The continued tussle between Tajinder Bagga and the AAP-led Punjab authorities is within the limelight once more. In a serious reduction to the BYJM chief, the Punjab & Haryana Excessive Courtroom on Tuesday granted interim reduction of keep on arrest to Bagga until July 5. This comes as an enormous setback to the AAP in addition to the Punjab Police which landed itself right into a weird confrontation with the police forces of Haryana and Delhi.
All that the nation appears to be speaking about for the previous few days is BYJM chief Tajinder Bagga’s dramatic arrest by Punjab Police in Delhi and an much more dramatic launch from Kurukshetra, the historic metropolis the place the Mahabharata struggle was fought hundreds of years in the past.
This time across the Delhi Police, Haryana Police and Punjab Police confronted off on the identical venue. The face-off was simply as embarrassing because it was dramatic. The Punjab Police workforce needed to go empty-handed after it was intercepted by Haryana Police at Kurukshetra and Tajinder Bagga was escorted again to Delhi by the Delhi Police.
Elephant within the room
You’ll have already examine this dramatic occasion, maybe a number of occasions. However now, it’s time to deal with the elephant within the room- the necessity for police reforms. The current incident has set the context and stage for police reforms, particularly on the subject of politicisation of interstate investigations and arrests.
In Tajinder Bagga’s case, the Delhi Police claims that the due course of for interstate arrests wasn’t adopted. That is why a kidnapping case was additionally registered by the Delhi Police in opposition to the Punjab Police workforce. Then again, the Aam Aadmi Get together (AAP) claimed that Delhi and Haryana cops acted unconstitutionally.
In such circumstances, there’s at the least a necessity to know if the due course of was disregarded.
Was the process adopted?
Tajinder Bagga was arrested by the Punjab Police in Delhi’s Janakpuri and that too with no warrant. There may be admittedly no process in India’s felony process regulation that regulates interstate arrests with no warrant.
Nevertheless, it shouldn’t be taken to imply that the process of interstate arrests with no warrant could be arbitrary, capricious and devoid of due course of. Actually, within the 2019 case of Sandeep Kumar v State, the Delhi Excessive Courtroom had laid down sure procedural safeguards in case of interstate arrests together with prior permission of upper/ superior officers in writing to exit of their very own states, recording causes in writing until there’s an emergent scenario, contacting the native police station, giving the arrested particular person a chance of consulting his lawyer earlier than being taken out of the state and likewise visiting the native police station whereas returning after the arrest.
In an announcement, Mohali DSP (Metropolis-1) Sukhnaaz Singh instructed The Tribune, “A police workforce was despatched from Mohali to Delhi final night time. A workforce arrested them as we speak morning and concurrently, one other workforce reached the police station involved in Delhi to tell native cops. Your entire course of has been video-recorded. Though Bagga resisted arrest, no power was used in opposition to him or his father.”
If sending a workforce concurrently was the one process that the Punjab Police adopted, it doesn’t quantity to following the due course of in totality. It’s true that the precedent of a Excessive Courtroom is relevant solely upon its personal territory. Nevertheless, the rules laid down by the Delhi Excessive Courtroom have been basically associated to particular person liberty and pure justice. You’ll subsequently anticipate each police power together with the Punjab Police to comply with such tips, at the least whereas making an arrest in Delhi.
Politicisation of police forces
What makes Tajinder Bagga’s case completely different is the truth that he was arrested for writing a tweet that allegedly amounted to creating provocative statements, selling enmity and felony intimidation.
Now, if the nation’s police forces begin appearing on all provocative tweets being made on social media, maybe a whole lot of hundreds of social media customers must be jailed. That is most likely the reply that an strange citizen would get if he approaches a police station to complain a few tweet made in opposition to him.
Extra importantly, it’s the procedural ease that stands out on this case. If a typical citizen tries to lodge an FIR in a single metropolis for a tweet made in another metropolis, he’s prone to be turned away and instructed that the police station doesn’t have the jurisdiction to analyze. It was because of this purpose that the idea of ‘zero FIR’ was introduced in.
But, when a criticism was lodged in opposition to Bagga in Mohali, the felony equipment out of the blue got here into movement and even an try was made to take the BYJM chief into custody.
That is precisely why discussing police reforms turns into vital. Firstly, there’s this concern of extreme management of state governments over police forces. Left to themselves, law enforcement officials would maybe be extra involved about regulation and order and safety points than a tweet by some particular person in another metropolis. The police forces ought to be impartial establishments serving the residents as an alternative of being made into political instruments.
Secondly, the felony justice system permits investigation of an interstate offence by the police, a provision that may be simply misused. As soon as an investigation is launched, it can’t be questioned within the courts on grounds of lack of territorial jurisdiction. That is supposed to permit unhindered administration of felony justice, however there’ll all the time be some overenthusiastic get together staff who will take exception to some comment made in opposition to their get together chief in one other state and attempt to get the police to sneak in as a way of instructing the critic a lesson.
After which, being arrested by the police power of one other state creates completely different sorts of hardships. The arrested accused is left in comparatively unfamiliar territory after which native attorneys additionally must be organized. The scenario can worsen when vindictive arrests are made and due course of turns into the most important casualty.
The Tajinder Bagga case is a dramatic occasion in Indian policing. In the interim, he has been granted interim reduction of keep on arrest until July 5. However the concern goes past Bagga himself and makes a determined name for rolling out police reforms.
Akshay Narang is a columnist who writes about worldwide affairs and developments within the defence sector. The views expressed on this article are these of the writer and don’t symbolize the stand of this publication.