(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Law and Order
(Current Based) Question:
The mob lynching and failure of law and order machinery is addressing the vexed
issue of police reforms. Comment. (20 Marks/250 Words)
Recently Supreme Court ruling has forced the Centre to acknowledge the
gravity of the recurrent crime of mob violence. It has constituted two
high-level committees to frame measures to deal with what the Court described as
“horrendous acts of mobocracy”.
The government should now take the next step by addressing the vexed issue of
police reforms. This is because, by all accounts, the failure of the law and
order machinery to respond satisfactorily has been a common strand running
through incidents of mob violence.
In fact, in a majority of lynching incidents, the police have shown a
disturbing propensity to hound and even lodge cases against the families of
victims — mostly marginalised communities — instead of pursuing and booking the
culprits.In case after case, the men in uniform have been exposed for their
The apex court’s ruling contains several guidelines directed towards law
enforcement agencies. It has called for
- more efficient patrolling of highways,
- the appointment of senior policemen as nodal officers in sensitive
- immediate registration of FIRs.
The ruling did not go into the systemic problems of an under-resourced and
politically-controlled police force. But it has been more than a decade since
the Prakash Singh case in which the apex court directed the introduction of
reforms to give the “police functional autonomy within reasonable political
control” and make it more answerable to the people.
The directives of that historic verdict have consistently been stonewalled
and this — along with the fact that India has one of the lowest police-to-people
ratios in the world — has fostered the climate of impunity for vigilante gangs.
(Total Words- 268)
Valuable inputs from The Indian Express Editorials: ‘To End Impunity'
(Linkages: Mob Violence and Failure of Law and Order Machinery, Police
Reforms and Unprofessional Policing, Police Reforms and Supreme Court