DailyPost 2742

Cognizance or no cognizance; the crude art of Indian investigations defines the heart of the criminal justice ecosystem. It also keeps on redefining as to why to we are able to get less and less out of the criminal justice ecosystem. If we talk of the sobering impact or predictable legal fear in society, that seems to be missing. On the contrary, the very same elements feel emboldened. Why this all has happened over the years and now it has steadily transformed itself into a robust mainstream system. Cognizance of an incident, accident, activity, transaction, expression, confabulation etc as a criminal activity /crime, is the beginning of criminal investigation in this country.

Do the authorities have a choice in taking cognizance of crime, in simple terms? When they have the first information on a crime what is to be done? Do you have to wait for the complainant? If facts are there in the public domain and you don’t act or initiate criminal investigation, does it not fall under the passive abuse of power? Are all crimes well known in the public domain being taken cognizance of and are being investigated? If a judgement clearly indicates of likely commission of a crime, what is to be done? Does it not become the job of the court to take it to its logical conclusion?

There are sweeping suo motto powers with the police, specialized investigating agencies and the judiciary, still there are widespread instances of crimes being swept under the carpet. Does astronomical increase in income by candidates in elections, in just a five-year period, warrant an investigation? Or is it just a bland declaration which does not have any value but for being archived? Will it not unravel the source of political financial irregularity? What do you do with the audit reports where the crime is as good as made out? Some cases change the political destiny the nation, while others are thrown into the dustbin of history.

The only difference between the two is whether cognizance has been taken or not? If cognizance is not taken of a crime, practically it becomes a no crime. The ways of taking cognizance are wide and varied. The interplay of sections decides your fate. Worse still are the Acts, which can take care of you till your last breath or you go insane. Then you the super tool of handing over cases to agencies, which are known to doing their job a bit too well. The innate capability of the agencies to calibrate in transfer of cases, application of sections and pace of cases are turning out to be the waterloo for people stuck up in the Indian criminal justice system, looking for justice.

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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