Delayed justice

Will the fast track courts really deliver?



THE recent Delhi gang-rape and murder case has sent shock waves throughout the country forcing people in thousands to come on streets demanding justice.This public outcry which refused to die down for days together has un-nerved even the rulers on one hand and on the other very loudly deplored the justice delivery system which has failed the people who are fast loosing faith in the system.
Though a very welcome step that our state is the first in designating through hon’ble Chief Justice few Additional District and Sessions Courts as Fast track courts for trying offences of rape, molestation etc but the fact still remains that these courts have already other civil and criminal cases which too have to be tried and at the most will be able to give shorter dates to such cases. Will that meet the expectation of the people which they have attached with these courts I strongly doubt so. We have special courts of Anti corruption meant for trying only corrupt people and how many are being punished every month quite negligible or once in a blue moon and I am afraid the same fate will be met by these cases also.
To live up to the expectations of the people certain drastic changes are required. Special courts must be created to try only such cases on daily basis by either fixing only one case for the full day while ensuring that investigating officer is present throughout the trial of his case along with his witnesses or only one case is fixed till the trial concludes by fixing the schedule of cases. Second, highly experienced and efficient prosecutors of high integrity should be appointed to conduct such cases who should be suitably paid not politically suited persons who can sell every thing for any thing. In case investigation is found faulty which suits the accused immediate departmental enquiry should be conducted against the said investigating officer on the same fast track basis so that others feel the consequences of dereliction of duty. Should any witness change his or her statement recorded before a judicial magistrate either on pressure or on any other extraneous consideration he should also be prosecuted immediately so that others do not get encouraged to do so. People must come forward to stand as witnesses against any crime to bring culprits to book as their duty. Executive should realize that judges are also human beings who can not work coolly and calmly under tremendous work load. Hence their genuine problems need be addressed.This is most unfortunate that throughout India more than 600 vacancies  of High Court Judges are reportedly vacant in all the High Courts for years together due to constraints other than legal and people in general continue to suffer on this account but who cares.
Lastly ultimate purpose of trying an accused in a routine trial which consumes decades or on fast track is to deter others from doing the same but is this theory of deterrence implemented any where. In the law of criminology two schools of thought emerged. One which propagated the theory of deterrence and the other advocating for reform in prison. When people demand severe punishment against the crime such as the one that happened in Delhi and elsewhere also at many places, our mind immediately turns towards Islamic law of punishment of deterrence which should be publicly executed so that others see and are  deterred from committing any such crime. Otherwise executing any such punishment within the four walls of the jail premises silently will not deter any one then what is the point. Laws should be suitably amended and theory of deterrence should be strictly followed to instill confidence among the people that justice is after all done otherwise the system is itself collapsing under its own weight and patience of people is waning out very fast.Some one has rightly said ;
“People respect till they feel protected.
They rebel when feel threatened.
So protect them before they threaten you.”

(B.A.Bashir is a Senior Advocate)

Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 18 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 19 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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