This author was glued to the news and taking live updates of the four culprits of the Nirbhaya case, who were hanged to death on the 19th of March.
It is a blessing on humanity, that even despite the fact that there is an tedious legal procedure which takes its own time to manifest itself into justice, the Nirbhaya’s verdict was seriously awaited. The case is one of the most gruesome crimes ever perpetrated on a female, and the rapes of children/ minors are also a problem. But, despite that, this author believes that whatsoever happened with Nirbhaya, it does not deserve an iota of discussion in a civilised society.
Justice like in the case of the doctor in Hyderabad where the Police took action, instantly and encountered all the accused, no doubt it is a very logical conclusion in the public concerns of the safety of their person, if not property! It is very well known to most of us, that the procedural law, in our criminal jurisdiction pushes the realm of the justice to a process mandating deeper scrutiny so as to verify the logic behind a particular punishment. The general policy in the judiciary has been to restrict evaluation of a case starting from the premise that the accused is not prima facie guilty.
Yet, we forget in certain occasions, where the evidence produced in the Court of law is so strong that it does not mandate a detailed investigation (for e.g. the Arushi Talwar murder case where the police was unable to trace the crime to the hands of the Talwar couple), the Nirbhaya’s case had too much of evidence, and the guilt, did not exist at all in the perpetrators.
It is a fact that in India, a certain section has gone too immune to the process of law, and specially in cases of harassment/ sexual abuse of women. The case of Nirbhaya, on the other hand was a direct case, where there was absolute rarity since it disturbed the even tempo o the society with just one question, that whether our daughters/ sisters and mothers are safe on the streets or not while we are not physically escorting them?
The 4 rapists or rather the inhuman men, who committed the heinous crime on the little girl, tried to take recourse to the procedure established by law, and then there are fetters on capital punishment imposed upon the Indian justice system emanating from the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, wherein there is an obligation on India to end the tradition or practice of awarding capital punishment!
This fact had come for the consideration of the judged of the Supreme Court in Bachan Singh versus State of Punjab, that is awarding capital punishment under 354 CrPc and 302 IPC violative of the Indian Constitution. The Judges invented a doctrine which simply classified cases upon their uniqueness, as ‘rarest of rare’ cases.
Now Nirbhaya’s case is a rarest of rare case, since it brought the people standing together against craving for better solutions to combat the crimes against women, and then the criminal justice system getting exposed, where people like the accused in the case stand a chance to get reliefs through the creativity of the lawyer deployed to delay the infliction of the punitive measure aided by the procedural mazes.
There is certainly a hue and cry among the masses, that there must be fast-track courts and procedure in cases of rape and harassment, but then this becomes a measure of mass extortion and threatening someone by any female, thereby aggravating the gender friction.
The most abused Domestic Violence Act, and the 498A IPC has seen an ever rising number of cases to put pressure on the parties for one reason that the woman believes that the marriage cannot be worked out.
In a balancing spree, it is not just about fast-tracking the procedure, but a very balanced approach among the media trials, that declare an accused as an accused as well, and then there is someone who actually receives the brunt for the law being blind.
Nirbhaya and the Hyderabad encounter, point to the two extremes that the justice system produces in the wake of incriminating evidence available on record. Heinous crimes, which simply move the public at large from their psychological composure simply demand that the procedure established by law be done away with, otherwise the retribution and the delay in justice becomes a more painful act for the people.
The media kept the Nirbhaya rape case alive by reporting it time and again, and this kept the public pressure alive, while cases such as the Kathua and Unnao rape cases, among others have avoided the media’s attention sufficiently.
The most important fact here thus remains that when there is convincing evidence available on record there should be an “Eternal Justice”doctrine that our courts must come to incorporate in their psyche, and the realm of procedure should be done away with.
There is something known as divine justice which forms the climax of every person who believes in the greater scheme of things ordained by the surreal reality of the human existence. Yet, when we confront the intercourse of man ordained as per the modern day state, the concepts of public morality and decency, as well as collective consciousness play a greater role in actually concluding the act/ omission or the crime we talk has the potency of disturbing the tempo of the masses. Some human acts are not worth forgiving anywhere, even if we try the reformative or modernist theories laid down globally, and obligatory under the law of nations as well.
Certain crimes, like the one in the US where the TV host used to eat dead humans or Nirbhaya, or for that matter the Union Carbide case, or then it is the Nazi Genocide, such cases deal with the lower nature of man in blind pursuit of the goal to satisfy individual ego, and transgress the decent boundaries of the Human consciousness which can deal with a certain degree of perversity, and when the perversity extends further, it becomes an atrocious absurdity.
Eternal Justice as a doctrine would mandate that the procedure established by law be snubbed only with one stage allowed. The Lower Court/ Trial Court awarding the death sentence, and then only the President of India must be the last resort to hear the matter. No Courts in between, and no procedural glitches thereof. The judgement back by a afast-track process and careful scrutiny of the evidence available shall be deemed to be fully final. The procedure must be applied to only those cases which are rarest of rare amidst the ocean of cases pending adjudication.
Certain crimes when perpetrated don’t deserve to be dealt with the law of men, which tries to do away with arbitrariness, because ipso-facto they are backed by incriminating evidence that only demands eternal justice at play, over and above everything else.
With this there shall be real justice within time and the retribution shall be delivered faster than expected.
Specially in crimes against women that actually need a serious paradigm shift in the mindset of the people since it involves a mass action backed with fear of punishment within reasonable time frame to result in deterrence more than anything else.