This Article is written by Amra (Senior editor at Legalonus and Content head for The Radicals)
Gone are the days when it was said, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life,” rather subserve the ends of justice being the life purpose for the existence of the institution of courts.
When the term ‘justice’ is used, the judiciary, which is the third pillar of democracy. It played a crucial role in building the nation by giving adherence to the constitution. But the difference lies in theory & practicality. As Article 21 of the constitution provides speedy justice, the same Fundamental Right is not available to the citizens due to the complex system. As there is a backlog of cases that continue from years to decades & many a time person is declared to be innocent after spending many years in imprisonment. Ironically many patients remain in backlog even after the death of the accused & victim,& this becomes the reason as the question is raised on the definition of the word ‘justice’ in the truest sense by a common man as he becomes baffled on the point that whether ‘justice’ term prevails in a book only or Is there mere practical existence of this term.
The reason for the above question lies in the fact that sometimes a petitioner is seeking justice & till the time it’s delivered to him, it turns to be a nightmare for the petitioner and family. As their grievances are increased.Although it famously said that “the person should be presumed to be innoscent until his guilt is proved.” But the reality is entirely different as the media is considered to be the 4th pillar of democracy, so it also plays an important role in this as the perception of society changes towards such person as he gets labelled as a criminal & it results in additional mental trauma & this horrific experience not only result for accused but for family too. People often cut ties with such people & the job of person is also lost in many cases.
And due to the above reasons “precious fundamental rights is turning out to be a mere pipe dream to many millions to whom justice is delayed, denied or distorted.’ And the mere existence of this statement lies in Article 21 which not only provides for speedy justice but most importantly it talks about dignified life which is affected in the badest manner. But on the other hand in high profile cases justice delay becomes a “blessing in disguise” for such persons involved as they enjoy their position despite the fact that many charges are levied on them. Even if the proceedings are initiated against them, culprits get ample time to plead their case and escape punishments. As before the case is reached to the court, justice also lies in the point that proper investigation should be done by a police officer as is prescribed in Cr.P.C.As this procedure is time taking so, there are many probabilities of getting misled or influenced. As many a time, police officials even denied to launch the F.I.R. or did not investigate the case properly & it’s the first and foremost stage towards justice as the e.g. of the same is Aarushi Talwar murder case was due to some loopholes in investigation case has taken the different turn. As criminal activity might take a few hours or in some cases just a few minutes but opposite side whole life of a person is destroyed as comes at risk especially in case of sexual abuse or rape. As it said, “a murderer destroys the physical body of his victim,a rapist degrades the very soul of the helpless female.” This is the reason such a calculation is there that ‘criminal justice delivery system’ without justice is a criminal delivery system.
To curb all this, an initiative was taken for fast-track courts for timely delivery of justice. But then also the time automatically increases for getting justice as to save ones own life person has many gateways, i.e., if the case is in lower court from there to session court, session court to HC & from HC to SC. Not only this person could appeal for mercy in front of the President, and all these complexities are there in the Indian justice delivery system because it’s a belief, as said by HLA Hart, “It would be a terrible thing if a man has been hanged for a crime which he has not committed in such a case law itself would be a murderer.”
So, all this judiciary alone cannot only be targeted instead of getting timely justice; all have to work hand in hand to remove this blot from the judiciary alone. As at the initial stage, police officials should give their best while filing the charge sheet. Next is the role of the lawyer who puts the case in front of the bench. As Hon’ble Mr. A.K.Yog J beautifully said, “the judges are the butter, and the quality of butter depends upon the quality of the cream.”
And then come to the judiciary as the strength of judges in the courts should be looked at properly plus judges should not give unnecessary dates and should not delay by giving dates back to back. Except for police, lawyers, and judges role of citizens is also important as we should trust our judges i.e. democracy is not about trusting individuals but respecting the rule of law as law cannot be divorced from justice.
As every coin has two facets, on the one hand, to get timely justice is of utmost importance & need of the hour but on the other hand for the sake of justice we cant avoid that “It is true that justice delayed is justice denied, but more importantly justice hurried is no justice at all.”