Public Administration Mains 2018 : Model Question and Answer - 105

(Public Administration Paper II / Chapter: Law and Order Administration)

(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)

Model Answer:

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 unprofessional ways.

The apex court’s ruling contains several guidelines directed towards law enforcement agencies. It has called for

  1. more efficient patrolling of highways,
  2. the appointment of senior policemen as nodal officers in sensitive districts and
  3. 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 Guidelines)

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