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Day 8 – Q.3 The use of law enforcement agencies by the state for political gains threatens the proper functioning of a democracy. Do you agree? Substantiate your views.

  • IASbaba
  • December 5, 2022
  • 0
GS 2, Indian Polity, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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The use of law enforcement agencies by the state for political gains threatens the proper functioning of a democracy. Do you agree? Substantiate your views.

राज्य द्वारा राजनीतिक लाभ के लिए कानून प्रवर्तन एजेंसियों का उपयोग लोकतंत्र के समुचित कामकाज के लिए खतरा है। क्या आप सहमत हैं? अपने विचारों की पुष्टि कीजिए।


Approach –

A simple straightforward question where candidates need to explain about how law enforcement agencies used by state for political gains threatens then proper functioning  of democracy .Give your opinion about it and substantiate your views .

Introduction-

One of the great tragedies of contemporary Indian politics is the corrosion of the autonomy of our law enforcement agencies. It probably dates back to the Emergency in the mid-70s, after which every political party has continued this unhealthy practice with varying degrees of doggedness. The independence of these agencies is a cornerstone of any vibrant democracy.

Body –

For any democracy to thrive, the checks and balances of its institutions must be allowed to work to prevent abuse of power by those in office.

  • Independent, rule of law-abiding institutions play a key role in ensuring the necessary checks and balances. They provide the ultimate foundation for stronger and resilient democracies.
  • Recently, there have been many events of protests by the vulnerable sections of society in India. Moreover, the nature of the suppression of dissent may reflect an imbalance of power between the law enforcement agencies and the citizens.
  • Misuse of law enforcement agencies for political gains directly threatens democracy
  • Chhattisgarh Fake Encounter Case-In security forces in Chhattisgarh were engaged in the fake encounter- as held by a judicial probe.
  • Judicial probe completed a seven-year long investigation, found that the so-called encounter of “Maoists”, killed the people who were not Maoists, but innocent villagers.
  • Moreover, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, contains language that is as wide and vague, criminalising “membership” of terrorist gangs or unlawful organisations, without any explanation of what “membership” means.
  • The problem of “fake encounters” has also long dogged the Indian polity.
  • Recent Telangana encounter case, where, acting on public interest litigation, the Supreme Court ordered an investigation to a “committee”, with a six-month reporting period.
  • Fake encounters take place because there do not exist adequate structures of accountability.
  • when misuse of enforcement agencies becomes unchecked and widespread, it could render the institution dysfunctional by compromising its reputation, crowding out legitimate users or through subversion by opportunistic interests.
  • The raids on former Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi’s relatives around the time of the Punjab election. Or the raids on (and arrest of) D K Shivakumar around the time the government in Karnataka was toppled this When law enforcement agencies become a tool in the hands of a regime to consolidate and remain in power as also to seek revenge.
  • Due process requires accountability. It requires that an agency answers for excesses and that its processes be subject to the disinfectant of sunlight. In the case of the ED, with its draconian powers of seizure and arrest, deployed at the singular command of a government inebriated on power, the Court has, in effect, permitted them to draw a veil over their activities. This is a cancerous tumour for a healthy democracy.
  • The cardinal constitutional duty of the Supreme Court is to defend the Constitution against the might of the administrative executive as also the abuse of legislative majority to cripple fundamental constitutional guarantees.
  • Law enforcement agencies act as the instrument of the sovereign, having a monopoly on the use of force. However, it must be remembered that in a democracy like India, people are the real sovereigns as highlighted by the Preamble which states that “We the people of India”.

Conclusion –

The government’s drive against corruption is commendable; we need hard-hitting measures against the corrupt. But weaponizing enforcement agencies such that they trample on a citizen’s fundamental liberties, including the right to be considered innocent till proven guilty, does not bode well for our democracy.

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