One fine morning a boy of 18 years old with his friend was barged into Tihar jail. The charges were murder, terrorism and waging war against the nation. Mohammad Aamir Khan then served 14 years in prison, whereas his friend Shakeel was found hanging from the ceiling in Dasna Jail. During these dreadful years,Aamir’s family was broken both in terms of finances as well as in terms of “faith in justice”. Aamir’s father died and this didn’t even come in his knowledge. His mother was struck down by a brain hemorrhage, lost her voice and became paralytic. After 14 years he was acquitted of all the charges because there was no evidence to prove the aforementioned charges. But can anyone in this entire world bring Aamir’s youth back? Or his father? Or his innocent friend?
There have been thousand cases wherein victims while seeking for justice are victimized by the procedures and by the people in thehierarchy of justice administration. These people themselves create their de-facto powers.
However, in extreme cases, a completely innocent person becomes a victim of wrong administration of justice and same has happened with Mohammad Aamir Khan.
In another situation at Bombay High Court, Justice MridulaBhatkar granted bail to three murderers relying on their plea that they were provoked in the name of religion. These three accused attended a meeting conducted by Hindu RashtraSena wherein a co-accused gave instigating speech. Half an hour later these accused started roaming on the road with arms and weapons. Shaikh Mohsin, the deceased, was going for dinner with his colleague. Based on his appearance (a green pastel T-Shirt and long beards), these accused assaulted him resulting in grave injuries. And finally before reaching the hospital he had already succumbed to the injuries.After serving meagerly1 year and 6 months in prison, these three murderers walked freely on 16th January 2017;
The aim and objective of courts are to deter crime. This aim can be achieved by many principals. One can rely on different facets of penology. However, a case wherein a person has lost his life, when a justice relies on a plea as mentioned above it becomes difficult for common people to rely on justice.
And NO, it’s not Aamir’s or Shakeel’s story or the story of those murderers who walk freely, it is the story of ‘Us’, the story of ‘Lawyers’, the story of ‘Judges’and the story of ‘Equity’. And yet again we never fail to come up with an all new story which is a mockery of Justice.
To all the readers, especially from the field of law, I want to ask: When did it become so hard for us to inhabit in the world of Aamir and Shakeel? To walk in their shoes and understand their grievances? To give judgments to prevent, deter and avert crime?
In the first year at law school we passionately talk about ‘JUSTICE’, by the end of the secondyear, we start reading Lord Denning’s judgment for the understanding of ‘EQUITY’ and then by the end of the third year we start focusing on our career and grabbing opportunities. This last stage is where we start placing money and our jobs before justice.
Why? Why is it so hard for us to recall the passion we had for ‘law’ and ‘justice’? Why cannot we persist on that passion? This forced me to write these lines:
Once I thought of fighting against evil and conquer the injustice,
But then with society and precedents, I adjusted,
For once I use to believe in change and eradication of sinful,
And now the ‘just’ in (m)edwindles;
It’s impossible for me to define, in these limited words, all the cases wherein we have failed to establish an example and uplift the true spirit of ‘justice’. But there are several things that we shall keep in our minds while performing our duties as guardians of ‘justice and equity’.
- Administration of Criminal Justice is initiated with the receipt of FIR with respect to the commission of a cognizable offence. Section 157states that this report is first sent to the magistrate of the area. The Delhi High Courts has directed electronic transmission of FIR to concerned magistrate immediately.
- Law of Arrest
The first and the foremost thing that a person loses at the time of arrest is LIBERTY, and liberty is a basic feature of democratic government. In liberty lies the true spirit of Indian Constitution.
So depriving someone from their liberty is a great responsibility in itself, and such power shall be exercised only when there are sufficient grounds to believe that the person being arrested is dangerous for the society.
“According to the latest amendments in the CrPC, in cases covered u/s 41(1)(b) of the CrPC, i.e. where the case relates to offence punishable with imprisonment of 7 years or less, arrest can be made by the police only on satisfaction (recorded in writing) to the effect that, the arrest is imperative for :
- prevention of further offences;
- proper investigation of the offence;
- prevention of tampering or disappearance of evidence;
- prevention of any undue influence/threat to the complainant or witnesses;
- ensuring his presence in the court”
- Safeguards for Women.
In 2013 the government of India has passed Criminal Law Amendment Act, Safeguarding the dignity of Women. In this act all the laws of IPC, CrPC and Evidence Act relating to women are analyzed with scrutiny.
It’s not about defects that our legislations have. I being a law student deny the fact that our legislations are – “fact in issue”. The fact in issue is the administration of these laws that is not being conducted fairly.
For infinite failed judgments, there are infinite countering laws that could have saved the victimization of people.
Hence one must never question the laws, for there are enough laws to ensure that people live in a beautiful society. What must be questioned is its awareness, practicality and administration.
“Eternal Vigilance, is the price of liberty…
And we the guardians of law are ought to pay this price…
Not just for ourselves but for each and every citizen”
http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/charged-with-terror-damned-by-aliases/article2866367.ece last accessed at 9:18 pm on 19th January, 2017.
Ranjeet Shankar Yadav and others v. State of Maharashtra Order available at http://www.livelaw.in/bombay-hc-grants-bail-murder-accused-says-provoked-name-religion-read-order/ last accessed at 9:18 pm on 19th January, 2017.
157. Procedure for investigation preliminary inquiry.
(1) If, from information received or otherwise, an officer in charge of a police station has reason to suspect the commission of an offence which he is empowered under section 156 to investigate, he shall forthwith send a report of the same to a Magistrate empowered to take cognizance of such offence upon a police report and shall proceed in person, or shall depute one of his subordinate officers not being below such rank as the State Government may, by general or special order, prescribe in this behalf, to proceed, to the spot, to investigate the facts and circumstances of the case, and, if necessary, to take measures for the discovery and arrest of the offender; Provided that-
(a) when information as to the commission of any such offence is given against any person by name and the case is not of a serious nature, the officer in charge of a police station need not proceed in person or depute a subordinate officer to make an investigation on the spot;
(b) if it appears to the officer in charge of a police station that there is no sufficient ground for entering on an investigation, he shall not investigate the case.
(2) In each of the cases mentioned in clauses (a) and (b) of the proviso to sub- section (1), the officer in charge of the police station shall state in his report his reasons for not fully complying with the requirements of that sub- section, and, in the case mentioned in clause (b) of the said proviso, the officer shall also forthwith notify to the informant, if any, in such manner as may be prescribed by the State Government, the fact that he will not investigate the case or cause it to be investigated.
Role of Magistrate In a Criminal Investigation and Insights from the French Criminal Justice System, by Bharat Chugh, Civil Judge, Delhi. Published on November 13, 2016 on LinkedIn personal blog.