What is more relevant: Framing of a or Enforcement of a Law?
Human being is gregarious, hence he cannot live in isolation and thus societies comes into existence. Earlier he was exposed to all kinds of bitterness , but by and by he began to invent, discover and frame . He felt the need to formulate guidelines to regulate behaviour and to avoid chaos and confusion in the society. Thus later these set of rules and guidelines regulated and enforced by the social institutions are now commonly known as ‘Law’.
The origin of law can be traced back ever since human being preferred a familial/ social setup over a wandering solitary life. The society sets itself on an evolutionary journey , clash of interest /needs/ social entanglements kept on becoming more complicated and concerning which reasoned for the formation of a very intricate and fine tuned legal system.
Without stretching the topic to its extreme , I would now like to discuss the keywords i.e., Law , its framing and its enforcement.
Law is a term which does not have any universally accepted definition. Sometimes law is the command of the sovereign, sometime it is an act of the parliament, sometime it is an extract of a custom and sometime a coercive technique of social control . Law is system of rules and regulations that are enforced through social institutions to govern behaviour.
Framing of law:
Framing of law is its enactment , codification or birth. Laws are framed for various reasons – for e.g.,
i) to settle arguments,
ii) to maintain a peaceful social order,
iii) to ensure justice among every citizens,
iv) to resolve disputes etc.
Some laws are made by Government and some are set down by the customs and religions. Laws are very much essential for the societies as it serves as guidelines for people to understand which sort of behaviours are acceptable. Without law and order there will be chaos and confusions among the people.
Enforcement of law:
Enforcement of law means the method adopted to achieve the goal for which the laws are enacted. Law enforcement is conducted by some of the law enforcement agencies, with the most typical agency fulfilling the role being the police. This law enforcement agencies are assigned responsibilities to maintain law and order in a state including the apprehension of criminal etc.
After going through the meaning of both these terms, it will be logically a fallacy to say that enactment of a law is more significant than enforcement of law or vice versa. I think both the terms are interconnected. If we don’t frame any law then the question of enforcement doesn’t arise. Similarly, simply framing laws are not enough they are required to be implemented properly. For instance , we know that Domestic Violence is rampant in our society , if we don’t frame any laws then how can we eradicate the said violence against women. In the mean time , if we enact a law on Domestic violence but it is not properly implemented then what is the use of making the law. If framing or enactment of a law is a promise , then enforcement is a way to fulfill it. Thus both go together simultaneously.
But one important issue which needs our attention is that the present face, i.e., how things are placed and how do they look like today. There is a mushroom growth of legislations, codifications and ordinance but their enforcement is unfortunately not visible to the satisfaction. It cannot be said that such healthy number of acts are not the need of the hour. However a week , delicate and handicapped and intoxicated enforcement mechanism motivates one to raise figure over the enforcement of the law.
Again enforcement is gaining more relevancy because the legislature must have had in their minds about the enforceability of a law before legislating the same. There so many laws made by the legislature which couldn’t be enforced practically yet. For example there is a ban on smoking in public places under Cigarettes and other Tobacco products Act, 2003. But we can see that people are still ignoring this law . This is just showing that the law has not been implemented properly.
Another example we can cite is of eve teasing. We know that eve teasing has become a burning issue of the world. Sec 509, 294 and 354 of Indian Penal Code deals with the crime of eve teasing. There are several cases of eve teasing in the news every day in the news with zero justice to the victim. There are many incident in which many girls committed suicide over eve teasing.
In a very recent case of Maharashtra, being fed up of facing humiliation due to eve teasing by a stalker an 18yr old girl committed suicide by consuming poison in North Maharashtra. Another famous incident was on 25th August,2015 , when two girls went to the coaching classes but they didn’t come back. At the coaching institute they both downed drinks that had poisoned and even though the staff rushed them to the hospital , the girls died. They left letters explaining why they had killed themselves.
Both suicide notes explained that they were being eve teased and they feared that the harassment would bring dishonour to their families. “I have no option left except die” – wrote niketa.
Hence , we can say that we have laws on eve teasing but they are of no use if they are not implemented properly. There are many laws on protection of women but their implementation is not upto mark.
There are several factors responsible for the lack of proper implementation of law. Lack of proper legal awareness , expensive legal remedies, lack of political will, lack of transparency between law making authorities and public, lengthy judicial proceedings etc . are the few to be named.
However some suggestion for proper implementation would include increasing legal awareness, increasing legal aid etc.
Thus, I would like to wind up by saying that we should also develop our own awareness level and spirit to co-operate for the enforcement of laws in the society. We must ourselves be honest and must take the initiative to follow rules and not to break the law and should also prevent others from doing the same.
1. Deepanjana pal, ‘Death over eve teasing: what rohtak girls tells us about how we raise our girls’, F.India , Aug 28th, 2014
3. Vasundhara Sirnate, ‘Good Laws ,Bad implementation’ ,The Hindu ,1st Feb 2014