August 24, 2021
To: either/view subscribers
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📰 FEATURE STORY
Does India need externment rules?
We have all heard of ancient mythological characters going to exile, fulfilling a certain period of time outside the place and returning back to their homes. Well, a modern version of such an exile order is what we call the ‘externment’.
Today, it’s the criminals who get exiled from their hometowns. Externment is a strict legal order that banishes a criminal from their primary place of operation. Authorities believe it is the best way to deter crime and maintain peace in the society. But critics oppose that externment rules violate the fundamental rights of the externees.
The idea behind externment is that once the criminal is plucked clean from his/her gang and familiar surroundings, their criminal activities might sway to a stop. The locality will remain peaceful and the criminals will learn their lesson. That’s the simple logic behind externment rules.
Each state has its own laws regarding externment. But it is always the police or the government that expels criminals from their territories. This expulsion is done for a given period of time, after which the externee can return to their place. That being said, not all criminals can be externed. Only those criminals whose presence signals a clear danger to the society can be externed. The police decide on who these bad guys are based on complaints and their past track records.
The entire process is meant to keep a close eye on lawbreakers and protect others from them. But there have been many instances where officials have passed externment orders on people without solid evidence. That’s where the problem starts.
Externment rules are faulty
Oftentimes, the police send out orders to banish a criminal but the courts quash the order. Why do you think this happens? It’s because there is a lot of grey area around the externment rules.
Firstly, there is confusion on what constitutes ‘reasonable’ or ‘sufficient’ evidence to extern a criminal. In 2017, the Delhi HC quashed an externment order issued by the police. The HC revealed that there was not enough reason to assume that the criminal was hazardous to society. This is not a lone example where the police was pulled up for not providing valid reasons to ban a person from the locality.
Courts have also indicated that externment rules disrupt one’s personal liberty. By externing someone, they will be branded as a ‘goonda,’ which would lead to irreversible damage to their reputation. So externation should be the very last resort in controlling the criminals.
As we know, we all have the right to move freely throughout the country. But once the externment rule is enforced on someone, their free movement will be restricted. Moreover, it will lead to a great financial strain for the externee. This is why the courts ask the officers to ensure that the rights and liberties of these people are not easily disregarded while externing them.
Many people also claim that these rules are inefficient. Some externed criminals re-enter the cities without being noticed. The huge population and understaffed police force do not always grab a hold of these criminals again. Officials have admitted that externment is not really effective for desperate criminals. They are now demanding a review of the existing law.
Externment rules are needed
In a world of many crimes, a stringent law like externment is needed to protect the people. If dangerous criminals are not threatened by the police, they will cause havoc in the locality. To stop this from happening, they are removed from their familiar surroundings and asked to relocate elsewhere for a certain period of time. This not only protects an area from possible danger but also discourages criminals.
Externment is a very effective policing plan. Once externed, the criminal is warned against entering the city illegally. If the person is found within the city limits, they can be arrested immediately. Their mere presence will get them jailed. By far, this scare has worked in preventing many criminals from violating the law.
The police force follows a meticulous process before passing an externment order. Officials have disclosed that police stations receive recommendations for externing criminals. After this, the assistant commissioner of police looks into the matter at hand. Only after a thorough inquiry, will the deputy commissioner issue an externment order. Such heavy protocols are put in place to catch the criminals from harming others. So there are lesser chances of punishing an innocent.
While there is a little restriction on movement, the externees have the right to choose where they will stay during this period. They will have to inform the police on where and with whom they will be staying during the externment. The police will not intervene in deciding their locations. This way they will not impose pressure on the criminals but will keep tabs on their activities.
Lastly, it is important to look at this law for the purpose it was made. It is intended to protect the larger interest of the public by keeping people safe from menacing criminals. While the courts have quashed a few cases, the externment law is still deemed constitutional because it helps curb crime.
🕵️ BEYOND ECHO CHAMBERS
For the Right:
It is not enough to protect the precincts of Sabarmati Ashram
For the Left:
CJI Ramana’s suggestion to improve lawmaking is debatable
🏴 STATE OF THE STATES
First student (Punjab) – Chief Ministers are always expected to lead by example. So, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar is set to become the first Japanese language student at Kurukshetra University. He recently graced the institute’s alumni reunion as the chief guest. On this occasion, he inaugurated and launched several infrastructure projects and new courses. While introducing the online certificate course in the Japanese language, the CM also announced that he will be the first one to take admission in the course. Ohayō… Oh! Japanese does have a nice rhythm to it.
On the beat (Karnataka) – Beat police officers patrol during the night and ensure that we are all safe and secure. To check upon these officers and to make sure that they do not miss out on any area, the North Bengaluru department has implemented a QR code-based Subahu e-beat system. Around 1992 QR code stickers have been kept at various locations within Bengaluru North. Officers have been asked to mandatorily scan such codes as they cover their beat routes. It has facial recognition and will allow them to download photos and write remarks. The app will also track the location of the police officers. The South division had shifted to the system in 2020. Police believe this will make beat policing effective, transparent and more accountable. Hard to disagree!
Slashed syllabus (Jharkhand) – Education has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for the past year and a half. The burden has increased, both on teachers and students. To make it a little less difficult, the Jharkhand education department has decided to reduce 25% of the syllabus of all classes. It has also planned to have two exams, with the first one being a multiple-choice question. We sure need some quality methods in place to curb the ‘edudemic’ we are facing. Do you think a reduced syllabus could be the key?
Illegal sale busted (Maharashtra) – Do you know that selling abortion pills without a prescription is illegal and can get you arrested? Looks like many chemist shops in Maharashtra didn’t know about it or just ignored the fact. Nonetheless, they have been nabbed by the police force. So far, 384 shops have been raided and 14 cases have been filed. In one such arrest, a woman approached a medical store employee and asked for an abortion pill. The employee first refused but later budged in. After two hours, he took her to an isolated space and gave her the pill. She didn’t have a prescription, so he managed to make some additional money. But what he did not know was that she was an undercover drug inspector from the Food and Drug Administration. An FIR was filed against him immediately. So, how long has it been since you heard about a real undercover legal operation?
A biopic in line? (Manipur) – As soon as Indians won laurels in Tokyo Olympics and brought home more fame, there have been several talks on making biopics of these players. A Manipur-based film production firm is now leading the race. Seuti Films Production has begun the groundwork for its latest production – a biopic on the weightlifting silver-medalist Mirabai Chanu. The title of the movie “Mirabai Chanu” has been registered with Film Forum Manipur (FFM). That’s some good news for the day. We all can’t wait to watch it when it’s out!
🔢 KEY NUMBER
₹36,000 crore – Loss faced by the Railways during the Pandemic. With wary passengers, goods trains have been the main source of revenue during this period. Don’t fret, we are slowly recovering and the railways department is implementing new plans and projects.