DailyPost 2310

Semblance of justice or just a mirage of it, is a trillion-dollar question. Everyone and the nation is impacted by it. The rule of law dictum. Whichever way look at things the end result seems to be really the same. Does the judicial system mean only the last leg of the delivery of justice, where the case, issue or grievance reaches the adjudication stage? Or in the case of criminal justice system, what are roles of different pillars and how seamlessly, they work for the delivery of justice has still to be deciphered. Working in unison still remains a mirage. The pre-criminal justice stage equally important, and impacts the very core of its functioning.

The FIR remains to be the first bone of contention, to be or not be? Free and fair registration of the first information report to get the judicial labyrinth moving is still a far cry. It is very rare in an important case the content is not doubted upon. Besides the exigencies and practices of the police and there an any number of other factors which come into play. The de-facto world decides what should reach the doors of police investigation, which we have found in a famous recent case too. A panel is constituted to do fact finding, whether the offences and irregularities are made out or not? Then what is the job of the police, to be fed by panels or study groups. Making a mess of investigation is the guiding principle.

What are investigative capabilities of these arrangements, and why should such makeshift bodies crop up at every instance? This is what can be called semblance of justice. It is make believe world, non-deliverable world. Might be even the victims feel today, that they will have to take this route to influence something in their favour, rather than get a case registered and get the results within a stipulated time. If the time of the complaint itself is debated, then we can well imagine how many decades more would it take to extricate the criminal justice system from the clutches of extraneous factors. This has now been taken as the ipso facto and legal navigation is done around it. From the very registration of an FIR to the selection of judges, nothing works on a rock-solid mechanism.

The different elements of dispensation of justice and the ones who impact it endlessly have never made a desperate bid to set it right. Overall, it does not impact their well-being at all. Then the time taken for dispensation of justice and quagmire of legal methodologies and processes, all unpredictable, foreclose any option to calculate the time, one has to battle with the Indian legal system. Parallel systems of commissions, enquires, mass media probes, civil society probes, international groups would keep on adding inputs to the public domain, which are beyond any legal judicial comprehension and action. Then the closure never happens, and there are any number of riot and other cases to prove this point. Post judgement activities like parole, remissions we will leave for some other day.

Sanjay Sahay

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