Angry agitators protesting against Police but why?

Winter has finally arrived with all its baggage. Fog keeps Sun camouflaged for most of the morning when clouds do not takeover from it. Temperature fell to make shivering a reality. Hourly interaction with Kahwah (Kashmir tea) is a necessity. The holiday season is full of lethargy. But not for everyone.

The Protesters

മലയാളം: ഡെൽഹിയിൽ സ്ഥിതി ചെയ്യുന്ന ഇന്ത്യാഗേറ്റ...

India Gate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thousands of young boys and girls are out there at India Gate & Raisina Hill (President House) protesting for being in an unsafe city for women and demanding improvement of law and order. Perhaps they should have also asked for a proper forensic investigation and speedy justice. Even though the protesters do not say in words they mean everything. While these common commuters suffer everyday at the hands of pick-pocket, thugs, rogue Auto-rickshaw & bus staff, police is busy extracting weekly allowance from squatters and providing protection to VIPs (read Politicians). 70% of Police force in Delhi is deployed to ensure safe life for Politicians. A part of the job of police is to hold traffic for smooth passage of VIPs while commuters like protesters try to find new excuses for their bosses for being late. In Delhi less than a hundred thousand Politicians are protected by 70% force and more than ten million by remaining 30%. The total force deployed is about seventy thousand. When it comes to traffic law enforcement, motorbike riders are subjected to daily humiliation, sometime several times a day, on the pretext of checking their papers. The profile of protesters is nothing but everyday victim of police itself. The protest is volcano of simmering dissent which is trying to find a way out.

Accountability of Police:

Delhi has a unique disability. The law and order is not under the control of elected Government. Against all Principles of democracy armed police force is not answerable to elected body. It is answerable to Union Home Minister.
It would be a high time that a debate may ensue that why the political institutions like Parliament be shifted to safe zone at new distant city where they may be kept protected like newborn are kept in incubators. But that is not the end of problems. When these fearful representatives of people return to the very people they claim to represent, they need more protection. The disparity of police availability for common man continues there as well. Thus what is the Problem of Delhi is actually a problem of every city of India.

Problem

Policement not wearing helmet.

Two policemen riding motorbike without wearing mandatory helmet.

Whatever may be the cause of protest, it does not hide the fact that except for the matters upon which glare of media  is focused upon, Policing and crime investigation is last priority of police. The first priority as stated above is protection of those near the center of power. Corruption, poor qualifications, authoritarians, lack of communication, disrespect for law (see picture on the left) and arbitrariness are other problems.

Solution

No difficulty in suggesting the solution but it will not be implemented.
First: Create a new educated force of Investigators with experts in criminology and forensics. Entrust them with crime investigation. It can be started with city to city basis. (Something like CSI)
Second: Keep existing force and structure for enforcement of law only. If they encounter crime scene, they should immediately call the Investigators.
Third: Reduce work hours of police. Presently they have to work 12-18 hrs everyday. Most of them do not go home except in a month or fortnight. They live in police stations or in tents inside police stations. We can not expect compassion from some one living in such horrible conditions.
Fourth: Trials of all cases must be on day to day basis, as is the mandate of law, under Criminal Procedure Code. It must be adhered scrupulously.

Epilogue

None of above shall be implemented. If done, it will change everything. No body wants drastic changes. The entire edifice of power which relies heavily on muscle power, will collapse. We may wish what we want but we can only protest, without hope.

© Sandeep Bhalla

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I miss the surveillance! Please tap my phone again?

Little BugFew months ago I was approached by relatives of a person arrested and lodged in Jail with request to represent him. There were severe, albeit contradictory allegations that he had active links with terrorists. His arrest and other events are a different story which is documented elsewhere. Here I share my experience of benefits from phone tapping.
The moment I had a few telephonic calls with these relatives, whose phone were under surveillance (a euphemism for tapping), my phone was also tapped. A few hours later my associate’s phone were also tapped.

How we discovered the tapping?

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Evolution of Law of Privacy

History of Origin of concept of Privacy

Persecution of human races: (A Preface)

Might is right. This was the official motto of existence on earth and till this date, it continues to be the actual rule of existence. The only difference from dark ages and today is that now physical might has been replaced with various type of authority. We have invented numerous way to dominate others and we continue to invent new technologies to expand the domination. Freedom was and is an illusion. Words like Religion and God were such earlier tools of domination, which is now joined by Psychology and the list is endless.

Heresy:

In 12th century Roman Catholic Church became very aggressive in enrollment of new followers and in purging the non believers. The church was custodian of a divinely imparted revelation which it alone was authorized to expound under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit or the holy ghost. Which is the third personality in Christian Trinity.
Any criticism of official interpretation made by church, on any subject, was heresy and heretical person was liable to be purged.

