New Criminal Law: Lawyer Colin Gonsalves explains how the current government is ten times more draconian than British masters.
In a recent interview, prominent advocate Colin Gonsalves shed light on the current state of criminal law in the country, comparing it to the laws imposed by the British during their colonial rule. Gonsalves, known for his expertise in human rights and social justice, expressed his concerns about the increasingly draconian nature of the present government’s approach to criminal justice.
Gonsalves highlighted that while the British colonial masters were often criticized for their harsh laws, the current government has taken it to a whole new level, making the situation ten times more oppressive. He emphasized that it is crucial to understand the implications of such an approach for individual rights and the overall functioning of the justice system.
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To comprehend the gravity of the situation, it is important to reflect on the historical context. During British rule, India experienced a range of repressive laws that were designed to suppress any form of dissent or resistance against colonial rule. These laws included the infamous Rowlatt Act, which gave the British government extensive powers to arrest and detain individuals without trial.
Advocate Gonsalves argued that while the British laws were undoubtedly oppressive, they were limited to a certain extent by the colonial administration’s need to maintain control over a vast empire. However, the present government, with its majority in the parliament and extensive executive powers, can enact even more stringent laws without facing significant opposition.
The Growing Concerns
Gonsalves expressed his concerns about the erosion of individual rights under the current government’s approach to criminal law. He pointed out that the government has been increasingly using preventive detention laws to curb dissent and silence opposition voices. These laws allow for the detention of individuals without charge or trial, often on vague and arbitrary grounds.
‘MORE DRACONIAN THAN BRITISH LAWS’
Advocate Colin Gonsalves raised strong objections to the three bills passed in Parliament. He said that safety provisions were ignored and that the bills “enable” police torture.
Furthermore, Gonsalves highlighted the alarming increase in the use of sedition laws to stifle freedom of expression. Sedition laws, originally introduced by the British to suppress nationalist movements, have been extensively used by the present government to target activists, journalists, and anyone critical of their policies.
The advocate also drew attention to the government’s efforts to curtail the independence of the judiciary. He expressed concern over the appointment of judges with political affiliations, which undermines the impartiality and integrity of the judiciary, a cornerstone of any democratic society.
The Need for Reform
Gonsalves stressed the importance of recognizing the need for reform in criminal law to safeguard individual rights and ensure a fair and just society. He called for a comprehensive review of existing laws to identify and rectify any provisions that infringe upon fundamental rights.
The advocate also emphasized the significance of public awareness and engagement in shaping the discourse around criminal law. He urged citizens to educate themselves about their rights and actively participate in advocating for a more equitable and humane legal system.
Advocate Colin Gonsalves’ insights shed light on the concerning state of criminal law in the country, comparing it to the oppressive laws imposed by the British colonial masters. His observations highlight the need for a critical examination of existing laws and the urgent need for reform to protect individual rights and uphold the principles of justice.
Citizens must be aware of the implications of such draconian laws and actively engage in efforts to ensure a fair and just legal system that respects and upholds the rights of all individuals.