USELESS LAWS WEAKEN NECESSARY ONES
Indian justice system is extremely complex. The Judiciary of India, considered to be the third pillar of democracy, follows a well written constitution. It is believed that the drafting committee of the Constitution of India went through the laws followed across the world and narrowed down the best ones for the Constitution. The law makers, however, forgot to lay down rules for timely realisation of Justice. The Indian Judiciary is defamed because of the time taken to deliver the justice.
The judiciary in India follows the adversarial system of justice. In order to realise the Right to Equality, both the victim and the accused are entitled to equal representation. The investigation is done by the police and in some cases by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The report then is provided in the court on the basis of the investigation, evidences and charge sheet as presented by the police. The accused is considered non-guilty until the lawyer of the victim (the prosecution) proves it otherwise. Even though this system ensures proper representation of the case, it also leads to confusion and mis- direction. Both the lawyers try to use the evidences to prove their side of the story. Dates after dates, the case continues. The judge plays no part in solving the case or investigating it. He is an impartial participant to the proceedings of the case. At the end of which, he delivers the verdict.
The Judiciary system of India is highly complex. It can be divided into three major categories, the Supreme Court, the High Court and the District Courts (followed by a hierarchy of lower courts). A case can be heard and re-heard in these courts. As a result of which these cases remain pending for a very long period of time. It takes years to deliver the verdict in one court; the case might then be appealed in the higher court and then higher if either the victim or the accused in not satisfied with the verdict delivered. It cannot be stressed enough that this system is highly time taking.
To add to this problem, the judiciary infrastructure lags behind in the technological advancement. Till today, the judiciary of India uses outdated methods for record keeping. Therefore, the work output is extremely slow. This has resulted into the loss of faith in Judiciary on the part of the common man. The hassles of the justice system prevent them from approaching the judiciary for help, even if their Rights are mercilessly snatched away from them.
These problems in execution of justice are not helped by the complex rule book. There are innumerable laws that are present in the law book but are of little or no use. There are various examples through which the quote ‘useless laws weaken necessary ones’ can be supported. In India, the laws have been twisted in their meaning to delay the proceedings and in some cases, it also results in passing the verdict against the victim and in the favor of the accused. The practice of hearing the cases, even the open and shut ones, for a very long time has resulted into the delayed delivery of justice. In fact, justice is delayed to the point where it can be termed denied.
The example of the time taking case can be seen in the example of the delay in verdict of the culprits behind the death of the paramedical student in Delhi that sent shivers through the spines of all the Indians. This case was crystal clear and required immediate and stringent verdict. But even after the proceedings being held in a fast track court, it took almost a year to deliver the verdict. The cold blooded murderers who mutilated the body of a twenty three year old did not think twice before the heinous crime but the decision to take action against them took almost a year. This does not end here. Usually, in India, cases with the verdict of execution of the culprits are appealed again in High Court and then the Supreme Court. And even if these Courts do not change the verdict as well, the culprit may then appeal the President of India for mercy.
Another debatable matter is the Juvenile Justice Court. Among the accused of the aforementioned case was a culprit who aged seventeen and a half year. A span of six months prevented him from getting any severe punishment for his crime. A punishment for murder should be equal for all. As per the law, taking away life, even one’s own, is a crime. Why should there be an afterthought in executing the cold blooded culprits?
The National Commission for Women (NCW) and various activists have stressed that the punishments enlisted against rape and molestation are not stringent enough. There has been a sharp rise in the number of rape cases reported every year in India. One of the reasons behind the increase in the number of such cases is the leniency with which the culprit is punished. Even though the psychology of the victim is scarred for life, the culprit can enjoy his freedom after serving a span of few years.
Many such loopholes in the law have made it weak. One such weak law, the Official Secret Act was overruled by the Right to Information Act (2005). Many such changes are required to observe the true sense of democracy in India.
Any country should be governed by a set of rules, that when broken yield severe consequences. In India, owing to the complex judiciary system, the culprits get away with minimal punishment and sometimes, with no punishment at all. The laws are modified and truth is twisted over the years of hearing resulting in the justice being denied. It is very important to make changes in the rule book and levy stringent punishment against the wrong doers. Otherwise, sooner or later, the common mass will lose all its faith in the Judiciary and retaliate against every wrong done without seeking justice from the third pillar of the democracy.