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Bail over jail: on due process

The chain of arrest, custody, and remand must be linked only by due process
The power of arrest is an extraordinary(विशेष/असाधारण ) one, conferred(प्रदान किया/अर्पित) on the police to be employed with discretion(निर्णय/विवेकाधिकार) and deliberation(विवेचना/विचार-विमर्श,), not as a tool of oppression(ज़ुल्म) and harassment(उत्पीड़न/परेशानी) at the hands of prosecuting(अभियुक्त करना/मुक़दमा करना) authorities or the government of the day. The Supreme Court has emphasised(जोर दिया/महत्त्व देना) that arrests(गिरफ्तारी) should never be a reflexive(बाध्य/पूर्व सम्बन्धी) response to an allegation(आरोप ) of an offence(अपराध/नाराज़ी), or even its commission. The law that empowers the police to arrest people without warrants (Section 41 of the CrPC) is reasonably(उचित ) stringent(कठोर/कड़े), demanding that some conditions be met, including that such arrests be carried out to prevent(प्रतिबंध करना/रोकना) commission of further offences, tampering of evidence, and influencing of witnesses. Unfortunately, a power that affects the liberty of citizens and which can ‘bring humiliation… and cast scars forever’, as the Supreme Court noted in Arnesh Kumar v. State of Bihar (2014), continues to be used in a cavalier way. Recently, Tamil Nadu has attracted(आकर्षित किया/खींचना) attention in this connection, particularly for the heavy-handed treatment of those opposing the Chennai-Salem eight-lane highway project. The latest in a slew(अधिक संख्या/हत्या) of unjustified(अन्यायपूर्ण ) round-ups and arrests was Swaraj India Party’s chief, Yogendra Yadav; ironically(विडम्बना से/व्‍यंग्‍यपूर्वक,), he was on nothing more than a fact-finding mission to meet farmers affected by or opposed to the project.

Mr. Yadav was let off, but in most cases arrests without warrant follow a dishearteningly(निराशाजनक ) familiar course, with the accused(आरोपी ) sent to custody(हिरासत ) after the police oppose bail. In this prosecutorial ecosystem, jail succeeds in trumping bail almost every time and magistrates, who are empowered to refuse remand and grant bail, continue to issue orders mechanically. Tamil Nadu was witness to another high-profile example of this recently, when a student was arrested and remanded(भेज दिया) to 15 days judicial custody (before eventually being let off on bail) for political sloganeering(नारेबाजी) on an aircraft; the complaint was filed by the BJP’s State president. The dilemmas(दुविधाएं/संकट की स्थिति) over maintaining the right balance between individual liberty and the interests of society invariably(स्थिरता से/बेबदलता ) become more acute when the charges against the accused, well-established(कायम करना/स्थापित) or otherwise, are serious. The recent and shocking arrests of activists, over their alleged links to Maoists, have focussed attention on the severe restrictions on bail when booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The prosecution has 180 days to file a charge sheet, a period during (दौरान)which bail is routinely denied. And after the charge sheet is filed, bail is extremely difficult to secure, dependent as it is on the accused establishing his or her innocence(बेगुनाही), a reversal(परिवर्तन/उलटाव) of the usual burden(बोझ) of proof. If the Supreme Court decides that justice will be secured only by its intervention(हस्तक्षेप) in the case, it will probably(शायद/संभवतया) be forced to invoke its extraordinary powers under Article 142 of the Constitution, another reminder of the need to break the customary chain of arrest, custody and remand.



Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: abuse, brutality, coercion, cruelty, despotism
Antonyms: help, kindness, niceness, blessing, democracy

2.Reflexive(बाध्य/पूर्व सम्बन्धी)
Synonyms: compulsory, forced, spontaneous, uncontrolled, unintentional
Antonyms: deliberate, intended, planned, voluntary, conscious

3.Prevent(प्रतिबंध करना/रोकना)
Synonyms: avert, avoid, bar, block, counter
Antonyms: advance, aid, allow, approve, assist

4.slew(अधिक संख्या/हत्या)
Synonyms: abundance, aggregation, batch, bunch, bundle
Antonyms: individual, lack, debt, ditch, little

5.accused(आरोपी )
Synonyms: arraigned, implicated, incriminated, indicted, charged with
Antonyms: acquitted, clear, discharged

6.invariably(स्थिरता से/बेबदलता )
Synonyms: always, mconstantly, customarily, habitually, regularly

7.dilemmas(दुविधाएं/संकट की स्थिति)
Synonyms: difficulty, embarrassment, impasse, mess, plight
Antonyms: good fortune, solution, advantage, benefit, boon

8.Ironically(विडम्बना से/व्‍यंग्‍यपूर्वक,
Synonyms: amusingly, jokingly, absurdly, facetiously, ironically



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