The Sikh militants are being shot in encounters any way. The policeman is the accuser, witness, judge and executioner rolled into one. Usually no one lives to complain and those who probably would, are either detained or themselves liquidated. The detention law in operation. The detention
Law in operation is more draconian. Than any civilized country should tolerate. Article 21 of the Constitution is a dead letter anyhow. May be some real criminals are killed in these encounters but it is certain that quite a few innocent ones are killed. This generates hatred and vengefulness and spawns more determined freedom fighters. No wonder the Ray Ribeiro clique, despite tall claims to the contrary, has totally failed and more sensible persons are beginning to talk about amnesty, justice and political dialogue. Even Ribeiro confessed publicly that his informers and loyal officers have all been liquidated. One must then ask what further power a declaration of emergency confers on them in addition to those already in de facto use. The Supreme Court has enumerated these in a judgment, as suppression of the free press, emasculation of unpalatable criticism, clipping of judicial wings (if any are left) and putting opponents out of the way.
The Sikh militants are being shot in encounters any way. The policeman is the accuser, witness, judge and executioner rolled into one. Usually no one lives to complain and those who probably would, are either detained or themselves liquidated.
Manifestly none of these has any remote nexus with control of violence or restoration of normalcy.
Is the amendment confined to Punjab? It is not and cannot be. The essence of emergency is the power to imprison without evidence or judicially reviewable cause. Authorities in the State of Punjab can issue detention warrants which the statute expressly declares are executable against any person, anywhere. A Punjab Deputy Secretary can issue a warrant for the arrest of a politician in Karnataka, execute it in Bangalore and get him into an Amritsar jail. He has no remedy in any court. Same thing can happen to a journalist, trade union leader, professional, political worker or a plain housewife.
Having paralyzed all resistance, nothing prevents a captive Parliament, after some time, from formally removing the even otherwise ineffective territorial limitations. Democracy will then have been constitutionally destroyed and the country run by a Prime Minister with Italian and Swiss advisers whose honesty now needs to be proven. In his dissenting opinion, Justice Khanna pointed out that even the Nazis in exterminating six million innocent Jews had acted according to some formal Constitutional norm.
Article extracted from this publication >> April 22, 1988