JAGDISH BALI OPINIONMAKARS@ The Hush Post: In his article published in The Indian Express on November 24, 1994, former Attorney General and Indian Ambassador to the United States Nani Palkhivala quipped, “But what causes endless anguish is the fact that laws are never respected nor enforced in India.” What the great Indian jurist said in 1994 holds good for ages and it exposes the vulnerability of Indian law and legal system. The statement carries great ethical, social and legal implications. Imagine the merciless slitting of seven-year-old Pradyumn of Ryan Public School, the gruesome murder of four-year-old Yug in Shimla who was made to starve, drink alcohol and then drowned into the water tank, heinous rape and murder of Gudiya in a Shimla sub-urb, the bestial brutality with which Nirbhaya was raped and killed, the agonising end of forest guard Hoshiyar in Karsog and the heinous act in which a Sikh youth, Gurpreet from Bathinda, was allegedly killed in Delhi over a sensitive isssue.
On one hand these incidents show brutality and animosity which humans have degenerated to, it also proves that criminals are neither scared of the police nor bothered about law and judicial system. Their courage is such that no well meaning people can dare to oppose them. At times, those supposed to protect law are also in connivance with them. It is now a routine that the police try to hush-up the matter and when pressure mounts, they don’t mind framing an innocent person instead of the culprit. Our legal and judicial system runs at such a pace that by the time justice is delivered, it loses its significance and many a time only delivers disappointment and frustration.
Let hundreds of criminals go free so that not a single innocent be punished – this doctrine has caught many flies but let numberless hornets go free. Catching little thieves, big ones escape. Having convicted by the lower courts, the higher courts let many walk free on the premise of lack of sufficient proofs. How and what about this u-turn – law doesn’t allow to seek accountability from those who deliver justice. Many enquiry reports don’t even come out of the sealed envelopes.
Of course, our society plays its role to paralyse the judicial system. In fact, we sermonise more and do little on the ground. When the time comes for real doings on ground, we become mute spectator and say– mujhe kya lena. We neither raise voice against the evil doers nor do we stand by the victims in the witness box in the courts of law. This dictum has not only made us apathetic and insensitive to others’ pains, but also difficult for the justice to be delivered. Later we yell – kaanun to andhaa hai. If we don’t raise the voice against the criminals outside and inside the courts, we are encouraging the making of the society ruled by goons and scoundrels.