Externment is effective preventive action, sure to scare person in question, say Joint commissioner of police, Pune
The recommendation for externment is made at the police station level, following which the assistant commissioner of police conducts an inquiry into the recommendation.
In conversation with Ravindra Kadam, joint commissioner of police, Pune about whether externment is an effective way of preventive police action.
Is externment an effective preventive action?
The recommendation for externment is made at the police station level, following which the assistant commissioner of police conducts an inquiry into the recommendation. The deputy commissioner of police will issue a notice, after this. Yes, externment affects the criminal because s/he cannot enter the city and it is as if s/he has a sword hanging over the head, always. If s/he is found moving around in the city, s/he can be arrested at any given point of time. The fact that s/he can be arrested without committing even a single offence, is sure to scare the person in question. That prevents the criminal from entering the city. There are certain desperate criminals who have been found indulging in breach of externment and have been committing offences.
What is the ideal way of investigating a case under Section 142 of Maharashtra Police Act?
Ideal way of investigating is (as follows): After the person is caught within the city limits, a certified copy of the externment order is got. The statements of police, who were present while arresting him, are recorded.The important thing is that once he is caught, even if he is bailed out, the police have to ensure that he is again taken into custody and be left in the same place where he is supposed to be. Once an externment order is issued, the extern has to inform where s/he would like to stay along with details of his relatives. Once the externment order is served, s/he is taken to a place of choice. We also inform the particular police station that an extern is living in your area.
What happens when an externed person is booked in an offence?
If a person (who is externed) is booked in an offence, s/he has to face the charges of that particular offence plus he has to face and additional charge of Section 142 (of Bombay Police Act).
Isn't Section 142 a petty offence and hence, not effective?
It is a petty offence in the sense that we are not effectively implementing it. The courts generally bail them out.(as it is a bailable offence). For desperate criminals, externment does not really prove effective, but while invoking MPDA or MCOCA cases, this order of exernment and this preventive action goes against them, that despite preventive action like externment taken against him/her, s/he has indulged into a certain crime. S/he is indulging in continuous dangerous activities which is a criteria for MPDA detention. So if s/he is externed, but returns into city limits and again commits an offence, disturbing the public order, then s/he is liable to detention. MPDA is a higher level of preventive action. Section 142 offence becomes a helpful tool for us. Most of the criminals abide by it (externment), but there are some desperate elements.
Are externed people generally found to be involved in organised crime?
Every externed criminal may not indulge in organised crime, but if s/he has two or three associates, s/he may indulge in offences like extortion, robbery. It is very rare that we find an externed person return to the area and commit offences like 324 IPC.
Does externment only act as supplementary to further preventive action or is it effective in itself?
It works both ways. It is individually also an effective preventive action. Plus, it also acts as a supplementary preventive action for taking higher level of preventive action. If s/he commits continuous criminal activities, then s/he is liable for those.
Do you think the rules should be stricter or the people executing the rules should be more careful?
Execution is totally in our hands. The people executing the action should definitely be more careful.