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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Shops and Establishment Security Act

ALL around the world, laws are formulated and regulated to protect the rights of citizens. Our Constitution and several major and minor Acts and Ordinances ensure protection of the public rights. A bird eye view of the law reveals that it covers almost every aspect, however nowhere is the true application witnessed. Back in the year 1999, the then Man on Top for the time introduced Shops and Establishments Security Ordinance which got the status of Act with the 15th amendment. The Act calls for keeping security guards and installing CCTV cameras in the establishments like banks, work places and shops, etc.

The Act provides for payment of fine of up to rupees 15000 or imprisonment of 1 month and for repetition of offence it provides for sealing the shop/establishment. Even though, the Act had come into force in the year 1999, public at large remained alien to its existence. Interestingly, however, the Police department came with a surprise and started giving notice to the banks, establishments and shop owner to employ security guards and install CCTV cameras. Metropolitan banks and shops already fulfill the requirements of the Act, it were bank branches of small towns and villages where the bank managers received court summons in their name as a convict for not installing CCTV cameras.

Then came the turn of shop owners who received court summons for not keeping a security guard. Imagine a small town with few shops and a security guard in front. Police Order 2002 changed the fate of the Police department when cops were given new vehicles and were armed with arsenal like G3 Rifle. The sad aspect, however, is that crime rate has not decreased even with the Police department in a better position to handle the affairs and with the presence of law like Shops and Establishments Security Act it seems that opportunity has been provided to the Police department to relieve itself of its duties, patrol around with guns in their hands and ‘serve’ the nation.

If every shop owner has to manage for his own protection like this, then I think weapons do not suit in the hands of our cops and instead they should be wearing bangles.