ABUSE OF POWER BY THE SECURITY FORCES UNDER THE GARB OF LAW AND ORDER MAINTENANCE
“ANY SOCIETY THAT WOULD GIVE UP A LITTLE LIBERTY TO GAIN A
LITTLE SECURITY WILL DESERVE NEITHER AND LOSE BOTH”. -
- BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
Security Forces are entrusted with the task of securing the ends of peace and order in a society. The exercise of the power has to be a legitimate reaction towards the apparent public disorder. This article emphasizes the grey domains of the discretion granted to the police forces while securing peace and harmony. There have been innumerable instances of violation of inherent human rights of the hoi polloi by the security forces, even when there is no actual apprehension of disruption of public peace. In addition to this, the central problem originates from the public as they themselves are unaware of redressal mechanisms if any, and consider the exercise of unfettered discretion by security forces in consonance with legitimacy. It is high time that a proper balance is adopted between competing interests i.e. preservation of human rights and maintenance of law and order within a permissible limit. The article concludes with the suggestions as to how to strike a balance between national security and human rights. To ensure peace in a society, there must be an efficient touchstone in place to allow the government to distinguish preservation of human rights from the maintenance of security and that too, before the line of security breaches into the line of human rights and legitimate freedom provided to them by our own Constitution.
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