This is not going to be a full flagged professional article but just want to share an opinion regarding what I think about this subject and want to know what you think about this.
I want to talk about the relation of these three words more than discussing about them in particular.
I will majorly comment on the Indian legal process and social response in the recent times and the changing dimensions. And what I found the causes and responses.
Recently the debate around the particular form of Punishment i.e. Death penalty is also going on since long at the world level, many countries have abolished it entirely, many has kept it intact and countries like India have shrunk the scope of it, but it still remains vague by saying that we will provide t only in the rarest of rare case but none knows which those cases are going to be. But the Supreme Court of India has made it quite clear by providing it in the really serious and heinous crimes like rape and brutal murder etc. especially in a case of rape &murder, but not in all such cases as well. The brutality and inhuman conditions of the act also adds into the quantum of punishment given. I am just talking about this because these things are on increase and laws have been recently made harsher.
In 2013 and later on many Criminal Law amendments have happened in India and also in many other countries and in India for the sexual offences if we talk for an example, since they are the most rapidly growing offences and therefore the form of punishment has been made harsher and duration punishment and value of fine have been increased. But it is not surprising to see that still the crime is on increase. This shows us somewhere that we are going in the wrong direction. Means we are hitting, not where the iron is hot. Had we been going into the right direction the crime rate, of the offences for which the punishment has been increased, must have come down. But that has not happened, which is the sign for us to take a pause and analyse the situation and find out the root cause behind this social menace. Unless we do that we cannot stop the crime rate.
I see two reasons behind this, you may suggest many more, please share your opinions. One is that the punishment part is perfect right now (except the Juvenile part) but the process is not. I mean to say here is that the delay in the punishment and meanwhile either the culprit get rid of the legal hands or if the social pressure increase then the innocent people are named at the place of the real culprits and therefore the real criminals stay out of it all and they have no fear, due to so many loopholes in the entire legal process till the person gets punished and also by that time the victim realises that it is more punishing and torture-some to go to the court and face the harassment from the police and by the other lawyer and then spend all the money and time after the case and still there is no surety of the Justice being done. And yet another reason, the biggest one, I see is that we are lacking human values while running after money and luxurious life dreams. Neither parents have time to spend with kids nor schools have that, as parents are living in nuclear family and they get tired at office and travelling and maintaining their standard in the society only and leave their kids with the machines like mobile or computer, which make them habitual of solitude and serve violent games therefore they never become social rather they get depressed and to get rid of this frustration they either become self harming or get involved into crimes and schools are busy in looting parents and increasing burden of books and pomp and show, they do not care about human values and natural ways of learning rather just try making the kids a parrot who can cram and be a money making machine by hook or crook.
Again the aw part is also lacking like at the point of juvenile, and there is a boom in the number of juvenile murders and rapists in the last couple of years.
It is not only the case in India if you go through this news article you will be shocked. It says “Why three men spent 36 years in prison for a crime they didn’t commit” https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/30/baltimore-men-exonerated-36-years-alfred-chestnut-ransom-watkins-andrew-stewart
The worst state of failure of Criminal Justice System can be seen in the following lines and it also shows us that what are other places where we are lacking. If you can read the entire case, it can give you nightmares, then think of the situation of those who have gone through this. Their life has been taken, their families were spoiled and they have been totally devastated just because they could not afford the costly lawyers and those who took the case in the name of legal aid they just filled the paper and did not even try to correct the things clearly visible at the evidence stage and those things were ignored at every stage from trial court to the Apex Court, just because everyone blindly followed the police story and wanted these innocent people to get punished. When I read this case first, I did not take much interest in it as I was thinking they were criminals then why were they saved or how can they be totally innocent, but to know the reality I kept reading it and when I saw the simple basic flaws in the case, I was shocked to see that those things were followed at every stage and no connecting of dots was done, which even a lay man can notice. And by the time I finished the reading, it was as if I have gone through it all and I could not come out of this for several days, therefore I can say that we can not even imagine the pain and state of mind they have gone through while waiting for the gallows in the dark rooms. Please read the following article at the given link, from where some of the lines I am putting here
They came out only in march 2019.
