It is disgusting that the day Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani got bail at the CJM’s court,he was re-arrested on patently trumped-up charges of obstructing police officers from carrying out their duties and ‘outraging the modesty of a woman police officer’ by a police team from a different district of Assam.
In both these cases the police are obviously the sole or main witnesses.Their outrageous conduct has not of course not come into the picture.There is not a shred of doubt that the police are out to harass and intimidate a people’s representative for the benefit of their political masters.
There are certain aspects of these two cases that should alarm public-spirited lawyers,retired judges of Supreme Court and High Courts,and conscious citizens, and persuade them to consider them seriously.
The fact that the police of a certain state should have unrestricted power of arresting someone from a different and distant state without any procedural difficulty is a dangerous loophole in law.The state government has authority over the law and order situation of the state,and the police under it normally should have its jurisdiction accordingly.There are certainly inter-state problems,as in the case of criminals of one state taking refuge in another to dodge the police.There should be established legal procedures and judicial mechanisms to clear such hurdles.But there should not be any automatic and unlimited scope for exercise of such power by the police of any state.
Besides when there is clear evidence of police exceeding its powers and wreaking vengeance on innocent people at the bidding of the ruling party of the state, it should attract not only strictures from court but appropriate punishment for making a mockery of the law.
Hiren Gohain is a political commentator