Unlike the real world, a cyber crime can be committed even without visiting the country of the victim. In another situation of cyber crime, criminal and victim may be present under the jurisdiction of the same court but still digital evidences of the crime may be spread across the globe. Under third situation, criminals can gang-up virtually from across the world, commit a cyber crime and disperse, they may not even know each other in the physical world.
The Chambers Twenty-first Century Dictionary defines ‘preempt’ in the following words:- “To do something ahead of someone else and so make pointless an action they have planned”. Preemptive action is defined by the same dictionary as an attack “effectively destroying the enemy’s weapons before they can be used”.
The controversy surrounding a major confrontation between India’s premier investigating agency, the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI), and the nation’s internal intelligence agency, the Intelligence Bureau (IB), which has been aired in the media emerges out of the Ishrat Jehan case of Gujarat in which the woman and her companions were shot dead by the Gujarat Police in what is claimed to be an encounter between a terrorist group of which Ishrat Jehan was a member, whose objective was to target the Chief Minister of Gujarat personally and the police which took counter measures.
In the case relating to irregularities or even criminality in the allocation of coal blocks, where investigation was handed over to the CBI, the Supreme Court has taken strong objection to government intervention in proceedings pending before the agency and the Hon’ble Judges have remarked that they will not rest till CBI becomes independent of government control. This has once again led to clamour for police reforms.
Recent bomb blast in Bangalore (17 April 2013) and twin bomb blasts that took place in Hyderabad in February 2013 have reiterated that the phenomenon of urban terrorism has taken firm root in India. In less than a decade, the Indian urban areas like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkotta, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jaipur, Varanasi, Pune, Kanpur, Coimbatore, Srinagar, Jammu and Ahmedabad have witnessed over 20 major attacks. There have been large-scale casualties, material damage and disruption of life and economic activity as a result.
Going by the recent claims of Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, NCTC would see the light of the day after next month’s Chief Ministers’ conference.
Afzal Guru masterminded the attack on Parliament in 2001, which left nine security and parliament staff dead, with five attackers also being killed. He was arrested and tried for his crimes, sentenced to death by the Sessions Court and his conviction and sentence were upheld by the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court. For several years after sentencing Afzal Guru’s fate hung in the balance because his mercy petition to the President remained pending. Government obviously hesitated to take a decision lest it trigger a violent reaction in the Kashmir Valley.
Justice JS Verma Committee that recently submitted its findings titled as ‘Report of the Committee on Amendments to Criminal Law’ has once again brought to focus the urgent need for reforms in the criminal justice system in India. The principal objective of a criminal justice system is to impart a sense of security to the people. However, India’s criminal justice system has not been able to deliver on what is expected of it and is, in fact, under immense strain.
Coming from the pen of a retired IAS officer this paper may appear to be a little strange, but as a young officer in the districts I have interacted with the police in happy times and in times of stress. I have witnessed the strength and the weakness of the police, observed its shortcomings, but also experienced the difficult duty of a policeman, his loneliness, his devotion and his willingness to take even those risks which endanger his life.
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