Many legislative bodies have passed “Goonda Acts” (a colloquial name, due to the long titles) providing legal definitions of who constitutes a “goonda”. Some of . Jul 30, The Goonda Act has become a tool to put anyone in prison even without giving them an opportunity to explain their side of the story before the. An Act to provide for the better control of riotous and disorderly persons commonly known as goondas residing in or frequenting certain[ areas][ * * *].

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The Goonda Act has become a tool to put anyone in prison even without giving them an opportunity to explain their side of the story before the courts. The ambit and the number of persons detained under the Goondas Ac have increased phenomenally in recent years. A year-old journalism student who was distributing pamphlets against oil extraction projects.

A pro-Eelam activist who organised a candlelight vigil. A man who sold pirated CDs of a few movies. On first sight, there may seem like these people would have nothing in common but they do.


It was first enacted in in Bengal and lives on in some form or the other in several States in India, the law aims at a year-long preventive detention of habitual offenders. But the use of the Act is extended so much that now it has become a tool to put anyone in prison even without giving him an opportunity to explain his side of the story before the courts.

Historically, the Act has been associated with detaining those who show political dissent and we could cat see more people being booked under this law for political dissent. The Goondas Act which is a form of preventive detention infringes on human rights as well. Its use must be restricted to crises.

Valarmathi was then accused of being a Maoist sympathiser by the police. The previous month, Thirumurgan Gandhi, the convener of the May 17 movement, was detained under the Act after his arrest for staging a candlelight vigil to commemorate civilian victims in the last phase of the Eelam war.


For example, the protests by Gandhi were on issues like demonetisation and other government policies. While these two cases have abused the Act, statistics show that around 3, persons are detained under Goondas Act every year in the State.

This means on an average seven to eight persons are detained every day. The law is a dated one and needs a relook. Ina Madras High Court bench ruled that even a single criminal case against a person is enough to detain him under the Goondas Act. With this verdict and the broad spectrum of the crimes covered in the legislation, all that is needed to detain a person in jail for a year is a simple FIR.

However, the effectiveness of this move has been questioned by those within the system itself. Bringing digital piracy under the ambit of the Goondas Act does not sit well with a number of activists and cyber law experts too.

Never in their wildest imagination would the drafters of the law have realised that it would be used in the context of activities in the digital and mobile ecosystem! It is important to interpret these laws logically.

Booking is simple but providing proof and getting conviction is a challenge. There is also the question of how preventive detention laws provide very little room for legal recourse. However, it is questionable if it actually proves to be a deterrent. Despite the problems that plague the legislation, law enforcement officers feel that they are merely enforcing the law when they detain people under the law.

Control of Disorderly and Dangerous Persons (Goondas) Act, (East Bengal Act No. IV of ).

They believe that they are only doing their job. Many even felt that the law, if used effectively, is an important tool that can come in handy for the police.

And that is only done by senior level officers and officials as responsibility is left to the person who is executing the detention. Explaining the process of how things are done, the officer said that at the beginning of the year, a list of category A, B and C offenders is drawn up. He said it is generally the category A offenders who are detained and that most detainees are let off in months rather than a year.


But if let unchecked, the Goondas Act could put an end to the need for courts and a fair trial since police can unilaterally decide who must be put in jail and who can go goonras. It aims at a year-long preventive detention of habitual offenders.

Rs 8, A police inspector has to spend nearly Rs 16, for paper work to detain a person under the Act. But the government reimburses only Rs 8, We respect your thoughts and goonfas But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments.

Who is a Goonda? History of the Goonda Act in Tamil Nadu- The New Indian Express

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Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines. The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress. They do not represent the views gpondas opinions of newindianexpress. Don’t need RBI’s reserves to meet fiscal deficit: Emotions, nostalgia run high on eve of Hyderabad High Court bifurcation.

Women’s Wall in Kerala: Meghalaya man held for killing, eating goonas monkey species. Subsidised LPG price cut by Rs 5. Home States Tamil Nadu. Who is a Goonda? History of the Goonda Act in Tamil Nadu The Goonda Act has become a tool to put anyone in prison even without giving them an opportunity to explain their side of gooondas story before the courts.

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