Posted by Amit Banerjee
Over the past week or so, the Indian media has worked itself into a frenzy about discussions on DUI and the laws to punish the offenders. Driving Under Influence is a strict offence in most developed countries with offenders being fined heavy amounts, their licenses being revoked and even imprisonment at times!
What becomes a pedantic discussion in India is about how to implement DUI laws. DUI laws have been present in the country but enforcement of the same in an honest manner has been a questionable topic. It doesn’t matter if you belong to the affluent class or not, you can get away with repeat DUI offences if your coffers are deep enough to foot what I call “possible” deterrent bribes for future such transgressions.
It is not so much a question which requires an Einstein to help you find the correct E=mc2 equation. Yesterday while viewing a debate on CNN IBN, it was quite heartening to see all the panelists from different walks of life (IPS, Politics, etc.) laid emphasis on enforcement and education. The reason the DUI laws in the West are not blatantly ignored is because of the strict enforcement. In India, the laws are present but the execution is shoddy! Incentivizing cops to get targets is not enough. Having an honest cop is a factor of cops getting a good pay and having an execution system which doesn’t foster corruption.
An example of this is when cops in the West intercept someone, they are polite yet professional and the entire sequence of events are captured on video. There are counter lawsuits that citizens can use to complain against incorrect prosecution or harassment!
We are still a long way from comparing ourselves with the West in executing on our IPC laws. But a step in that direction is always positive.
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