Crime and Punishment
In the past, crime was treated either with
violent punishment or with overflowing sentimentality. Penology
has now undergone a vital change in the progressive countries of
the world. Crime has ceased to be regarded as a biological
phenomenon; it is now recognised as a social product. Criminals
are to be treated as persons and crimes as clinical problems to
be diagnosed as in the case of other physical and mental
diseases. Gandhiji would, therefore, hate crime but not the
criminal. A careful analysis of crimes would indicate that the
chief underlying causes are poverty, unemployment, inadequate
education and broken homes1.
In order to reduce crime, the social environment and
circumstances have to be radically improved.
Prevention is always better than cure. It is to be expected that
fundamental changes in the constitution will go a long way in
effectively preventing crime in the country.
It is, however, idle to suppose that all kinds of crime would
automatically cease under swaraj. Free India will also have to
tackle crime, award punishments and maintain prisons. But the
nature of prisons shall be wholly different from the existing
patterns, which instead of reforming the convicted prisoners
harden them into incorrigible criminals. Under the new
Constitution, prisons shall be in the nature of well-organised
In free India, there shall be no capital punishment even for the
most serious crimes. The State shall maintain clinics for
delinquent children in order to prevent crime at the very
source. Criminal law shall be rendered as short and simple as
possible. Complexity of laws tends to promote crimes and
Management of Crime and
Fifty years of independence has witnessed
deterioration in administration of police and justice.
Criminalisation of police, and heavy accumulation of cases and
corruption in courts have become major concerns.
The problem truly is remote control democracy.
Corrupt police inspectors tie up with petty politicians and
criminals and neutralise the district head to secure favoured
postings. This initiates criminalisation of politics leading to
transfer of honest district heads of police and justice while
the corrupt prosper! District heads too have now joined the
In a democracy, police and justice should be under local
control. Their district chiefs should be on contract appointed
and impeachable with the approval of the elected body. They
will then be professionally accountable to the people, protect
their subordinates from political abuse, and the people from
The elected district governor, district judge and district
police chief will then work as a team, ensure required budget,
resolve bottlenecks, and innovate, such as temporary
courts or reverting power to villages, to ensure proper
investigation and speedy justice.
—- PEOPLE FIRST