Judicial Process? Isn’t that an American or some developed Western Concept? Humein Kya? Humein toh Nyay Chahiye? (What do we care? We seek Justice!).

These lines might amaze you; you may ponder for a while that how are they different? There’s a subtle difference, often justice has been associated with Extra-Judicial Measures when it comes to muscle men. Throughout different decades, we have normalized Encounters and Extra-Judicial Measures in the name of justice, or as they call it, Nyay!

The recent encounter of Vikas Dubey has opened up a Pandora’s Box, it has divided people into those who support it and into those who oppose it. I believe, like every Indian citizen who might have had a run-in with the Indian Police that this was wrong on a lot many levels.

Normalizing such Encounters normalizes Police brutality and encourages them to disregard guidelines and judicial process with impunity. When you support such measures, do remember that you are indirectly adding to their morale to justify another Jayaraj and Fenix.

As a Welfare State, we have always looked out for the welfare of our Population and believe in a Criminal Justice System which is a mix of deterrence and reformation.

The five broad pillars of the Criminal Justice System are 1. The Community, 2. The Law Enforcement, 3. Prosecution, 4. Courts 5. Corrections. In these kinds of Extra-Judicial Killings, a part of the Community tries to rally behind the Law Enforcement; while the rest of the pillars are untouched and thus, the ends of Criminal Justice are never met.

It’s due to a plethora of reasons that people do not believe in the Judicial System, like failures of prosecution, lengthy processes, power-hungry bosses saving their musclemen to name a few. But one must also realize that the scales of justice do tilt towards justice being meted out the person who was wronged. Glorifying Prajapati 2006, Warangal 2008, Hyderabad 2019, and Dubey 2020 as justice being served would only add to the loss of faith in the Judicial System and the Rule of Law.

The Lawyer’s version of the Hippocratic Oath makes him plead the case even for the accused to the best of his potentials as we have often believed that no one is guilty until proven so but believe me that we do not pick up the briefs to help out these Criminals as the perception goes.

Officers of the Court, Lawyers, and the Judges are aware of their duties and try to fulfill it to the fullest of their potential despite impediments. We are human beings and if something holds true for us, it is that we are social animals. Often, we find ourselves judging things emotionally but remember it is our rationality that separates us from the beasts.

Rather than letting our emotions dictate terms, we must look at fast-tracking trials and bettering conviction, for that would instill pride and confidence and a sense of avenging injustice. Means justify the end and not the other way around. This is something where the State can do a lot and make Public Institutions, a place, citizens are proud of and not places of which, the citizenry is scared of.

Wronging someone who has wronged others does not make it right, trying to tell him that he has wronged others and making him repent does. For, if the progenies of the Criminal may feel that they were wronged and pick up the wrong road at the fork, it wouldn’t solve the problems for which such instant justice was sought.

Edwin Sutherland perpetrated that no one is born criminal and criminal traits are developed through differential association; no one is born a criminal; but a lot of circumstances force him to be, the goal should be to reform criminals.

About the author –
Pragyan Mishra is a practicing advocate at the Supreme Court of India and the Delhi High Court. You can find him on 
LinkedIn and Instagram.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

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