When Justice is delayed...

13 April 2006 |

Justice delayed is justice denied. No doubt about that.
Then why is it - that courts in India take more than three generations - to deliver a verdict?

There is an old saying in malayalam, "Venamangil Chakka Verilum Kayykkum"
If it wants, the jack tree will bear fruit even in its roots.

The lack of speedy trials and delivering of justice - is a major problem in India - the biggest democracy in the world. It even threatens the democratic nature of the Indian society.

"NeerkOli moothu Chera aaya pole,"
It is the lawyers who become judges after many years in a corrupt system. To expect a lot of good to come out of such a system is....

The Kerala High Court in Kochi has been at the forefront of judicial activism (which by all means is also a threat to the executive - and also goes to show how pathetic the executive is). Judicial activism exposes the plot in the drama - that the lawyers have started to outwit the politicians.

It is a strange situation in a democracy.

People in India are slowly realising that they do have the power - more power than all the call centers or big businesses put together.

If a court in India had delivered a verdict that "there is no time to count the votes" - as the verdict in Bush v Gore... the nation would have been burning. People do exercise their power through the ballots - and if vested interests try to topple people power - then they protect democracy by all means.

The politicians, the justice system - everything is so corrupt in the USA. What makes me laugh at America is the fact that it is a country where people do carry guns... but it is a fact that Americans carry firearms because they are morally, politically, and intellectually impotent.


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Jodhpur case: HC's activism set the precedent


NEW DELHI: If the Alwar rape case was decided within 22 days of the incident, it is thanks to extraordinary activism displayed last year by Rajasthan High Court, following the rape of another German woman in the state in the state.

Two days after the tourist was raped in Jodhpur, the HC, on its own, directed the probe be carried out "as expeditiously as possible"and the trial be completed within a month of the incident.

As a result, on the rape that took place on May 11, 2005, a fast track court in Jodhpur made history by delivering its verdict on June 1 — 21 days flat.

The speed displayed in the Jodhpur rape case was, however, taken to be an exception made for a German tourist in a state heavily dependent on foreign tourism.

For, no such special effort was made to render speedy justice when a Dalit was gangraped in the same city four months later. It took the rape of another German national, this time a student visiting Alwar for research purposes, for the system to follow the precedent of the Jodhpur fast track court.

The Alwar rape took place in the wee hours of March 21 and the verdict came on April 12. The Jodhpur feat could be replicated in Alwar because of conscious efforts made by all the authorities concerned to speed up the process.

This was evident even in the manner in which the trial suddenly ended on April 10. The defence was due to present their witnesses on that date.

But when none of them turned up, the court refused to adopt the usual option of adjourning the case. Instead, displaying extraordinary urgency, it forced the counsel on both sides to wrap up their final arguments on the same day. And the verdict was delivered on the morning of the next working day, April 12.

The court displayed similar urgency during the deposition of the rape victim on March 29. When the defence counsel was labouring on the friendship between her and the accused, the judge warned him not to waste time as he would have to finish the cross examination of the victim by the end of that day.

That was a sharp departure from the normal practice of stretching the cross-examination of the victim over half a dozen hearings spread across several months.

The court, of course, could not have acted so swiftly if the police had not done their bit. Though they were entitled to take 90 days to file a chargesheet, the cops took just four days to do so.

The forensic lab too took just four days to submit its report rather than taking months as it usually does.

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