Shortly after the communal incidents that engulfed Gujarat State in 2002, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) decided to commission a quick study for the purpose of collating and preparing a compilation of all the relevant legal provisions for the maintenance of public peace and order and specifying the extent of powers and duties of the concerned law enforcement authorities. The study was considered especially necessary in the context of the communal disturbances in Gujarat and the fact that a compilation of the relevant legal provisions on the subject was not readily available. The study was given a time frame of one month. The task was completed within the stipulated time limit and one main output of the exercise is presented in this publication.
The need for this exercise arose because a compilation of all the relevant laws relating to the maintenance of public peace and order was not readily available. As the study progressed, it became clear that no such compilation was indeed available and that such an exercise was being done perhaps for the first time. This is in itself ample justification for bringing out this publication. Moreover, it is on a subject that is not only topical but also highly relevant to all concerned, specially the affected people and the public servants responsible for the maintenance of public peace and order.
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