laws
Recently the Director General (DG) of Corporate Affairs, Late Shri BK Bansal was arrested on the charge of taking some bribe. The next day his wife and daughter committed suicide due to humiliation. After almost two months of his arrest BK Bansal and his son committed suicide, blaming the Central Bureau of Investigation of torture and beating.

Recently the Director General (DG) of Corporate Affairs, Late Shri BK Bansal was arrested on the charge of taking some bribe. The next day his wife and daughter committed suicide due to humiliation. After almost two months of his arrest BK Bansal and his son committed suicide, blaming the Central Bureau of Investigation of torture and beating. 

This power is derived from Section 41 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The officers of DSPE (Delhi Special Police Establishment) may take the assistance of the local police while making the arrest, whenever considered necessary. 

This is not the only case of arrest. An accused of Akhlaq murder case of Dadri, Ravi died at a hospital. His family members blamed the Noida jail authorities of torture and beating. When he was arrested, he was perfectly fit. 

These arrests have turned the spotlight on the provision of arrest and detention and the purpose it is being made to serve. The data produced by National Crime Records Bureau, in September 2015, tells that over 3,200 people were held only in administrative arrests or detention in Indian jails in one month, i.e., December 2014. 

Ravi, a driver was arrested in Dadri, on the charge of killing one Akhlaq, who himself was accused by the villagers of stealing a calf and subsequently killing it. The murder of Akhlaq gave an issue to the secular parties and activists, so the apparent reason for arrest could be to calm down the passions and appease the Muslims. 

BK Bansal was arrested on the charges of demanding and accepting the bribe from a client. 

Grounds for arrests under Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, have been equally imaginative. This is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to prevent atrocities against Scheduled Castes and Schedule Tribes. Thousands have been arrested or slapped with the very harsh sections, which are almost non-bailable without any offence.

Since the evidence for the commission of a crime or an offence is not a necessary condition of arrest, merely an FIR is enough and charges can be framed as imaginative. Time to time, voices have been raised against this draconian provision but due to vote bank politics, there is no respite from this horrible act. 

Recently, in Maharashtra, a lot of Marathas took a stand against this act. In states like UP, Haryana, Bihar, Delhi, HP, etc., so many caste groups have been demanding to abolish this act. 

Another draconian act is Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and also Section-498A under Indian Penal Code. Under these acts, anybody can be arrested only on the basis of an FIR. Even a member of the family can be included as an accused under this act. Society has reached a stage where merely living together, telephonic conversation etc., have become triggers for arrest or detention. Just on October 10, 2016, five members of a family (Sarkar family) committed suicide due to harassment by their daughter-in-law, misusing this act. 

Recently enacted POSCO Act is another draconian act that has been added to the list. Prima facie, the context of the sex offence may seem like a big offence for arrest. After all, it is a crime against an individual the arrest provision that mandates the enactment of extraordinary laws for crimes connected with the dignity of a female. 

Precisely because of the tendency of people, law enforcing authorities and state's propensity to misuse these extraordinary tough laws has been much higher in proportion to the threat to an individual. We need to place all the evidence at the time of arrest or detention. One can see thousands and thousands of innocents languishing in jails without any crime. Even judiciary is very insensitive to their plight. 

This is not a new thing in India. It was started by Sardar Patel, a name for the advocates of a 'hard state' who introduced and managed the preventive bill passed by Parliament in 1950. But he felt very uncomfortable and it was against his conscience. He admitted that he spent two sleepless nights before the introduction of the bill in Parliament but was compelled to do so because of the political and social unrest created by the anti-national forces. 

His fears have come true during these years of independence. The provisions of detention and arrest have been misused with an alacrity and aplomb by individuals and authorities. The worst part of this is that Indian judiciary is also not concerned about the human rights and dignity of citizens. 

Individuals from government departments like police, Central Bureau of Investigation, Electricity departments, local bodies etc., are the ones who are misusing such provisions of Indian Penal Code. On one hand, it is a 'necessary evil' for safeguarding the unity, integrity, and peace of the nation but now it a 'necessary provision' for a strong, protective nation. 

Such tough measures are necessary for terrorists, anti-nationals, dreaded criminals, gangsters, smugglers, money launderers etc. But the irony is that such measures are meant only for common citizens and on the other hand terrorists, naxals, anti-nationals, intruders, dreaded criminals, gangsters, smugglers, money launderers etc are left scot-free.

Measures such a TADA, POTA, MISA, etc, are needed to control the menace created by terrorists, naxals, anti-nationals, intruders, dreaded criminals, gangsters, smugglers, money launderers etc. Exceptional measures are needed for exceptional situations and exceptional outlaws. However, extraordinary measures should not be there for ordinary citizens. 

These laws are so tough that order of arrest or detention under these provisions remain operative and valid even if the ground is vague, the evidence is not enough or even if there is no territorial jurisdiction. In the name of safeguarding the interests of some groups or individuals, others are almost repressed like second-grade citizens. Protecting Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes, females, minorities etc, has become a justification to enact such laws, against citizens for no fault. 

These laws have come to function as a parallel system of 'lawless laws.' They are lawless or brutal laws because they suppress the human rights of others and obstinately upturn the very basis of a justice system and a citizen is presumed guilty until proven innocent. It is this pattern that makes the demeanor of the detention laws a travesty of justice and justice system itself. 

In democratic and civilised nations such laws are used in an extraordinary situation, emergency, but in India, such provisional measures become a normal, stable and standard practice. These extraordinary laws have become permanent in statute books where the state itself suspends the rule of law for appeasing some groups. It is a kind of lawlessness that has the potential to make some groups outlaws and a law unto themselves. 
 

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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