DailyPost 1871

Investigation has never been our forte. Conviction rates and court strictures stand as testimony. We here don’t restrict only to criminal investigation, nonetheless, that remains the crux of our understanding of it. The dose and overdose of investigation in the public domain from Delhi riots to Bofors to the Bhopal tragedy to the drugs of the day, has created its own understanding of it, for the people at large, the victims, the accused and the lawyers. Media through its uncanny TRP ways, has become an active investigator in this country, sans legality, responsibility or accountability. The non-criminal element investigation as a part of the democratic fact finding or the financial propriety part, have added their strength to the cacophony.

Suffice to say, the only element which is legally accountable or can be made accountable is police investigation in various formats from the local police to the CBI, others have their own story and their own ways of getting away. Their logic is based on mesmerizing both the media and the masses. Besides getting into the details of it, these are the audit reports, which changed the course of political history of this nation. Legal failures which emanate out of the criminal cases registered in this regard don’t seem to have any legal guardians. No conviction has become the norm, still there is no action against the real culprits, who set the criminal law into motion through the audit reports. Not only that such reports are being churned out with the same gusto even now.

Mumbai, the maximum city has become the Maha investigation capital. From the Sheena Bora case to the current outpourings between an ex CM and a sitting Minister, gives us the feeling that the city should be closed down for investigation; for investigating one and all and bring the culprits to book. That is not going to happen. Criminal law today has numerous interpretations except for the real and the straight one. Had an ex-Police Commissioner not spilled the beans, an ex-Home Minister would have never gone behind bars. Who is the investigator, who is accused and who is the guardian of law has become so complicated to understand and would take a while even for Sherlock Holmes? The ex-Police Commissioner is supposedly on the run. Police officers hitting the dock take the investigative agencies to the dock. Sometimes, making it a real thriller when they file cases against each other as well.

There was a famous suicide case where the media kept the country on a cliff hanger. A senior police officer wanted to make a grand political entry based on the cranky investigation. Governments fought ad nauseum. Now another investigator is in the dock. Investigations getting mired in controversy is the most unfortunate thing to happen to the criminal justice system of the country. Simple investigations; hyped and messed up.  The fate of the Pegasus Project report in this country is a commonplace knowledge; the stalling of the parliament and recent Supreme Court directive. In another recent directive, Supreme Court has found gaping holes in a very famous murder case investigation, an open and shut case, given the overwhelming evidence of every type available at the scene of offence, hundreds of eye witnesses and the whole load of circumstantial evidence.


Sanjay Sahay

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