A famous German Philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "the world used to be a much merrier place when humanity was not ashamed of its cruelty."
Right from ancient to the Victorian era, a sight of public execution used to be an occasion of celebration and great public importance. However, even in those times when the idea of Justice had not evolved to a great extent, due process of law used to be the focal point of the entire judicial system. It was only when an accused was brought before the king or the magistrate and was convicted of his crimes, only then a noose would be tied around his neck.
JUSTICE AT SNAIL'S PACE
Tardiness in delivering substantive justice to the common man crying for a legitimate demand has tarnished the very image of our so-called Independent Judicial system. According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 1,56,327 rape cases were on trial in 2018. Of these, the trial was completed in 17,313 cases, resulting in conviction in only 4,708 cases. There was an acquittal in 11,133 rape cases and discharge in 1,472 cases. With 27.2% of the conviction rate in rape cases, many people have lost faith in the Judicial System.
This has per se galvanised the men in uniform to become the de facto awardee of justice outside the court premises and become self-styled jurists. The incessant custodial killings these days are too well known to be chronicled. The instances of misuse of power, in the initial stages of the investigations, can be attributed to the lack of expeditious trials on the part of the Judiciary on one hand and it's the failure to bring the self-styled Jurists under the garb of scrutiny, on the other.
ARE WE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CRISES?
The glorification of unlawful and unorthodox acts by the policemen committed in rage or perhaps, the popular public pressure leads the system towards its decay. It puts an indelible question mark over the professionalism and integrity of the Police Department. It also brings humanity into question as to how can a human celebrate the killing of a fellow being albeit a criminal? Has violence made deep inroads in Indian Society?
Through decades of maladministration and misgovernance in every sphere of life, today the position is that of a collective failure of the criminal justice system and erosion of the ethical values. Had the masses expected the prosecution and conviction of the culprits in a stipulated time, violence as a sight of celebration would not have been there? Thanks to the Sacred Book of the land ( the Constitution) which bars any independent investigation against a Police Officer. The Policemen have become ceaseless now, given the obsession of Indian Public with the Bollywood culture that takes pride in the fearlessness of the Officers even if it comes with a touch of lawlessness.
A LONG HAUL FOR EFFICACY:
Acting in the heat of passion and answering brutality with barbarity is not going to deliver quick justice. This will, in turn, pose a threat to the moral fabric of society. The society then will start governing itself by the justice of fishes. The misuse of provisions of law is a direct threat to the law itself. India, being one of the largest democracies, is known for its lengthiest written constitution and it cannot afford to malign the sanctity of it's Sacred Book, it's ethos, it's vibrant culture. The need is to reform the colonial legacies including the Judicial system, the police department, to cater to the needs of a new India we are dreaming of. We have already had enough of the committees with numerous recommendations in the past. But the question which remains unanswered even today is 'where is the implementation'?