“The men on death row were holed up in tiny, windowless solitary cells with the shadow of execution over their heads. Light bulbs burnt harshly outside all night. The silence would be sometimes punctuated by the piercing screams of fellow prisoners….One of them said life on death row felt like a “cobra sitting on my chest”. Another said he had nightmares about “ghosts of executed men”. For the few hours he was let out during the day, he saw fellow prisoners having epileptic seizures, and a prisoner taking his own life. He battled ulcer pains and received little medical help. “He has lived in sub-human conditions under perpetual fear of death for several years,” two doctors who examined the young man reported.”
in the case it tells that none of them had been to the place ever, where it was reported, they cannot even speak Marathi Properly then forget about Hindi and the evidence written in the case says these guys were shouting in Hindi, and the list of contradiction at the trial level is long, which no body bothered to correct, till the case came in front of Mr Yug Choudhary, famous lawyer form Mumbai. The facts are so horrifying that one was Juvenile and his poor widowed mother did not even had money to visit him every month, he never went out of his areal and was said to be caught from another state. One’s daughter has never seen him after birth therefore she hated him and it was hard for her to accept him as innocent. One’s wife left him for being involved in ghastly crimes. Another one was outcasted by his community for being in Jail and they are happy to find him innocent but still not ready to accept him part of the community. Another one has lost his mental peace and is quite disturbed and it is quite hard for all of them to bear the day light now as they have been put into solitary confinement.
So through this case I want to say that apart from the above mentioned reasons, in many other ways also we are failing as a society, this case also shows it, the attitude of police to catch the innocent poor tribals just for a little amount of money and then we the people just make it all an outcry without knowing whether the persons caught are actually culprits or not, and same thing works with lawyers and judges, who do not even bother to read the evidences presented to punish them, and make the mind to punish them, then we find that the real culprits are out of it all and just busy making other plans to spread crime in the society and the process goes on and crime gets shelter of the law implementing agencies.
We as a society fail again when we open our mouth only when something is wrong with us otherwise we do not do it. It happened with me last year when I was being a Brand Ambassador for Save the Girl Child Scheme, came ahead to get a Tribal Girl back from her kidnappers, she was around 17 years old and the guy was already married who took her away and married her with false documents made with the help of Police. When we went to the Police station the In-charge of Police Station abused the parents and tried to manipulate and threaten me, thinking that this way this girl will stop supporting these people and case will be over here. But when I did not stop there and insisted on lodging an FIR he had to do it but along with that he entered my name in the Daily Diary and wrote that this girl came to the Police Station and threatened the Incharge, rather the fact was that he said “i can put you behind Bars Madam, so better you leave this case here only”. But anyways we got it done now they were not ready to act as per the law says, therefore we set on protest and all the officers and politicians tried to say that I must not do this because it is against the Government and as an Ambassador I must work for the Government.
Here Police started threatening my relatives, since they could not threaten me. And people who used to speak a lot, or who were part of this scheme or who were part of the Child Right Committee at the District were not ready to take the case in hands saying that she might be 18 years old as well.
Here I have four things to say
One – why do we have to speak only when we are into trouble and why do we get such foolish ways to get out of anything?
Two– If I am working for Save and Educate the Girl Children of my area then taking this case in hand would rather favours the Government if they put any positive and lawful efforts in finding out the girl and in no way it is against it. Then why the people, officers and politicians stayed away from this.
Three– Even if it is the case of running away and not kidnap, then too we must come together to bring the girl back and present her in the court and if she is a minor then the person is still guilty and also he is already married therefore no way he can marry her of live with her. I want to ask here to those saying this, that — had your reaction be the same if your daughter would have been at the place of this girl?? I asked this from one police officer who was threatening me the most and trying to contact my relatives to stop me and he just got furious, how dare I take the name of his daughter. Then if you cannot even imagine such a situation with your daughter, then how does your conscious allows you to do that or say that with the daughter of a poor man?? we need to ask this to ourselves.
Four- Neither the opposite side nor the Police had the proof for the same then how come we can say that she was 18. But i say that even if the girl is 18, we need her back to be presented before the court and CRC must play its role in asking the court to present it and court would order the Police and Police will be bound to act. Rest is the responsibility of the court, we are none to say that she was 18, without proof. We will never do that for our family members then why for the poor people?
Finally I want to say that if we want to stop the crime rate in the society then we need stronger laws but they will work only when the implementing agencies will work properly, and they will work properly only when we as a society will be aware, full of Human values, will ask right questions, at right time, to the right person and when we will not wait for our turn.