“The legal system has made life too easy for criminals and too difficult for law abiding citizens.” This is the feeling not of some social scientist, political commentator, or applicant or respondent frequenting courts of law, but of the court itself. And that too the highest palladium of justice viz. the Supreme Court. The feeling of the court came to light during the hearing of Lalit Narain Mishra murder case. Lalit Narain Mishra, a towering political leader of Bihar, was done to death in a devastating bomb blast at Samastipur Railway Station when he was participating in a programme over there as Union Minister for Railways 37 years ago. This case is going on since then. During its hearing on 17th August, Justice HL Dattu and Justice CK Prasad said, “Judiciary is not responsible for this delay rather (the counsels of) the accused who are lingering the case for such a long time are responsible” and that “we can only say that our justice delivery system is responsible for it.” (The Hindustan Times, 18th August)
This feeling is common
The fact that our justice delivery system is faulty from different angles; that getting justice under this system is very difficult; that there are many ways for legal evaders to linger; there are many chances for counsels to do hair-splitting and gimmicking; the poor and weak party does not get justice in spite of being on the truth while the powerful party in spite of being the real culprit wins the battle, has not been said for the first time. However up till now this fact was expressed by the law abiding citizens; it is as if this is the common feeling. But this is perhaps the first time that two learned judges of the Apex Court have said this in a candid and unambiguous manner. Most often evading the law begins from the side of the police. – However to the gentle citizens this problem does not confine to the department of law and courts alone; they face it in almost every field of collective and administrative life. For example, those paying the income tax honestly are considered foolish or even dishonest. The same is the problem with those paying electricity and water bills.
If seen minutely
If the statement of the learned judges is analysed minutely, the situation would emerge that life here is difficult for the citizens who abide by laws and provisions and lead a gentle life while it is easy for those who lead life otherwise. And also, that the basic faults lie in the collective system. And it is so because the laws formulated are man-made. The entire system of life has been devised by men according to their wisdom. That is, the will of the power who is the creator and master of this universe and everything else therein including human beings has not been accorded importance in devising these laws. Experts agree to the point that human wisdom is not perfect; it is faulty from different angles. It is totally faulty especially in the matter of devising laws. This is why the need for amendment to the laws is felt time and again. This fact can be felt right from the trial of Lalit Narain Mishra murder case to the 2G Spectrum scandal. It is not known whether or not the learned judges ever pondered over this fact. Even if they did not do so, they have accepted at least one part of this fact by conceding to the fault lying in the justice delivery system. Now it is the duty of the propagators of the truth to talk to them during its further stages.
28/ 08/12 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf