Last couple of Media hyped cases have seen a tremendous change in the way the verdicts have been pronounced in the Indian Courts.
When the whole world applauded Ayodhya verdict, and subsequent verdicts that proved that finally Indian Judiciary is taking its realm towards better judgement...there are string of cases especially those of Women Rape and Murder cases where the acquitted are most from the effluent and powerful backgrounds...where there seems to be no Justice Attained.
It was in 1999, for the first time, I started following such cases., with that of Journalist Shivani Bhatnagar being strangled to death in her Delhi flat as her 10 month old child crawled to her dead body and cried. Senior politicians and Delhi police commissioner being involved in the case., it took one complete decade even to proclaim Sharma as the main accused and convict.
Priyadarshini Matoo, Pratiba Murthy, Arushi Talwar, Scarlet Keeling, Jessica Lal, Ruchikha, and lot more Indian girls have been harassed, brutally and sexually abused and violently killed. Most of these high profile cases saw famous and rich kith and kin involved and escape from the judicial purview. What are the main reasons for such loopholes in the system and where is the solace to this?
Witness Security: The first and foremost reason is that people not coming forward to be witnesses in the case. Witnesses not only face coercion, strong emotional trauma and physical harassment, they are also threatened to be killed and troubled for life to them and their families. There is absolutely no security to the people who want to fight for justice and come forward for helping others. Witnesses being confidential is the only way to prevent witness harassment and this would enable most people to come forward.
Loss of Forensic Evidence: In the United States, the minute crime happens, the whole place is sealed for any kind of movement. The forensic evidence remains in tact for the investigation authorities to take the right steps in the right direction. It is exactly opposite in India, where people get emotional and in the traumatic moments, we act hysterical and destroy the whole valuable evidence that is very much need to crack these cases. Arushi Talwar case is a classic example.
Misuse of Authority by Police and Administration: The rich and affluent always escape as the local police are easy to handle. FIR are not filed immediately, and people under suspicion are not taken into custody until someone really forces them to do so. This is worse when the people involved are politicians or from the rich background. Police instead of being a protective force acts in vested interests, there by delaying the whole process of justice.
Prolonged time frame to resolve cases: Many middle class people do not even find it relevant to fight the legal battles., which are not only costly, time consuming and emotional trauma. The kind of questions asked in courts, the kind of harassing police investigations, the kind of lawyer fees and running behind hearing after hearing,., the victims find it more easy to leave the fate to God, and leave their destiny to time to heal the injuries in life. Imagine it took 5 years for a fast court to resolve and convict Pratiba Murthy's killer.
Red-Tapism at highest peak: The jails in India are filled with 25% of people awaiting court judgements... they are just suspects or they are proxies to the real convicts who happily live in the outside world. Thousands of cases are pending in courts at every level, and if all the lawyers and judges work sincerely for a year, without taking Winter Session Holidays, Summer Session holidays like school children, and work with appropriate paper work, clear hearings and quick judgements, at least 10% of the cases will be resolved. Justice delayed is Justice denied. Unfortunately, here Justice is almost dead
Public Prosecutors and Age old law books: Look at every famous case, where the convict gets less punishment or escapes one, it is because of their strong defense lawyers, who are not only uptodate and have classical cases as examples, and good library of world judgements to refer to and good amount of junior lawyers to do good research and find loopholes. Public Prosecutors are government servants who act like any other. To them, that day the court hearing has to go. They are not worried about justice, who wins, who losses or what punishment. Defense lawyers very easily prove that every crime is not the rarest of the rare to result in Capital punishment
Changes to appeal to higher courts: If the entire judicial system is following, the Indian Penal Code, and if the entire lawyers are well versed and strong in their subjects,. why are we giving chance for people to appeal and appeal and appeal to the higher courts and finally the capital punished people to file mercy petitions with President of India. There why the lower courts. It is not the time to de-centralize Supreme Court, but the amount of cases piling up at Supreme court can never ever be redressed. Moreover the higher courts ruling away the judgement of the lower courts just by saying that the case is in favour of the convict, is a sham on the system. Mattoo Sr felt the judgement disgusting but the convict thanked his stars.
In small projects we have deadlines., fear of not finishing on time., quality ., customer service and what not as professional.....Nothing like that to Professional Lawyers and Judges.... Are they just like the age old Judicial laws written during Independence Era and based on British Rule and Judgement.
What a shame when Rathore escapes with Rs 10000 fine and 6 months prison after harassing a teenage talent to death by molesting her. Why the hell our system is not instilling the fear in the people who think that they can do anything just because they have law in their hands? There are thousands of Ruchikha's silently suffering in this world. Where is the Women Empowerment we are talking about? There are hundreds of girls silently tolerating the harassment in industries, factories and offices and homes of India??? What is the enablement of Women we have achieved?
There is a need to Refine the Indian Judiciary System., People to go fearless to the Police Stations, File complaints, Fight court battles, bring in Media attention and finally fight for Justice. Will we get ministers who can bring in this change? Youth who would boil down to the justice denials happening all around....Will our Citizens feel empowered to bring in Crimeless Society and Fearless Nation to live????
Gandhian Principles and Vivekananda's inspiration unfortunately just remains in our History Books!!! Wake up India , Wake Up!!!!