Inquisition by Church

In 1184 Pope Lucius III, authorized a process of inquiry to combat heresy. the Bishops were authorized to make inquiries in their dioceses. In 1227 Pope Gregory IX started independent persons as Inquisitors who had authority over everyone except bishops and their officials. In 1252 Pope Innocent IV authorized these Inquisitors to engage henchmen to torture people.
The procedure adopted by these Inquisitors was anything but not Due Process recognized later. It was persecution of innocent people who were compelled to deny anything that according to Inquisitors was heresy. Remember Galileo, he was kept under house arrest till he died. They employed every method to extract confession, public ridicule, imprisonment, solitary confinement and torture to select a few. Murder and Burning alive were also not uncommon.
Since church was an Independent Authority acting under the Trinity of God, his son and Holy Spirit, the Due Process guaranteed by King had no effect. Rather the King could always approach church to control erring citizens.
This situation continued until about seventeen century.

Bill of right:

In 1689 the enactment of Bill of rights, and availability of Habeas Corpus to all coupled with the unpopularity of Church activities, a New Era or respect for human life begin.

Privacy as Fundamental Right:

US Courts as also Indian Courts have attributed different reasons and logic to protect individual liberties especially Privacy. It is my understanding that the above background has not been taken into account by the courts and it is for this reason, privacy has become a misunderstood concept. Some time it is a weapon to proclaim individuality or an inconvenience for Governments to do the same things which inquisitors were doing in Middle Ages.

United Nations Charter:

According to Universal Declaration of Human rights adopted by United Nation in its General Assembly in 1948 “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Further article 12 of Declaration provides:

“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

United States of America

The Constitution of United States was first to recognize the right of privacy from the intrusion of the State. Privacy is recognized in the Fourth Amendment of US constitution as under:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The reason given for aforesaid amendment is that founding fathers were smugglers and were seriously affected by Writ of Assistance, may be true or may be not but is not the only reason.

Position in India

Historically India has no known concept of privacy. In its 500 years of recurrent invasion and thereafter 450 years of foreign rule (first by Mughals and then by Britain), people have accepted the intrusion by State as part of life. However the Modern and Recent views are rather different. In India, relevant clause of the Constitution is Article 21 which is as under:

No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

the Supreme Court of India has interpreted article 21 and has held that right to life means Right to live with Dignity and therefore privacy is an integral part of Right to Life. This interpretation is more in tune with German Ground or Basic law ‘Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland‘ which came into force in 1949 and its Article 1 states that:

Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority.

However the courts while deciding various cases seems to be in jinx of thought. May be because the above process of evolution is now a distant history. We shall soon enter into the discussion about these decided cases in another post.

© Sandeep Bhalla

Due process of law in 1354, 1772, 1791, 1955, 1973, 2008 and 2012!

None shall be condemned without Due Process of Law.

Due process is the right to be treated fairly by law. Right of Personal Liberty to a common man who is neither Nobel, Aristocrat, Royal or Rich was conferred very late in the west. Following is the earliest known concept to England:

“That no Man of what Estate or Condition that he be, shall be put out of Land or Tenement, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disinherited, nor put to Death, without being brought in Answer by due Process of the Law.
( See: Liberty of Subject (1354) CHAPTER 3 28 Edw 3. The STATUTE of The Twenty-eighth Year of King Edward III.)

Original text of 28 Edw. 3; borrowed from: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/

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Scope of freedom of expression

Dark Art

No freedom is absolute.

My freedom ends where the tip of your nose starts. There is only one principle of fairness: I should not do something against a person which I would not expect that person to do against me.

Cape Town artists Brett Murray has painted a 1.85m-high painting titled “The Spear” in which he has depicted President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed. …. The government was calling on the gallery to take down the painting and wanted the media to stop publicising it, said Manyi. Arts and Culture Minister Paul Mashatile said he respected artists’ works and upheld their right to freedom of expression, but asked that they respect the rights of others. …..”This picture is offensive and disrespectful not only to an individual, but to the democratically elected President of South Africa and therefore to the whole country and the people of South Africa,” Cosatu said. (Source: http://www.thenewage.co.za/51152-1007-53-Zuma_painting_against_Ubuntu_African_morality_culture)

I hold no tender feelings for politicians but I was curious why he depicted Zuma in this way. What is the background. Whatever may be provocation, if this is freedom of speech, then right hurl abuses towards those in power, must be elevated to fundamental right and family members of person abused must be forced to hear the abuses in exercise of this right. This is perversion of art for political revenge. It really leaves bad taste . It is cheap way to seek publicity and must be deprecated.

© Sandeep Bhalla