THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As a pre-emptive measure to prevent law and order violation during the counting of votes for the assembly polls and the victory celebrations thereafter, the city police will be issuing warnings to potential law breakers under CrPC section 107. The law empowers the executive magistrates to order the people who have been named by the cops to execute a bond vouching that they will not create trouble failing which they will be detained for a period up to one year.
The decision was taken after the top cops gauged that the exercise was effective in ensuring law and order during electioneering. Though political clashes were reported in certain pockets of the city on the eve of the polls, the cops could immediately put it down. Compared to the rural parts of the district, the poll and post-poll days largely went event-less in the city limits.
The city police in the past 30 days had initiated proceedings against 120 people under CrPC 107. The cops had opened dossiers on each individual whom they considered could vitiate law and order situation in the city and issued them warning that they were being watched and action would be taken in case they breach the bond.
Deputy Police Commissioner Vaibhav Saxena said the police action had yielded good results during the campaigning session and hence would pursue the same method till May 3. “When we sent the files to the district administration to take a final call, we also sent a warning to the suspects. Though there is no legal validity for such a warning, we still send them just to inform that action under CrPC 107 is in the pipeline. We inform them to make them aware that creating law and order issues entail strong legal action,” he said.
The officer said the day of counting and the subsequent day were important in terms of security as there were chances of eruption of violent incidents. “There are five days that are crucial in terms of poll-related security. The counting day and the next day fall in that category. The anti-socials could join the victory marches of political parties and create law and order issues,” he said.
However, apprehensions were rife on misuse of the law. Human rights activists have often complained that the law has been wrongly used to harass people.Former High Court Judge B Kemal Pasha said he had come across several occasions where people who have one or two cases against them were detained after being dubbed as habitual offenders. “The misuse of CrPC 107 is rampant. In many cases, it’s being used to settle political and personal scores,” he said.
Chances high for misuse of law
Apprehensions high on misuse of law. Human rights activists have often complained that the law has been wrongly used to harass people. Former High Court Judge B Kemal Pasha said he had come across several occasions where people who have one or two cases against them were detained after being dubbed as habitual offenders.