DailyPost 2042

The enactment of law is made out to be the simple panacea for all ills facing the country. Whenever a topic becomes too hot, the best way to douse it, is to create a law and to bring an amendment to an existing law. Have we ever reviewed the laws which were handed over to us at the stroke of that midnight hour, that made us an independent country. How easy it is to make a law, it is simpler than a start-up, in most cases you need that thought and take it through the process. If you have the majority, you can sail it through. This country has barely seen a bill being voted on the basis of the understanding and individual decision making of the law makers. If your party makes it, it has to be good. The history of our legal enactment and the demonstrated enforcement capability belies the faith reposed in enactment as panacea.

The law is as good as all the stakeholders understanding and the practitioner’s capability to deliver in the most appropriate manner and the judicial process taking it on time to its logical conclusion. No fear or favour or partiality or unsubstantiated commission or omission. This is a tall order in this system where everyone seems to have an axe to grind, at the expense of law. Only a few days back Madhya Pradesh High Court directed the DGP, to send one SHO for six months to learn law and manner of investigation and report compliance. This was the reaction of the court to an extremely shabby investigation. This is the law in practice. The number of times courts have gone aghast on the quality of investigation, can be endless.

The enactment of the law and its annulment in a declaration of political intent. Political intent has always been made out to be the panacea, it is more so in this case. It is either connected to a poll promise or to make amends for huge lapses in governance. The law makers should be the best specialists of law, they are its creators and they should own the responsibility, if it does not deliver, on whatever count because all the factors are not only known, they are gaping at your faces. Has it ever happened that the points raised in parliamentary debates have been tested with the actual delivery of the law on the ground. Law as an agent of social change and economic sanity, has barely been able to make any impact. Few cases here and there, and huge media spotlight does not mean, a law abiding and a law delivering nation.

From the dowry prohibition act to the atrocities law to the prevention of corruption legal mandate, we have seen the fate of these panacea laws, the less said about TADA and POTA the better. The enactment and repeal of laws are political acts totally unconnected to the real requirements on the ground, the success and failure of laws are left to its own fate. And they face the same fate. The Nirbhaya Case brought into prominence the need for a much more expansive law and it was done? *What dent has it been able to make on the incidence of such heinous crimes? Can a few speedy trials and outstanding judgements affect the crime ridden ecosystem or the cost and duration of justice. Have the democratic stakeholders of the legal ecosystem even come together to sort it out. Instead of being a panacea, it becomes a Himalayan weight on the persons fighting their lone battle for justice.

Sanjay Sahay

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