Is beating people by cops during lockdown legal?


The police are beating and slapping people who were outside during the lockdown period and in Curfews. Is it legally allowed?

Here is the answer from a retired Director General of Police Nand Kumar Singh who served the Indian Police Service from 1963 to 1997. He had the experience to narrate here on Quora Digest:

The question now is whether beating and slapping people by cops during lockdowns or curfew are legal? If I say no, will it satisfy you? A story from the past may give you the answer.

It was 1984 in Ujjain. The city of Mahakal was under curfew. I was accompanied by the District Magistrate (Collector) and the Superintendent of Police (SP). We were taking a round and enforcing it. An enthusiastic DM will come out whenever we saw a violator and give one stroke and send them home.

Two youths were caught and the DM did the usual to one. The other objected. This is what followed:

:2nd youth: Sir, this is wrong.

DM: So you admit that you were wrong.?

Youth: yes sir

DM: and you don’t want that done to you?

Youth: that’s right sir.

DM: Havildar, arrest him and send him to the Havlat.

Youth: Sir, give me a stroke but don’t do that to me.

This was the summary disposal. The complainant is satisfied and so is the State. In the present situation to let go may have very serious consequences. People are dying because others were irresponsible. The cost of irresponsibility is very high and it has to be deterred. A quick solution rather than a long legal process is preferable.

So the answer to the question is that it may or may not be legal but it is certainly the available solution.