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Policeman's dilemma: To be Singh or Vaze?

Sachin Vaze
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Sachin Vaze

Highlights

Our Constitution envisages the concept of Rule of Law and to ensure its proper enforcement, the police force has been made mandate. However, the police of all hues have to work under the orders and authority of the government.

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Our Constitution envisages the concept of Rule of Law and to ensure its proper enforcement, the police force has been made mandate. However, the police of all hues have to work under the orders and authority of the government. In the constitutional scheme of division of powers, the police have been bifurcated between the Centre and the States. The prime function of maintaining law and order is the State subject, while regulating immigration, passports, imports-exports besides the matters concerning nation's security are within the domain of the Central government.

Thus, in effect, the police force is not autonomous but it is always subordinate to either the Centre or the State. Undoubtedly, the police is the only organ of any government which comes into direct contact with the people. Often, unscrupulous elements heading the Home departments are found misusing their political powers through the use of police personnel working under them.

True, the training modules of both IPS and non-IPS policemen speak of idolism and ask the incumbents to be impartial while performing their duties. They have been ideally asked to be watchdogs of people's interests and not the blood hounds.

However, soon the new recruits realise that the practical life in police force is all together different and most of them get adept to bend before the political bosses and black sheep among the higher up's in the name of 'discipline'. By doing so, they follow the famous dialogue of a James Bond film, 'cooperate and relax'. Further, by succumbing to the diktats of such dirty politicians and the higher ups, they don't have to lose anything. Further in the scheme of things where they are used as hand tools, such policemen obviously stand to gain in terms of promotions, medals, sharing the ill-gotten money etc.

There are also policemen who resist such temptations knowing it fully well that it would be suicidal in terms of career advancement and material prosperity. However, this creed is indeed, in a microscopic minority.

Such upright policemen who act as the watchdogs of the common man, do so at the risk of their own peril. They are often transferred under the guise of 'administrative necessity', haunted and fabricated and even hounded after retirement by the corrupt, dishonest and anti-national political bosses and their henchmen in the superior hierarchy.

The latest example of the policemen sailing with the wind is Sachin Vaze. This petty Assistant Police Inspector rank cop had obviously mastered the art of sycophancy so much so that he was granted direct access to the Commissioner of Police and State-level bosses in Maharashtra, thanks to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which after a thorough probe, exposed the alleged criminal activities of Vaze, whose primary duty as policeman was to prevent the occurrence of crime. Going by the media reports, Vaze with his strong political connections had the audacity to extort huge money from victims and in the name of encounters, kill innocent people. His role in the suspicious death of one Mansukh Hiren has been under the scanner. Neither the State nor the police department can wash off their hands terming the involvement of Sachin Vaze in criminal activities as 'sporadic incident'. It is indeed a very serious matter and deserves due consideration by the Parliament.

On the other hand is the sordid story of an upright IPS officer of DGP rank, Vinay Kumar Singh or VK Singh for short. This officer hailing from the Gandhian family of Bihar has recently confessed that he utterly failed in his efforts to clean the police administration in States of Telangana and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh. The nation should hang its head down in shame that an honest police officer's dreams of acting as the watchdog for the society have been scuttled.

TS HC irked at casualness by Revenue Tribunals

Perhaps for the first time in the history, the Telangana High Court has come down heavily on the revenue tribunals for their casual approach to the appeals of land owners and passing unilateral orders without hearing the parties. The bench comprising Chief Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Vijaysen Reddy took a strong objection to the disposal of over 16,000 cases in a casual manner by the revenue tribunals. The bench directed the government to ensure a fresh hearing in each case if the opposing party objects to the process.

Tying Rakhi should not be considered as reprieve to rapist

In a scathing wording delivered on March 17, a Supreme Court bench of Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice S Ravindra Bhat set aside the Madhya Pradesh High Court order granting bail to a suspected molester provided he visits the victim at her home and allows her to tie a rakhi on him.

The 24-page verdict authored by Justice Bhat said, "Using Rakhi tying as a condition for bail, transforms a molester into a brother. The trenched paternalistic and misogynistic attitudes continue even after 70 years of republic. A woman cannot be herself in the society of the present day, which is an exclusively masculine society and whose laws are framed by men who judge feminine conduct from a masculine point of view."

Cops vs cops

As an extension of the unfortunate trend of rivalry between the police of the Centre and certain States, the Kerala police have recently filed an FIR against the police team of the Enforcement Directorate, which is controlled by the Central government.

The crime branch of Kerala State Police invoked IPC Sections 116, 120-B, 167, 192, 193 and 195-A for conspiracy, intimidation and forcing a person to give false statement. The ED officers are probing the gold smuggling case with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan named as the accused in the FIR.

This is indeed a disturbing trend in our body politic. Instead of promoting federalism and harmony between the Union and the States, such maneuvering either by a State or the Central government for whatever reasons do not auger well. Therefore, some mechanism has to be evolved either by the Parliament or by the State to mitigate the problem.

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