Governors of centrally ruled states and chief ministers reached consensus on steps to be taken to effectively enforce law and order and curb communal and caste tensions. But there was disagreement on the suggestion that certain powers under the CrPC regarding preventive measures to maintain peace should be vested in executive magistrates. At present, these powers are enjoyed by judicial magistrates only. The steps on which there was broad agreement included imposition of collective fines, holding of administrative inquiries to pinpoint police or civil administration failures and expeditious investigation of offences.
Delhi Cops Protected
All non-gazetted officials of the Delhi Police have been granted protection against legal action by members of the public through a notification issued by the Lt Governor, Mr Jagmohan. The gazetted police officials already enjoy this protection. The notification, issued under section 197 of the CrPC stipulates that no court would take cognisance, except with the previous sanction of the Lt Governor, of any offence alleged to have been committed by any subordinate non-gazetted official of the police while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his duties. A press note issued from Raj Niwas said the object of this notification was to guard against “vexatious proceedings and enable the officials to perform their duties fearlessly.”
The ruling revolutionary council in Iran yesterday considered declaring an economic state of emergency, a belt-tightening programme that could include rationing consumer goods as a result of new US actions in the light of the hostage crisis. President Bani-Sadr warned Iranians, “If you want to be alive, produce and work.” According to Teheran radio, Ayatollah Khomeini scoffed at President Carter’s new sanctions, saying they would have no effect on the plight of the 50 Americans held hostages.
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