IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 30th Sep 2020

“Spread love everywhere you go.”— Mother Teresa

Dear Aspirants
IASbhai Editorial Hunt is an initiative to dilute major Editorials of leading Newspapers in India which are most relevant to UPSC preparation –‘THE HINDU, LIVEMINT , INDIAN EXPRESS’ and help millions of readers who find difficulty in answer writing and making notes everyday. Here we choose two editorials on daily basis and analyse them with respect to UPSC MAINS 2020.

EDITORIAL HUNT #164 :“IAS Vs IPS on the Table of Bureaucracy | UPSC

IAS Vs IPS on the Table of Bureaucracy | UPSC

Mukul Sanwal
IAS Vs IPS on the Table of Bureaucracy | UPSC

Mukul Sanwal has served as District Magistrate in Uttar Pradesh, in Almora, Dehradun and Agra


A demarcation in the interest of public order


The role of the District Magistrate needs to be clearly differentiated from the role of the Police Commissioner

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : Bureaucracy : Governance


Riots essentially result from failure to maintain public order. Comment -(GS 2)


  • Riots and administration
  • Administrative lags
  • Need for a policy check.


The reiteration by the Supreme Court in the Shaheen Bagh case of the right to protest, within reasonable restrictions, helps in understanding the breakdown of public order in Delhi.

  • FAVOURITISM : Responding to criticism of partisanship,Police Commissioner rightly pointed out that the criminal justice system, with its inherent checks and balances, be allowed to work.
  • OTHER PERSPECTIVE : Community-wide protest is not itself a crime and Delhi Police, having magisterial powers under the Criminal Procedure Code to take preventive action, failed to maintain public order.
  • DISTINCTION BETWEEN INDEPENDENT ACTIONS : District Magistrate needs no political clearance to maintain public order and by the police to investigate crime and make arrests, was ignored.

Maintaining public order requires the District Magistrate to make hard choices between life and property to check violence.

  • LACK OF ACTION : Though any death opens the door to an inquiry, there is no justification for lack of effective police action.
  • PREVENTING EXPLOITATION : District Magistrate is expected to consider protest as legitimate, leveraging governmental action to prevent others exploiting the grievance.
  • INITIAL STAGE : Absence of immediate arrests leads to a riot and dithering on ordering firing results in its spread.



  • CLEAR DISTINCTIONS : The Supreme Court has made a distinction between law and order, relating to individual crime, and public order, pertaining to a community at large.
  • INDISTINGUISHABLE : The top court has also emphasised that the two terms are not interchangeable.The two concepts have different objectives and legal standards.
  • LAW AND ORDER : It consists of the analysis made by police of the situation in an area and their commitment to firm action and penalties under criminal law.

It is a duty imposed on the District Magistrate to assess whether it is necessary to rush to the spot where law and order has been breached to prevent violence spreading and ease tension.

  • EXCEPTIONAL SITUATIONS : The District Magistrate’s role is important in exceptional situations — for example, to prevent a breach of peace at a particular place .
  • DUAL ROLES : If an official is allotted a dual role, to both keep in place law and order and maintain public order, this could lead to the displacement of one goal in favour of the other.
  • SPECIFIC GUIDELINES : The Supreme Court has formulated certain guidelines and rules when it comes to these distinct duties.


  • THE DEGREE OF REACH : The first concerns the degree and extent of the reach of an act on society.
  • Some agitated people going on a vandalising spree affect “public order” only when they affect a particular community as a whole.
  • RAM MANOHAR LOHIA VS. STATE OF BIHAR, IN 1965 : The Supreme Court held that in the case of ‘public order’, the community or the public at large have to be affected by a particular action.

It “embraces more of the community than ‘law and order’, which affects only a few individuals”.

  • MADHU LIMAYE CASE : The Bench reiterated that “the emergency must be sudden and the consequences sufficiently grave” for an imposition of restrictions.
  • EXTENSION OF EMERGENCY : A restriction over a larger territorial area or for a longer duration requires a relatively higher justification and calibrated response.
  • ANURADHA BHASIN VS. UNION OF INDIA : The Supreme Court held that prohibitive orders should not prevent legitimate expression of opinion, or grievance or exercise of democratic rights.
  • DETAILING EMERGENCY : Specific restrictions have to be tailored to the goal, nature and stage of the emergency, requiring the adoption of the least restrictive measure.
  • ALDANISH REIN VS STATE OF NCT OF DELHI : The High Court directed the setting up of an oversight mechanism to periodically review the exercise of magisterial powers by Delhi Police.

      IASbhai Windup: 


  • JUDICIAL REVIEW : Review of roles and proportionality of decisions for maintaining public order, to check whether they are the least intrusive measure, requires a policy rethink if such duties need to be delegated to the police.

Seventh Schedule of the Constitution distinguishes between ‘police’ and ‘public order’.

  • REDRESSAL MECHANISM : Prevention through grievance redress and reliance on the least blunt instruments are critical for legitimacy, eschewing an adversarial view.
  • OVERALL PERSPECTIVE : The National Police Commission also recognises the coordinating role of the District Magistrate, having more leverage than the police.

Kerala has both a District Magistrate responsible for public order and a senior police officer as city Police Commissioner focusing on crime.

       SOURCES:   THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | IAS Vs IPS on the Table of Bureaucracy | UPSC


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