Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Are Indians now living in a police state?

Even if you are only going about your daily business in India, whether you are an Indian or foreign citizen, you can now be legally detained by the police without an arrest warrant and without permission from the courts.

The technical ruling from India's Supreme Court is that police are not required to have warrants to file First Issue Reports and detain suspects. All that is needed is that someone (presumably politically powerful enough) complains against you or me.

According to the Times of India, this ruling relieves police and prosecutors of the requirement of "prior sanction" from the federal or state governments, or a local prosecutor.

This idiotic ruling by Justices G.P. Mathur and Dalveer Bhandari of India's Supreme court, has at one stroke removed the foundational freedom of movement from all Indians - as well as from all citizens of foreign countries in India.

As I read the judgement, from now on, people in India (whether Indian or foreign) enjoy freedom from detention only at the pleasure of politicians and the police.

If I am wrong, I hope that a suitably qualified person will enlighten me.

If I am right, the matter probably needs to be taken up by the Indian Parliament, or by a suitable international body. Sphere: Related Content


_ivan said...


I was under the impression that the above ruling by the Indian courts was against basic human rights according to various conventions? -or am I wrong?

If being detained at the 'leisure' of the ruling system is indeed against human rights (is it the Geneve Convention?) then the international political body must react!

Most alarming news.

Alex Fear said...


You may be interested to know that this sort of thing is not confined just to India.


Ivan, it's a neat idea but the UN is governed by 5 veto-holding countries: US, UK, China, France and Russia. Currently none of these countries (apart from France possibly) seem interested in human rights and are trying to bury, overrule or restrict their own constitutions eg. Geneva Convention, Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, Freedom of Speech etc.

Times of war have always been an opportunity for paranoid governments to introduce draconian measures and the global 'War on Terror' is no exception!

Prabhu would you say I'm correct in these assertions?

btw- I was formerly Amos, but I have changed to my middle name.