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Understanding law and order + policing

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[Forked out of this thread on id-cards] Talking law and order in general, the mess is probably deeper than the issue of id-cards: there are a lot of things involved. Lets try analyze this if we can. Let me put a common sense based list of things on the table as I see them:

  • Pro-active policing
    • Policing methods
    • Over reliance on technology (phoe tapping) and undervaluing on-ground constable's eyes
    • coordination b/w state and central agencies (I understand no details of this, its a technical matter, not ripe for common sens-ical analysis
  • Pre-conviction phase
    • Intelligence methods to gather evidence
    • support from public/citizens (afraid to participate - as they show in the movies)
  • Post conviction phase
    • Quality of public prosecution system
    • Legal delays: Who do they hurt more - security agencies more or te suspects?
  • Reactive situations: Handling law and order spurts
    • How do they redeploy resources - any methodical resource planning
    • Public relations, and communications -over-reliance on mainstream media?

Think more and you would get categories of things to understand. What do we know about above? How do the weaknesses in above show up? Those who are current on the subject would know about Soli Sorabjee committee's recommendations. What aspects do those recommendations cover? And why do you think the recommendations are not getting implemented yet?

Some links

PS: Please use the tag "law and order" if you are creating new discussions for narrow focus material on the subject.


silkboard's picture

NYPD will admit amateur video evidence

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Speaking of engaging citizens with Police, how about this latest development in New York. See this - NY Police Deptt will now accept video from citizens

"We're putting that technology in place to enable us to do that," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, adding that the service will be available soon ... "It's a fact of life," Kelly said. "Everybody has a camera in their telephones. When people can record an event taking place that helps us during an investigation, it's helpful. " ... Soon citizen sleuths can transmit evidence of criminal activity directly to the police and 911, including evidence of police misconduct, such as the recent video of a police officer shoving a bicyclist to the ground in Times Square.

Now, if we suggest such a thing, (after, Bangalore should be the natural leader in all things tech) are there good chances that it will get lost in confusion over who has the authority to change related laws or whatever? Does Karnataka or Bangalore police have the authority to setup such a thing?

About the specifics of this example - why not? Half of Bangalore has camera phones. Yes, images can be fudged, but there are tools that tell you if its a fudged image. Even otherwise, if there are published procedures - like take a shot of same 'thing' from at least three different angles, that will help.

Imagine all of us sending 5-6 set of pictures everyday about vehicles parked here and there, about encroachement (its a BBMP subject though, not police). what would that be like? We can even collaborate anonymously to collect tons of evidence about targeted misadventurists.

tsubba's picture

Kangaroo Courts and Bullock Cart Justice

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Manipulation, not advocacy The Hindu High-profile cases in India, particularly those in which the rich and the powerful are accused, have been plagued with the problem of prosecution witnesses turning suddenly hostile. But the BMW hit-and-run case — in which the grandson of a former Indian Naval chief and son of a wealthy arms dealer is alleged to have killed six people in 1999 after driving his car through a police checkpoint — is the most shocking example of how justice is subverted by ‘persuading’ witnesses to turn hostile. In this case, a sting operation conducted by a television channel showed the defence lawyer and the prosecution counsel colluding to bribe the sole surviving witness to change his testimony. The Delhi High Court’s conviction of senior advocates R.K. Anand and I.U. Khan for obstructing the administration of justice is the result of the shocking expose, which revealed that senior lawyers on opposing sides are not beyond cosying up and collaborating to manipulate the course of justice. Surprisingly, given the gravity of the charges, the two lawyers, who were fined Rs.2,000 each, have got off extremely lightly in the contempt case. Courts have imposed stiffer penalties, including imprisonment, for lesser offences in such cases — for example on journalists and writers for what they have written. It is difficult to say how much more lenient the High Court would have been had they apologised, either conditionally or unconditionally. The ruling has recommended that the two be barred from appearing in courts for the next four months. This is for the Bar Council of India to implement. The decision of the BCI — which is empowered to bar or cancel the licence of lawyers and which has done nothing following the expose — will be watched closely. It would be a shame if this body, which has the jurisdiction to punish lawyers guilty of misconduct, fails to take stringent action. Public confidence in the criminal justice system has been seriously undermined by cases such as the BMW episode, and the BCI must keep this in mind while arriving at its decision. At a different level, the High Court’s ruling draws attention to the need for a comprehensive and effective scheme to prevent witnesses from turning hostile. The Jessica Lal and Best Bakery cases were but two high-profile cases that called attention to the urgent need for such a programme. At the same time, there is a parallel need to strengthen the perjury laws to prevent witnesses from being won over through financial and other inducements. At the end of the day, the successful working of any criminal justice system depends on the existence of individuals who can furnish information without either being intimidated or bought.
tsubba's picture


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The Hindu edit has zeroed in on the single most fundamental issue in enforcement. There should be zero tolerance and painfully strict penalites for perjury. For an institution that wallows in its own sense of self importance - doesnot tolerate any criticism or even scrutiny(you can't file RTI)- it is a disgustingly shameful that it is so lenient towards its own folk who fundamentally undermine it. You play both sides and make a mockery of the whole justice system and you are let off with a 2000rs fine and a possible four month suspension!? you are kidding me right? comment guidelines

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