Any statute empowers an officer or a body of persons with a PURPOSE. But when the officer or the body of persons APPLY or USE the powers vested in them, to ascertain whether they are relevant to the purpose or not is TYRANNY.
I’d like to give an example, for greater clarity to the aforesaid statement.
On the HIGHWAYS in Thamizhnadu, prior to the elections there were Election squads, Income Tax squads and even maverick state police squads which indiscriminately stopped all the cars passing through the highways and conducted a check. There were instances where a car would be stopped and just as the vehicle is about to stop, a cameraman would start rolling his camera. The passengers are asked, sometimes, to get off their cars and a thorough search is conducted. Then if nothing is found, they are told to leave , without even as much as an apology for the time lost and the inconvenience caused.
Once during my trip, i told the CRPF cop who stopped me, that he could search, if he could arrange for 2 independent witnesses and hand me a panchanama, after the search of my car. The cop called for the sub-inspector on duty and the sub-inspector asked me if i was an officer. I told him i was an Indian and he needs to know nothing more unless he compels me under some authority of law to divulge more. For reasons best known to him, the sub-inspector saluted me and politely told me, “Sir, sorry saar. We are under orders to use our powers to curb the flow of cash during elections.” I ain’t no Anna Hazare to give a crash course to the other passengers who were piling up with their cars behind me. With notions of my LIBERTY left intact by a wise officer, I left. Had he insisted, i’d have asked him the empowering statute and also walked back with a NIL panchanama and educated a whole lot of brother Indians during the course of the search, to be assertive about their RIGHTS.
Now getting back to our concept: the officer is well within his rights to curtail my LIBERTY, if he has reason to believe that i was in possession of unaccounted money, contraband etc.. He could conduct a search, but he should also furnish me with a statement of the proceedings as I have a RIGHT to be informed of the LAW under which my LIBERTY was curtailed.
The police would not be able to comply with all the procedures, as there would be a stampede and a deleterious law and order situation if vehicles were to be be allowed to mount. And knowing the police, they would not have cyclostyled format of NIL PANCHANAMAs to hand over to the recalcitrant suspects, to hand over to them signed copies of the panchanama immediately upon completion of the search of the vehicle. The police is more apt to tell the persons who want a panchanama, to wait and thereby detain them endlessly to fulfil a useless formality. Hence, most of the persons would choose to be wise and leave showing the boot and all of their respective cars.
So in the instant case, the POLICE officer stopped all the cars to DISCOVER persons who were carrying cash and thereby prevent them from using unfair means. But it was a WHOLESALE suspicion which was let loose on umpteen individuals based on a SUSPICION. There was NO INTELLIGENCE or INFORMATION. Yet ignoring the INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS, the police without even following the PROCEDURES laid down by the Law had obstructed and defied the LIBERTY of the INDIVIDUALS.
In effect, the POWERS vested in a police officer by a STATUTE was used by him WITHOUT ANY JUSTIFICATION (no intelligence or information) to curb the LIBERTY of many individuals merely to discover an odd person carrying cash and then write a lengthy PANCHANAMA which says that “upon credible information etc. etc” post facto the discovery made through fishing expedition.
This whole sale trampling of the Liberty by the POLICE and individual waiver of RIGHTS by the Individuals have made India a very tolerant country with laws becoming unenforceable and feudalistic application of authority.