Justify Justice

Judicial SystemThe judiciary system of India has for long courted controversies rather than solving them. Its bias towards the rich and the powerful, the celebrities and the MP’s, has put the nation to shame more often than not. The ordinary citizen, who is devoid of money and power, has to beg for justice. Even in the rare cases when justice is granted, the rich and powerful criminals are granted bail sooner rather than later. In most cases, these (in)famous culprits are sentenced to imprisonment by the judiciary only in the aftermath of excessive media intervention and public outcry. The recent judicial orders regarding the high profile murder cases of Jessica Lal, Priyadarshini Mattoo and Nitish Katara have resulted in sentences being awarded to the guilty solely due to media and public uproar. Had the media and public support not been there, it is easy to imagine what would have happened. An ordinary citizen fighting a case, which is not in the media’s scrutiny, is put through infinite hardships at the hands of the more powerful and mighty opponent. It is no wonder that a colossal 2.63 crore cases, lie pending in India. This very statistic is proof of the sorry state of affairs of our judicial system.

The judicial system of our country is not just highly inefficient, it also has several loopholes, which favour the wealthy and mighty and suppress the poor and the weak. Corruption has seeped into the judicial hierarchy at all levels. It has become easier for high profile culprits to get away with their crime. The accused can easily abstain from court dates, threaten the witnesses who are left with no option but to turn hostile, turn and twist the simple, clear-cut cases according to their convenience because our judiciary gives them the freedom to do so. It is shameful that in these cases, where facts presented against these influential people are so straightforward and simple, are made to drag along for several years until it disappears from public memory and the victim or his family gives up due in utter frustration.

The cases registered in the high court carry on for an average time of 20 years before justice is delivered. According to the India Corruption Study, 2005 conducted by the India Centre of Media Studies, upto 20% of judges are corrupt. It is mind boggling to think that when an ordinary citizen is dragged into a court case to demand justice, his entire fortune and his life savings are spent in fighting his case, a case that normally doesn’t see the light of the day during his lifetime. In fact in a lot of cases, his surviving family ends up fighting after him. There is no end to all of this.

Undoubtedly, this is not just denial of justice, infact, it is no less than murder of justice. Even the most transparent cases are made to drag on for several years as the culprit may have enough monetary power to feed the judges, witnesses and the police. The innocent don’t have to just suffer the pain of the crime inflicted upon them but also suffer repeated visits to the judiciary. Justice delayed is justice denied, murdered and strangled.

The loopholes in the guidelines and codes of conduct governing in the judiciary have allowed the miscreants, the rich and the powerful to buy the judiciary and take law in their own hands. There is no one to judge the judges and no one who can help the innocent victims who have suffered enormously at the hands of the judiciary. Our democracy has been reduced to being one’ of the rich and powerful, by the rich and the powerful and for the rich and the powerful’.

Surbhi Bhatia