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Organised crime a global phenomenon

NORMALLY WHEN a new government is installed or a police chief takes over, the police administrative machinery is shaken up and activated. However, prosecution and correctional services, including jails and such measures like confiscation of property and early conviction, are rarely discussed and pursued.

india Updated: May 20, 2006 01:16 IST

NORMALLY WHEN a new government is installed or a police chief takes over, the police administrative machinery is shaken up and activated. However, prosecution and correctional services, including jails and such measures like confiscation of property and early conviction, are rarely discussed and pursued.

Ad hoc measures and exigencies of law and order duty take its toll. Gradually, the police enthusiasm too peters off and such drives are forgotten till political conscience is pricked again on account of a sensational murder or scandal.

The harsh reality is that such widespread malady demands time, energy, expertise, functional freedom to police, new legislation and political and judicial will.

It is to be admitted that organised crime is not only endemic to any State or our country but has transnational ramifications. Many countries have legislated strong provisions to eliminate organised  crime. The problem of organised crime in USA was aptly described in the US Task Force Report 1967 as follows. “

Organised crime is a scourge that seeks to operate outside the control of the American people and their government. It involves thousands of criminals working within structures as complex as those of any large corporation, subject to laws more tightly enforced than those of legitimate governments. Its actions are not impulsive but the result of intricate conspiracies, carried on over many years and aimed at gaining control over whole fields of activities in order to amass huge profits.”

US passed the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisation Statute (RICO-1970) and the Witness Security Reforms Act 1984. With these enactments, the US authorities could secure several convictions of important mafia leaders. The United Nations Convention against transnational organised crime also urges member countries to legislate appropriate Acts to deal with such menace. India is a signatory to this Convention and it is obligatory for the national government to ensure appropriate legislation by State governments, law and order being a State subject.

The Parliament has already enacted an Act for Delhi to fight organised crime. The government of Maharashtra has passed Maharashtra Organized Crime Control Act, which has proved very effective. From the experience of USA, Italy, Japan, it is imperative that special rules of evidence and procedure have to be legislated to fight mafia activities successfully. Govt. of India has already requested State governments for establishment of Organised Crime Control Authority in the States, which would be responsible to tackle such menace.