For the city police who are facing petty offences to grave crimes, keeping the habitual offenders under check to maintain peace and law and order often becomes a challenge.
Detention of offenders under the Goondas Act is a laborious process and also involves State Government, Advisory Board for confirmation.
However, a few provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure have, of late, come to the aid of the city police in keeping them under check by binding them over.
"We ask the habitual offenders and those creating public nuisance to execute bonds under different Sections of CrPC assuring a good behaviour for a certain period. If they breached the bond conditions, they would be detained for the remaining period as per the bond," said Commissioner of Police T. Senthil Kumar.
Usually, the bonding is done for one year. "If someone violates the bond condition in the 4th month, they would be bound down and imprisoned for the remaining 8 months," he said.
While in 2021, 148 persons out of 2,075 persons bounded over were detained for violation, a total of 100 persons out of 1,323 persons were jailed for breach of bond.
That the majority of them had kept up their promise of good behaviour is a good sign of positive impact these provisions have on offenders.
The advantage of this provision for the city police is that the Deputy Commissioners of Police, who have powers of Executive Magistrate, were eligible to bind over and bind down the offenders.
However, the CoP was quick to add that binding over is done only after a proper hearing to the offenders, or their advocates.
"Only if the DCP is satisfied, the binding over or binding down can be done," he added.
Under different Sections -- 107, 109 and 110 people who create nuisance in the family or with neighbours and also grave offenders can be bound over.
An Inspector of Police said that seeking an assurance in writing promising good behaviour for a particular period cannot be considered as a punishment.
"We give them a chance to change their old ways and remain a good citizen. Once they complete the period without any case, the executed bond would automatically become null and void.
These provisions leave a moral responsibility on the offenders themselves to have a good conduct.
Mr. Senthilkumar said that those who breached the bonds for two times would automatically have history-sheet opened in the local police station and would come under constant vigil of the police.