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

Musings

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)

II. OVERVIEW OF THE INDIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
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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The Observations of Manoje Nath


Friends ,Foes and Faceless Jokers

Manoje Nath

(These notes were randomly jotted between November 1987 and May 1988, when one of my periodic crises had rendered me practically destitute, without office, without work, without the perks that go with the office. The point to appreciate is that I had lots of leisure. In those pre word processor days, writing was a heroic task and needed great determination and lots of leisure. But I could proceed no further than forty or forty five handwritten foolscap pages, because in June 1988, I was posted to the CID and assigned the investigation of cases registered against the members of so called “Cooperative Mafia”. The many cases that we launched against influential political figures as well as high profile IAS officers left me no time for anything else for quite some time. It put an end to this project.

I must put in the all important caveat. I deliberately approached the subject in an elliptical, non linear fashion for fear of exposing the identity of the persons concerned. Adequate precaution was also necessary because identification of the characters due to some coincidence or chance resemblance could seriously expose me to the danger of personal harm; if not actually murder, the loss of a few limbs was a distinct possibility. I’ll tell you why; one of my closest friends threatened to shoot me should I dare to immortalize him or his father in law- a senior police officer himself- in my ephemeral memoir which was certainly not going to see the light of the day.

This is the opening two paragraphs of Manoje Nath’s Blog for February 24, 2011. It is delightful reading. It’s rare to encounter a figure who is also a good writer. I have read a number of his posts and burst out laughing at his observations.
I want you to read this and enjoy it (as I did).
There is a lot in here and being an American, I don’t understand everything going on. I am expert on American Criminal Justice which is a heavily decentralized organization (14,000 separate law enforcement agencies). My impression is that India has a highly centralized bureaucratic organization for policing. As a fan of more centralization in my country, you at times have me worried that it might not be such a good idea, but as I have said being an American, I don’t always understand how things work on the Indian Subcontinent.
What I do understand is that Manoje Nath is a fine writer and I admire his work.
I think you will too, so please follow the link and read his story.
James Alan Pilant
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THE BATTLE AGAINST CORRUPTION – HOW MANY DIVISIONS DO WE HAVE? (via Musings – Manoje Nath)


http://voices-against-corruption.ning.com/profile/MartinGalevski

The fight against corruption is an American problem, an Indian problem and a worldwide problem. Their fight is our fight, our fight is theirs. Corruption takes different forms in the two countries. In America it is more a matter of corrupting legislators and buying influence, subverting regulators and rewriting the rules behind closed doors. In India, it may in some cases, be more public and related often to the official duties of various officials. However, there have been national scandals on a humongous scale.

We in the United States should pay more attention to developments in India. That nations economic and diplomatic power are on a steep rise and I strongly suspect their long term goals are more peaceful than their neighbor to the East.

James Pilant

Here is my colleague in blogging, Manoje Nath. He is often witty and very often profound. Here is a selection from his latest post

Democracy attributes good sense and judgment to its citizenry at large and it is supposed to exercise its control over the day to day functioning of the government through public opinion,(as if there is a body of opinion, fully formed, ubiquitous and all knowing, which once alerted to wrongdoing, will come down like a ton of bricks and ensure immediate remedial measures. ) That, alas! is not true.  Generally speaking people are ignorant and indifferent, people are resistant to mobilization and sustained activism.  Wrapped in their own petty little concerns and anxieties they are easily satisfied with cosmetic changes.  As a worst case they get used to everything – just about everything.  This is where the charismatic leader comes in.

And from a little further down –

The ambiguity in the public attitude towards ill-gotten money is the result of our peculiar situation.  Our economy is half white and half black, half over-ground and half underground.  We condemn black money but deal in it, nevertheless.  Under our very eyes, criminals and gangsters acquire wealth, then political power, then more wealth and with it acceptability and social esteem.  Political banditry as a mode of creation of surplus value has long been accepted as a legitimate vocation.  To displace the awareness of these contradictions, we have devised various overt and covert strategies to acknowledge and accommodate the criminality with in our midst.  Lawyers, chartered accountants, investment advisors, honestly work for the legitimization of dishonest earnings by politicians, government officials, corporate CEOs, etc.  Dirty money courses through our formal and informal financial system in different ways, with different consequences.  We do not seek to know hard enough about the offshore funds being routed in our economy for fear of discovering their actual provenance.  We are so enamoured, even over awed with power and manipulation that we tend to ignore what David Bell calls “the economic fulcrum underneath”.

The Observations of Manoje Nath


 

Friends ,Foes and Faceless Jokers

 

Manoje Nath

(These notes were randomly jotted between November 1987 and May 1988, when one of my periodic crises had rendered me practically destitute, without office, without work, without the perks that go with the office. The point to appreciate is that I had lots of leisure. In those pre word processor days, writing was a heroic task and needed great determination and lots of leisure. But I could proceed no further than forty or forty five handwritten foolscap pages, because in June 1988, I was posted to the CID and assigned the investigation of cases registered against the members of so called “Cooperative Mafia”. The many cases that we launched against influential political figures as well as high profile IAS officers left me no time for anything else for quite some time. It put an end to this project.

I must put in the all important caveat. I deliberately approached the subject in an elliptical, non linear fashion for fear of exposing the identity of the persons concerned. Adequate precaution was also necessary because identification of the characters due to some coincidence or chance resemblance could seriously expose me to the danger of personal harm; if not actually murder, the loss of a few limbs was a distinct possibility. I’ll tell you why; one of my closest friends threatened to shoot me should I dare to immortalize him or his father in law- a senior police officer himself- in my ephemeral memoir which was certainly not going to see the light of the day.

This is the opening two paragraphs of Manoje Nath’s Blog for February 24, 2011. It is delightful reading. It’s rare to encounter a figure who is also a good writer. I have read a number of his posts and burst out laughing at his observations.
I want you to read this and enjoy it (as I did).
There is a lot in here and being an American, I don’t understand everything going on. I am expert on American Criminal Justice which is a heavily decentralized organization (14,000 separate law enforcement agencies). My impression is that India has a highly centralized bureaucratic organization for policing. As a fan of more centralization in my country, you at times have me worried that it might not be such a good idea, but as I have said being an American, I don’t always understand how things work on the Indian Subcontinent.
What I do understand is that Manoje Nath is a fine writer and I admire his work.
I think you will too, so please follow the link and read his story.
James Alan Pilant

Honest Cop Nears Retirement Sans Fair Deal During Career (via The Times of India)


Frank Serpico was an American (New York) police officer who refused to go along with departmental corruption. He later received the Medal of Honor, the New York Police Department’s highest award. Serpico was less than popular with his superiors and his fellow officers. There are strong suspicions that his shooting while making a drug bust was a set up by other policemen to get him out of the way.

Manoje Nath

In India there is a policeman called Manoje Nath.  He seems to upset his superiors as well.

From the article

As Bokaro SP in 1980, he arrested the then Bokaro Steel MD in a corruption case and was handed transfer order within 24 hours __ only after four months in office. While in vigilance, he again ended up fraying his superiors’ ego as he raided three engineers in a case of corruption. For the next ten months, the cop had to make do without a vehicle and a telephone as he was made to wait for a posting. A departmental proceeding for disobedience was also initiated which the Patna high court later quashed.

This guy investigates where the career minded officer will not go.

My understanding is that he is currently teaching.

I’m deeply impressed by his career choices and wish him well.

James Pilant

(By the way, Nath has a blog called Musings. He is witty and eloquent. I recommend it.)