Is Justice Done
December 16, 2012 to September 13, 2013, was the time when the country waited with baited breath for the fast track court to give its verdict in what was one of the most brutal of rapes reported in the country. I say reported, because I have no doubt that similar or more heinous crimes happen that go unreported. I had earlier shared my views on this here and now once the verdict is done, I have some more thoughts.
In a country where its Prime Minister gets murdered in cold blood (31 October 1984) and it takes 5 years for the verdict and where terrorist like Ajmal Kasab openly holds fire (26 November 2008) and kills hundreds of fellow citizens and it takes 4 years for verdict, this was definitely fast track especially when it involved a common person off the street. Given that it was closed within 9 months, the time it takes for a new life to be born... Should we treat this as symbolic that new justice system has been born and that things will be speedy like this in future?
The parents of Nirbhaya would have waited anxiously for these past months hoping that justice will be served and this case become almost a house hold case. The country had declared their verdict long back and in some sense it appears that the judge just repeated what was already decided in the minds of people. Death in return of gruesome rape and murder, to me seems a perfectly logical sentence.
However interestingly there are these so called human rights activists like The Amnesty international who suddenly wake up and feel that human life shouldn’t be taken away like this. I find this very funny and almost idiotic. To me these organizations have people who probably didn’t get any other sensible job and hence decided to pursue something that will get them enough lime light. You can have people take up gun and massacre hundreds of people and even students, as keeps happening in US; you can have terrorists take away lives of innocent people like they did in 9-11 or 26-11 and you have such criminals like the ones in question or the ones involved in the Shakti mills incident wreck human mind and body and even cause untimely death, but when it comes to sentencing these people for their crimes, suddenly we have these activists emerge from no-where and give some absurd reasoning on how human life is important and on one should not have the right to take it. Life imprisonment is OK, they say, but why, I ask? Why should I pay for keeping them alive? Where do you think the money for feeding all the criminals in the jail comes from? For keeping alive the terrorist like Ajmal Kasab, the state spent upwards of 19 crores of the tax payers hard earned money. In a country where hundreds die due to malnutrition, here we had so much money spent on a terrorist who dared enter our country and killed innocent people and seemingly enjoyed it. Why should I slog day in and day out at my job and pay the taxes to government who these uses the money for upkeep of such people? A very interesting tweet I had recently read was “#PleaseTellMeWhy all terrorist are indian jamai??” So very apt and simple and yet shows so much of frustration what we as common people feel. Movies like “A Wednesday” should become reality and maybe then the society may head towards a path of ridding itself from crime.
Another question people have been raising and I also raised myself is that this particular case got lot of media attention and in a sense the justice was served quickly (by our regular standards). There is still the scope of appeal to higher courts and all that, but at least the first level got cleared reasonably fast. But what about other such cases? Will similar justice and speedy trial be repeated elsewhere? But then later, I realized that we should rather look at this as a new beginning and hope that this will set the right precedence from now on. Things need to start some place and some time, right?
While there is a sense of relief hearing the punishment but at the same time I cannot help but think – is justice really served? They say justice is blind and should rely only on facts. Those who commit crime should be punished and those who don’t should not be. In the current justice I see two issues on this. First is the bus driver. While yes, he was involved in the crime in some sense that he didn’t stop the bus or tried to stop the other people from doing what they did, but at the same time, his crime cannot be treated at the same level. At the same time, the juvenile who while was the most violent of the lot has gotten away almost scot free due to merely being not legally adult at the time of the crime. Does this mean that people can commit crimes just a day before they become 18 and then run away free because they were juvenile then? Also shouldn’t juvenile be looked at alongside the kind of crime done and the general maturity of a person. While unfortunately rape isn’t rare in India but in almost all cases where legally aged adults are involved they still don’t think about using a metal rod and do what this person did. Was that really an act of a “kid”? And compare this person with the bus driver? Is there merit in this person going free in 3 years and the driver getting death penalty?
That some of our laws are archaic is a no brainer, but what are the governments after governments doing about it? What are the courts doing themselves to address the millions of cases pending with them? If only half the money that gets syphoned off due to all the various vote related populists schemes by the governments and various other corruption instances was saved, maybe we will have significant amount in hand to spend in needy places like increasing the police force, increasing the number of courts, having more lawyers etc.
Yes we need more lawyers, but surely not the kinds of Mr. Singh. I can understand that he probably was appointed by the government to defend these people as required by law of the land. But the statements related to government conspiracy and their reasoning not being heard by the court was pure crap. That he will not appeal if there are no more rape crimes, is a totally senseless statement. No verdict can ever cause related crime to just disappear from the face of earth rather it acts as deterrent for future such crimes and people may think twice before committing any. What makes him go against his own daughter and talk in favour of these criminals, is something that I fail to understand. His daughter should probably disown him before he tries any such pathetic acts of burning her for no reason.
In conclusion all I can say is that it is truly tragic that the girl’s life ended in such a way and my heart goes out to her parents, but I hope that with the fast track court’s proceedings being over, things will not catch dust again and die down. The movement that got started in December last year will continue to gain momentum till the society again becomes safe for our mothers, sisters and daughters.