The Constitution of India is a document of aspiration. Conceived as what recent scholarship has called a “break from the (colonial) past”, it is accepted knowledge now that the Indian Constitution aspired to establish a state that aimed to replace colonial authority with a democratic republic and that aimed a state-led revolution against an oppressive social order.
In 2019, the Ministry of Home Affairs commissioned the All India Citizens Survey of Police Services (‘AICPS’). It is a nationwide public perception survey aimed to suggest measures to ‘provide citizen centric police services’ in India. Its scope includes an assessment of the impact of police services on the public, gauging perceptions of safety and suggestions on measures to improve public satisfaction of the police.
In this episode of the 39A Dialogues, commemorating the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, human rights lawyers Babloo Lointongbam (Human Rights Alert, Manipur) and Henri Tiphagne (People’s Watch, Tamil Nadu) share their experiences of working, supporting and building relationships with victims of torture.
Soon after the controversial arrest of environmental activist Disha Ravi by the Delhi Police, her lawyers approached the Delhi High Court in a writ petition, alleging that the police had leaked her Whatsapp conversations to the media in a mala fide act. Before the single bench, the police took the stand that they had shared no information with any media house. The impugned articles and videos of the various channels however claimed to the contrary, as the court observed. By its order dated 19th February 2021, the court issued a set of interim directions to the police and to the respondent media houses, holding them accountable to their own respective professional standards. Pertinently, the court also made an observation that “a journalist cannot be asked to reveal the source”.
The main objective of India’s penal policy is reform and rehabilitation. Providing prisoners with opportunities to work, and earn, helps in realizing this policy. It empowers prisoners to manage their daily expenses, save for their rehabilitation, even send money to their family, and overall become a responsible citizen.