While delivering the inaugural speech at the valedictory function of the yearlong celebrations of the 155th anniversary of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) organized by the Kerala Directorate of Prosecution in Kochi, President Pranab Mukherjee had stressed on the need for the Indian police to incorporate inclusiveness and tolerance.
The comment comes in the backdrop of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s visit to JNU and the situation of ‘lawlessness’ prevailing in the NCR.
“The police in our country must go beyond its role of being merely a law-enforcing body … The founding fathers of the Constitution had conceived inclusiveness, tolerance, self-restraint, honesty, discipline, respect and protection of women, senior citizens and weaker sections as essential ingredients of our democracy. Our police must incorporate these features in its functioning,” the President said.
He said the responsibility is on the country’s law-enforcing agencies to work towards transforming the “archaic police system” and bring it in tune with the requirements of a modern democratic nation. “Our police must ensure quick redressal of the grievances of the common man.”
The President in his speech said that there’s no doubt that the IPC as a premier code for criminal law is a model piece of legislation. “Nevertheless, it requires a thorough revision to meet the changing needs of the 21st century … Very few crimes have been added to the initial list of crimes and declared punishable. Even now, there are offences in the code which were enacted by the British to meet their colonial needs. Yet, there are many new offences which have to be properly defines and incorporated in the code.”
This was in reply to the statement made by the director general of prosecution, Kerala, T Asaf Ali, that during the Freedom Movement, various IPC provisions were widely misused.
“Section 124 (a) related to sedition was one of the most controversial penal provision to be used during Freedom struggle. Torch bearers of national independence movement like Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi were tried and convicted under section 124 (a) of the IPC.”