Daily Post 1502


For the lakhs if not crores of criminal cases, the life cycle of the case remains unknown. Nobody is even interested to know how these cases navigate through the maze of the criminal justice system. Time taken at every single stage is a complete story in itself; effort, attention, quality, resources et al. Investigation, prosecution, trial till the highest court and the prison / correctional services are all a world of their own. Their integration into a smooth seamless system with data flowing real time in the directions legally warranted is a must. It should then be used in the best interest of the case and for the improvement of society, would be a great service to bring down criminality in this country. Few cases which have gained prominence in last couple of months have been disturbing.

The loopholes in the investigation has been the topic of TV debates and interpersonal debates in every nook and corner of this country. Presumptive too. Without defending the discrepancies which can happen from time to time, the tragedy is that even the best of the people, who discuss investigation issues threadbare, as is the current fashion, have no idea of even the basics of criminal law, leave aside the criminal justice system. The layman’s prism cannot provide you the legal vantage point of view. But he is not ready to accept the fact that he is legally challenged.

The bigger issue is when vested interests move in, with their point of view and gain currency on whichever side. There are chances of the investigation getting vitiated. It does not factor in the impact it has on the investigating officers and the investigation agencies. Giving results on demand is the principle on which investigations cannot be conducted. Investigation has its own lifecycle dictated by the law of the land and that has to be scrupulously followed. From the time of the registration of the FIR, it remains accountable to the court. Once in the trial stage and even earlier, bail etc, the best of the lawyers in the country battle it with govt. lawyers in prominent cases.

Certainly, the legal luminaries don’t follow every case. Yet from the lowest to the highest court has its own story of effort, time, cost and complications. Beyond legality and justice is the issue of politics. All cases that gain prominence, the political angle of support or criticism has its own dynamics. The aligning of political parties, govts and the intensity / priority of investigation has become a regular feature in the public domain discourse. If criminal investigations are based on anything extraneous, suffice to say, even if technically justice is delivered, it does not seem to have been delivered. Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion applies to criminal investigations in totality.


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