Archaic drinking law lands youths in spot-The Times of India
The police entered … (a) pub … cordoned it off, stopped the music and forced youngsters to take the breathalyser test. At the end of it all, however, only 11 of the 100 youths were found to be drinking.
The cops then slapped the charge-of drinking without permits-on all 11. Officials admitted they were “forced to press some charge” as they had been “fooled”; they were tipped off that youngsters were doing drugs in the party and “had to press some charge” so that the raid was not “entirely fruitless”.
Four out of the 11 were also found to be too young to drink. “What was the point of the whole exercise? How many people drink with permits in Mumbai?” a college student, present at the party, asked. “And what does the law mean by saying people below 21 cannot drink? So you are wise enough to elect a government, old enough to drive but not fit to make personal lifestyle choices?” he added. (via Archaic drinking law lands youths in spot-Mumbai-Cities-The Times of India).
One of the accussed teenager, pointed out, ‘what does the law mean by saying people below 21 cannot drink (without a permit)? So you are wise enough to elect a government, old enough to drive but not fit to make personal lifestyle choices?’ (underlines text, mine). Why does it take a teenager to make such a simple point to our police, law-makers and courts?
Excess laws are like road space. More roads will create more demand for more cars – and more traffic will soon choke the roads. More laws also create more litigation. This is an excellent example. Mumbai police decided to use an irrelevant and impractical law to create litigation and case load for an overworked judiciary – and possibly an ‘opportunity’ for corruption.
More police also similarly creates more crime. Police will find a larger spectrum of actions to criminalize – which will engender more crime, which will create more laws, leading to more litigation and crime.
India has the lowest prison population, the lowest police-to-population ratio in the world with the largest number of poor in the world and the second largest gun population in the world – and a crime rate which ranges between low-to-average. This is further interesting, as most of the guns in India, are illegally obtained.
The way to increase effectiveness of our police force is to reduce his work load – and not by having outdated, malevolent colonial laws on our statute books.