Police Theory, Manoje Nath

Police Theory, Manoje Nath
Police Theory, Manoje Nath
Police Theory, Manoje Nath

Musings, the web site of Manoje Nath:

What Law? Whose order?

Law and order is a tricky business and the best of us are sometimes tested and found wanting largely because of the ambivalence of the mandate of police. Law is codified, made formal in various acts-the IPC, CrPC, evidence, etc. But what is order? Is there a permanent, ordained, immutable order? A preferred order? An ideal state of order? The construction of the meaning of order is exclusively the area of police expertise.

The law obligates a police officer of appropriate rank present on the scene of trouble to do everything within his legal means to prevent trouble and disperse the mob. It is a responsibility, not a privilege and powers to discharge this responsibility inhere in him; he does not enjoy it during the pleasure of somebody. Now the DGP says it was on his orders that the police force did not react. That says it all. Law must take a bow before the dictates of order


I have great respect for the thinking of my colleague and friend, Manoje Nath. We in America should pay more attention to the ideas and philosophy of criminal justice. Surely, the experiences of policing in a nation of 1.4 billion people have have some valuable lessons.

The short excerpt above does not do justice to the article. It is constructed in a carefully designed pattern, very fine writing. So, I recommend you go read the article in its entirety. In addition, I couldn’t help but notice that his remarks were published in a good number of Indian publications.

James Pilant

P.S. This may seem off the pattern of business ethics but I also teach criminal justice courses and justice is a critical element in ethical analysis.  (JP)

From around the web –

From the the Recommendations of the Malimath Committee on reforms of Criminal Justice System: (This is a very small piece of a very large set of recommendations.)

1. Need for Reforms
It is the duty of the State to protect fundamental rights of the citizens as well as the right to property. The State has constituted the criminal justice system to protect the rights of the innocent and punish the guilty. The system, devised more than a century back, has become ineffective; a large number of guilty go unpunished in a large number of cases; the system takes years to bring the guilty to justice; and has ceased to deter criminals. Crime is increasing rapidly everyday and types of crimes are proliferating.

The citizens live in constant fear. It is therefore that the Govt of India, Ministry of Home Affairs constituted the Committee on reforms of Criminal Justice System to make a comprehensive examination of all the functionaries of the Criminal Justice System, the fundamental principles and the relevant laws. The Committee, having given its utmost consideration to the grave problems facing the country, has made its recommendations in its final report, the salient features of which are given below: …

From the web site, Daily News and Analysis, from an article by Rakesh Bhatnagar.

Way back in 1604, House of Lords Judge Sir Edward Coke ruled that “the house of everyone is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence as for his repose.” There was serious concern for the privacy of a living a being as the contested and universally acceptable verdict says “The midnight knock by the police bully breaking into the peace of the citizen’s home is outrageous in law’. Agreeing with him, Justice Douglas explained that the Free State offers what a police state denies – the privacy of the home, the dignity and peace of mind of the individual.

“That precious right to be left alone is violated once the police enter our conversations,’’ the two thinking judges said as they unwittingly laid the foundation of the hope for a nation “where the mind is without fear and the head is held high…”

It’s a pleasant surprise that Lord Coke’s concern was echoed recently by Indian Supreme Court judges AK Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar as they examined the significance of the Right to Information Act.

And finally from the web site, a PDF file, MEASURES FOR CRIME VICTIMS IN THE INDIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM by Kumaravelu Chockalingam: (This is a very brief section from a 13 page paper. jp)

India derived its criminal justice system from the British model. There is a clear demarcation of the role
and powers and functions of the Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary. The judiciary is independent and there
is a free press. The penal philosophy in India has accepted the concepts of prevention of crime and treatment
and rehabilitation of criminals, which have been reiterated by many judgments of the Supreme Court.
Victims have no rights under the criminal justice system, and the state undertakes the full responsibility to
prosecute and punish the offenders by treating the victims as mere witnesses.

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