Police, administration & ruling party play dandiya with the law

Indian courts need to intervene with suo motu cases


October 7, 2022

/ By / New Delhi

Police, administration & ruling party play dandiya with the law

Indian courts have long turned a blind eye to omissions and commissions of current government

In the past few years, there have been dozens, if not hundreds of cases where various instruments of the State, notably the police and administration, and even non-State actors, like the ruling party or its supporters, have taken it upon themselves to render ‘justice’ on the spot. The Indian courts have been guilty of turning a blind eye, instead of taking up cases suo motu to nip this rot.

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While the policemen in Kheda district of Gujarat who created a kangaroo court and delivered ‘instant justice’ by flogging 10 Muslims who had allegedly pelted stones at a Garba event are certainly guilty and should be tried for violation of various laws, a share of guilt also ends up at the doors of the upper courts of India, notably the Supreme Court and High Courts, that seem to have almost entirely stopped taking up cases suo motu.

Over the past four years, there have been dozens, if not hundreds of cases where the organs of the State, notably the police and the district administrations, have blatantly violated the entire process of law by resorting to direct actions like bulldozing people’s homes or publicly flogging them.

The bulldozing of homes of people at the whim and fancy of the police or the district magistrates is not only blatantly unfair, but also entirely illegal, though the culprits try to project it as if they were simply following the due process of law by demolishing an illegal structure.

Of late, even the sham of a cover-up for the real reasons has been abandoned and a naked dance of raw power of the State, acting in an entirely arbitrary manner and parotting the lines of a Hindu fanatic is now on display be it in Madhya Pradesh or Gujarat.

In the past, as recently as 2020 and 2021, the top court has intervened to set the course right by taking up matters suo motu on key issues when the government seemed unable or unwilling to do the right thing, notably during the pandemic when the top court took up at least 10 cases suo motu on various issues like leaving the migrants to get home on their own, on foot, for thousands of km during the calamitous lockdown announced by Narendra Modi that left almost a quarter billion people on the tenterhooks without any income and thousands of km away, mainly in metros or other urban centres, from their villages or homes.

However, in 2022, the top court has failed to respond to many excesses by the State, especially the arbitrary bulldozing of homes of people, overwhelmingly Muslims, on flimsy grounds and in total violation of the rule of the law. Despite clear targetting on the grounds of religion and those daring to express dissent with the ruling dispensation, the courts have failed to take note of mockery of numerous fundamental rights duly enshrined in the Constitution – ranging from equality and liberty to right to shelter.

The top court has also consistently failed to rein in Hindu fanatics who have been given a free pass by the government to threaten, mock, insult, incite and attack the Muslims and Dalits. The number of such incidents, mainly in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka just in the past six months would be difficult to count and there has scarcely been any response from the police or the administration, let alone arresting or charging those responsible.

Again, in blatant display of favouritism and perhaps with the intent to instil a feeling of ‘second class citizenry’ amongst the Muslims and Dalits, the police has been harsh, to the point of breaking the law themselves, in taking action against the Muslims even in the matters of civil disputes, involving say a Hindu and a Muslim neighbour. The social media is rampant with many Muslims openly saying that they are being made to feel unwanted and second-class citizens or even stateless persons without any rights in their own country over which they have as much right as anyone else.

Clearly, the Bharatiya Janata Party, is keen to keep the society on the boil, in hopes of polarising the voters in order to win elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Thus, it would be foolish to expect the police in any of the BJP-ruled states to take fair action against the guilty, irrespective of their religious or caste affiliations.

It is now up to the courts of law to intervene and put things right. Already the top court waited too long before pulling up the television anchors spewing venom on their daily programmes, aimed at just aiding the BJP in polarising the society further. Though almost all the newschannels have been guilty of carrying out propaganda on behalf of the BJP ever since Modi took over as Prime Minister in 2014, the damage done by their malicious programmes is already visible in terms of sharp spike in toxicity within the Indian society, where many dinner discussions invariably turn towards the Hindu-Muslim issue.

The cheering by villagers in Kheda was yet another sign of how deeply has this poison has been injected into the country’s discourse by the BJP and its propaganda outlets. If the top court fails to intervene immediately, not only would it fail to guard and protect the Indian Constitution but also preside over the demise of the very idea of India that our founding fathers had when laying the foundations of a free and modern India 75 years ago.



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