Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
mains Test Series 2018
Q. Gross misuse of Goondas Act: In the backdrop of Supreme Court warning, comment on growing misuse of Goondas Act.
Jun 07, 2017 Related to : GS Paper-2

Ans :

Introduction-

In the backdrop of frequent misuse of Goondas Act, Supreme Court of India has issued warning against arbitrary detention under Goondas act. Since long time preventive detention laws in the country have come to be associated with frequent misuse. Such laws confer extraordinary discretionary powers on the executive to detain persons without bail for a period that may extend to one year. Various states have enacted such laws, this laws are popularly known as Goodas Act. 

What is Goondas Act-?

Goonda Act is a special law enacted with the intention of curbing the menace of Organized Crime or Criminal Syndicate or Underworld Gangs. Various states in India have enacted a special legislation to deal with Organized Gangs and mafia syndicates. The act confers the extraordinary power to state governments. 

Analysis-

  • The Goondas Acts in India is meant to be invoked against habitual offenders, but in practice it is often used for a host of extraneous reasons. The police tend to use it to buy themselves more time to investigate offences and file a charge sheet. 
  • At times, it is used merely to send out a tough message. And there are times when preventive detention is overtly political. Many detentions under the Goondas Act were proven as brazen violation of fundamental rights and a instance of abuse of the law.
  • In this backdrop the apex court has cautioned against the arbitrary misuse of such power. It also questioned the invocation of the draconian power when sufficient provisions are available in the ordinary laws of the land.
  • Several States have such laws, aimed at preventing the dangerous activities of specified kinds of offenders. In a recent order, the Supreme Court has questioned the use of words such as goonda and prejudicial to the maintenance of public order as a rhetorical incantation solely to justify an arbitrary detention order.
  • Recent detention in Telangana has captured what is wrong with the frequent resort to preventive detention laws. The court rightly termed this as a gross abuse of statutory powers.
  • The authorities who use such preventive detention for flimsy reasons should understand that prevention of crime needs an efficient system of investigation and trial, and not draconian laws. Hence such practice must be stopped.

Conclusion-

The provisions of preventive detention are framed to contain the habitual offenders, it gives extra ordinary power to police departments. But growing misuse of such powers raised question on these provisions and its validity. In this back drop the Supreme Court has cautioned the arbitrary usage of these powers. Hence authorities should not misuse such powers and should enforce an efficient system of investigation.


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.