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Difficult Word/ PhraseContextual Sense
Cart before the horse something is done contrary to the natural or normally effective sequence of events
Fish Seek indirectly
Pronouncement An authoritative declaration
Bemoan Regret strongly
Hasty Done with very great haste and without due deliberation
Incarceration The state of being imprisoned
Crack down to start dealing with bad or illegal behaviour in a more severe way
Bat for Support 
Lament Regret strongly
Reiterate To say, state, or perform again
Standing order an instruction or prescribed procedure in force permanently or until changed or canceled
Underscore emphasizing the importance of something
Flee Run away quickly
Moot Think about carefully
Glaring Conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible
Inconsistency a self-contradictory proposition (statement)
Overhaul The act of improving by renewing and restoring
Condition Habituate 
Reflexively By reflex, automatically, without conscious thought

Cart before the horse (something is done contrary to the natural or normally effective sequence of events): on bail law in India

Police should not arrest first and then fish (Seek indirectly) for a possible offence

Two recent pronouncements (An authoritative declaration), one a judicial order and another a public speech by the Chief Justice of India (CJI), have drawn attention to the manner in which bail law operates in the country. While the Supreme Court, in Satender Kumar Antil vs CBI, has sought to expand the scope for the grant of early bail to those arrested without sufficient cause, the CJI, N.V. Ramana, has bemoaned (Regret strongly) the injury to personal liberty caused by hasty (Done with very great haste and without due deliberation) arrests, hurdles in the way of releasing suspects on bail and the prolonged incarceration (The state of being imprisoned) of those under trial. The expressions of concern are a timely reminder to regimes that have been using their police powers to crack down (to start dealing with bad or illegal behaviour in a more severe way) on critics, activists and those not politically aligned with them. However, there is an irony in courts batting for (to start dealing with bad or illegal behaviour in a more severe way) personal liberty and lamenting (Regret strongly) indiscriminate arrests on the one hand, but routinely denying bail or postponing bail hearings on the other. Nevertheless, the verdict reiterating (To say, state, or perform again) the major principles in favour of granting bail and laying down constructive guidelines for arrest is quite valuable. For instance, the Bench has called for standing orders (an instruction or prescribed procedure in force permanently or until changed or canceled) to adhere to the Arnesh Kumar (2014) principles, based on Sections 41 and 41A of the Code of Criminal Procedure under which a police officer is required to record reasons for arresting an accused and is expected to issue a notice of appearance in cases involving offences that attract a prison term of less than seven years.

The verdict has other positive aspects: setting time limits for the disposal of bail and anticipatory bail applications and underscoring (emphasizing the importance of something) that an arrest must be made only when actually required, or to prevent the accused from fleeing (Run away quickly) justice or tampering with evidence. In an interesting contribution, the Bench has mooted (Think about carefully) a separate ‘Bail Act’ on the lines of the one in the United Kingdom to streamline the bail process. It is indeed true that despite the basics of bail law being quite known, especially that bail is the rule, and its denial the exception, there are glaring (Conspicuously and outrageously bad or reprehensible) inconsistencies over who gets bail, who is denied it and at what stage it is given. A separate law may provide a common reference point, but whether it will put an end to the country’s unstated rule, ‘show me the man, and I will show you the law’, will ever fade away. The state of the magistracy also requires an overhaul (The act of improving by renewing and restoring). Magistrates seem conditioned (habituate) to authorising mechanical remand whenever someone is produced before them, and to decline bail as soon as the prosecutor opposes it. Therefore, it is indeed welcome that the Court has made it clear that bail can be considered even without a formal application at the stage of production before the court, or when a person responds to a summons or warrant. More than the law, the police must first put an end to the practice of reflexively (By reflex, automatically, without conscious thought) arresting first and then fishing for a possible offence.

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