[Answered] “Probe agencies should be given more freedom without diluting the controls already in place.” Comment.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Need of more freedom for investigation agencies. What should be done?
Conclusion. Way forward.

There is a gradual increase in the rate of crime among society. With globalisation, there is visible increased growth rate of crime. The effect of the above is more responsibility on the enforcement agencies. Increase in the number of such agencies crime and criminal justice system are ever existing components of our society so are the agencies responsible for controlling, supervising and monitoring them. Investigation agencies are facing many challenges in the investigation of traditional and modern crimes. The investigating agencies need more freedom especially for economic and organized crimes and related legal issues.

Need of more freedom for investigation agencies:

  1. In a large and populous country like India, investigation agencies need to be well-equipped and more free to conduct investigations.
  2. They need to have the operational freedom to carry out their responsibilities professionally, and satisfactory working conditions while being held accountable for poor performance or misuse of power.
  3. The social and technological changes fuelled by the internet and the fast changing social media nature, intensity and the reach of crime may lead to unprecedented lawlessness and frightening dimensions of global terrorism. This require more freedom to track various activities.
  4. To succeed in identifying and tracing global communications, investigators have to work across border, not only with one‘s counterpart but also with industry to preserve critical evidence such as log files, emails etc. before it is altered or deleted.
  5. Political authorities still have a stronghold over the police and frequent changes of Police heads once a new government is elected has become a practice in many states. This lead to inefficiencies in police system leading to corruption and abuse.
  6. Investigation agencies need prior permission of government in many cases especially against bureaucrats.
  7. Investigation in the cases where the high profile people, VIP’s as well political parties are involved do not succeed. There is direct or indirect interference of political parties in the police investigation.

What should be done?

  1. A complaint authority should be constituted at the state and district levels to inquire into allegations of serious misconduct and abuse of power.
  2. The Political class should take bold initiatives to bring in more reforms in the existing investigation system in India.
  3. The need is to have an impartial and professional organisation because the criminal justice system cannot function without a healthy investigative agency.
  4. In order to fight corruption, organized crime, economic and financial crime we need more powerful legislation. Since these are the problems which we are being faced by our investigators today.

In 2017, the conviction rate for crimes recorded under the Indian Penal Code was 47%. One of the reasons behind this is the poor quality of investigations. Investigation is pillar to tackle crime in any country. Without enough powers and freedom no agency can be successful in solving crime. Political interference and corruption need to go. More tooth is needed for investigation agencies to work efficiently.

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