POLITICAL: Encounter… a way to the justice or legally justified?
Justice can never be instant and “loses its character as justice” if it becomes revenge, Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde said at an event in Jodhpur on Saturday. Chief Justice Bobde’s remarks come after four young men accused of rape and murder were killed on Friday in what the Telangana police say was an encounter. The police action had its critics, but was largely welcomed by that public.
As four accused in Hyderabad rape case were shot in an midnight encounter and then social media woke up to this news like a sensational wildfire. There were mixed reactions trending on social media. The one reaction was of a populist point of view that whatever encounter took place was cheered loudly and the other reaction was of condemnation of what happened! If the police were to going to replace the courts, then why the courts are also in existence?
Why court’s are necessary at the same time, or would they (police) apply the same justice on other high profile rapists, including many Baba’s and Taantriks, as well as some former Minister’s in the ruling party, and if such justice was to be found appropriate, then it would be a lawless jungle raj.
The concept of such encounters would reflect a sorry state of affairs, in the mirrors of the society, which would be naive ! Journalists or constitutional experts who are well versed with the law, history and Political science, must find the second reaction more important on rational level. The definition of encounter means a surprise action or armed confrontation in which the defenders of the law are on the one hand and the outlaws on the other side. Such skirmishes or encounters have occurred everywhere, even from Kashmir, to the underworld of Mumbai.
Almost every encounter was allegedly termed as fake. Later they were also investigated. And in many such several occasions, the allegations of the encounter were proven right by the thorough investigation. Narendra Modi as being the CM of Gujarat had became famous as ‘Sohrabuddin encounter’ during his tenure was the talk of the town.
In these case two IPS officials along with other police officers were sent to jail. The current Home Minister, Amit Shah, has also been behind bars for the same reason. But if we observe the Indian Army had exercised the fake encounters. A colonel level official of the Indian Army indentified as Colonel HS Kohli had arrested five terrorists in Assam in 2003 and then had staged an fake encounter.
The official had botched up the encounter by pouring Ketchup on his body, by giving a spin to his narrative that he was fired upon by terrorists. Of course, he and others were charged with several offenses and had to face a court martial. Ajmal Kasab, is supposedly the world’s first terrorist caught alive in an action.
He was caught alive, with cache of arms found from him. He was photographed from the bridge alighting at Mumbai CSTM Railway Station, but nobody has tried to raise the voice or find out the truth about him and his other nine accomplices arrested. But human right activists and others had repeatedly raised questions and voices in the Batala House encounter in Delhi, or many gangster encounters happened in the past in Mumbai.
Gangster Amar Naik’s father had raised questions on the midnight encounters after his son was killed in an midnight action. Had the shooting or live recording of the Hyderabad case shot live at a crime scene at midnight, which could have been done easily by any smart phone, all the questions today raised would have been put to an end. Such live recordings must be made an compulsion, in the books of law, hopefully it will be done.
The films like Aaj ki Aawaj, Andha Kaanoon has always depicted the other side of the law, where the character has taken law into their hands which is depicted in a heroic manner. People certainly love such potboilers. But the lest not forget to raise the important question that, how justified that people are taking the law into their own hands?? Because if such incidents were to happen, there shouldn’t be a need for the courts, or the temples of justice! It suggests, that the need for third pillar of democracy is not needed, and the rule of dictatorship is the need of the hour.
Those who question, the polity or rule of law such people can be terminated and termed as ‘Traitor’ as such incidents have took place and were the order of the day under the German Nazi rule in 1930-40’s. Once a Senior Journalist, was threatened when he tried to defy a BJP spokesperson during a live discussion on a Marathi news channel.
The reference of journalists being threatened, was to show that when people don’t fear law and try to take law into their hands, it can act as a major threat to the rule of democracy. The delay in obtaining justice is the new reason doled out for the tendency to take the law into the hands. In a matter of sham, in the 1993 bomb blast case the justice was delivered in 2007. Such major delays in judiciary matters is the cause people tend to lose faith in the justice & judicial system and people like Hyderabad police official ‘Sajjanar’ become their heroes. Many individuals have daughters. And if even she arrives five minutes late, they tend to get impatient and too concerned about their loved one’s.
Therefore, many mature adults must not lose faith in law and order or on judiciary. In order to avoid delays in the court, the outcome of any court proceeding must be delivered within a time frame and the case transfers from the lower court to the Supreme Court, must be made time bound. Even there is a need to create courts as per the size of the population and it must be that five supreme benches must be formed and also the police department needs to fill the gaps in their recruitment and the manpower patrolling the city and the outskirts, points must be fixed. Therefore this will reduce the delay in judgments.
The accused in the Delhi rape case are still awaiting execution. If one of the viewpoints can be of that capital punishment is inhumane, or there are shortage of executioners then one can think of an electric chair or an injection like the lines of United States style of justice (US). But it is wrong to take the law into the hands as justice is delayed. It is also unjustified for us to declare others wrong or point out mistakes of someone else errors, which makes a situation similar to.vAn eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind”. The Indian judicial system lives by the example that its ok even if ten convicts, are released but an innocent person should not be punished. And such events must not overshadow the word known as ‘Justice’ anywhere in the part of the world.
So getting justice in this manner shall put a black spot and defame the whole law and order. So even if the popular Majoritarinarian view supports an encounter for the moment, which is ain’t always bad, but it is also dangerous to democracy. “Since 1993, as many as 2,560 cases of extra-judicial killings have taken place in the country, of which the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) found that 1,224 were fake. This means that on an average, one of the two encounters was fake. For right now that’s all..!
– Jayant Mainkar