Editorial: Law only for poor, rich mostly gets escape – ‘Death Penalty only for Dalits and Religious Minorities’: Survey

By: Iftikhar Islam 

We know the sluggish judicial system of India offering “justice” to the citizens after making them wait for long years – wasting the career of students and young professionals – without any compensation. Those who believed (including me) “law is equal to all” should get a shock after knowing the findings of recent study of National Law University. 

“A recent study by the NLU that has researched death row convicts since 2000 has found that of the 1,617 prisoners sentenced to death by trial courts, the capital punishment was confirmed in only 71 cases. While 22 convicts were acquitted, in the case of 115, it was commuted to life” the Times of India reported. “A first of its kind study, which has analyzed data from interviews with 373 death row convicts over a 15-year period, has found three-fourths of those given the death penalty belonged to backward classes, religious minorities and 75% were from economically weaker sections.” The TOI added.

The research shows as many as 93.5% of those sentenced to death for terror offences are Dalits or Religious Minorities.

As reported by The Hindu “In all, just 59 cases of the original 1,790 — or fewer than five per cent — were confirmed by the Supreme Court. In all, a third of death sentences given by trial courts resulted in acquittals at a later stage”. The Times of India report says “between 2000 and 2015, 1,617 were sentenced to death by the trial courts - 42% of them from UP and Bihar. The conviction rate, however, at the stage of high courts and the SC was much lower at 17.5% and 4.9% respectively. Most death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment or acquitted.”

According to Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, “only 1% of the people can afford a competent lawyer. Afzal Guru hardly had any legal representation at the trial court stage”. If this is the case of our Judicial System, then on whom should the poor and marginalized people rely upon? Which door should people knock for justice in India? We know justice delayed is justice denied. 

The basic principle of our Criminal Jurisprudence says “let the 100 culprits go free, no innocent should be convicted” but in reality we realize that law is imposed only on poor and some sections of the society, while the rich and influential persons get away from the clutches of law. What happens when the innocents are acquitted after a long period of time? Who care about the ‘life-less’ parents, ‘widow-like’ wife, ‘father-less’ children and broken homes? What compensation the honourable courts grant them for the loss occurred? Not even monetary compensation is given, and can mere ‘monetary benefits’ be considered as compensation? What action is taken against those officers who have misused the power? What steps are taken to find the real culprits?

Source: The Times of India
When the Court acquits any accused the file gets closed. Why not the honourable courts direct to find the real culprits who were behind the crimes committed? What about the particular incidents happen in the country? Who has plotted them? Merely acquitting the person/s is justice (and that too after a long period of time)? 

There are many bomb blasts take place and police arrests few youths mainly targeting a particular section of the society. After couple of years the youth are acquitted and the case is closed. What happened in case of Akshardham Temple (Gujarat) Attack? It was attacked on 24 September 2002 and the honourable Supreme Court acquitted all the accused on 16 May 2014, after 14 long years! What about Malegaon Blast (2006), Mecca Masjid Blast (2007), Ajmer Dargah Attack (2007), Samjhauta Express Bombings (2007), Malegaon & Modasa Bombings (2008) and the list goes on… 

When the accused were not involved in the blast then who has planned and executed it? How can our honourable courts are so lenient in the issues like terrorism, when they are so serious in solving this problem? Unless we investigate the incidents in detail and till the end, the problems don’t end. The honourable Courts by suo-motto should direct the concerned officials to reinvestigate the case when the accused gets acquitted.

We need to work out strategically and come up with the solutions and impose law equally on all the citizens. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "The previous nations were destroyed, because they let off persons of high rank and punished the poor and the helpless".

No comments

We accept critical comments. However, comments that includes unparliamentary language gets deleted.

Powered by Blogger.