Free 780 words essay on JUSTICE DELAYED, JUSTICE DENIED? for school and college students.
On 16th December 2012, a young physiotherapy student in New Delhi, India, alighted on a bus bound to her destination. Sometime later, she was thrown off the bus, bleeding and terribly mangled from the most brutal gang rape the country has seen in recent years. The accused were tried, sentenced, and tried again, and five years later, the final verdict of death sentence was released on 4th May 2017. While the country rejoiced the just action, the question still arises: is it fair that it took so long to mete out proper justice to perpetrators (who admitted their crime) of a crime so violent that the courts unanimously labeled it a ‘rarest of rare case’ that ‘shook the collective conscience of India’?
The answer to that is not an easy one. True, when a crime occurs, we want speedy justice, we demand retribution, and a fast one at that. On the other hand, we also want real justice, not just see our anger find a vent and a victim. In this article, let us analyze the veracity of this common legal phrase: justice delayed is justice denied.
JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED
Failure of the government
Delivering efficient and speedy justice is one of the fundamental duties of any government. If the government fails to do so, under any circumstance, it is filing in its duty to protecting its citizens against further criminal activities. It is also failing to issue a warning to potential criminals, effectively becoming incapable of checking unlawful activities in the nation it is responsible for.
Loss of evidence
When the judicial system takes too long to investigate a case and mete out proper justice, evidence gets less and less reliable. Documents are lost, witnesses pass away, and prosecuting parties run out of money. There is also more scope of tampering with evidence, and further threat of harm to witnesses and prosecutors.
Loss of meaning
A legal case in the courts involves detailed investigation and a lot of back and forth between the parties and their lawyers. The accused cannot be held in custody until they have been definitely convicted. In the intervening period, the accused, who is till the conviction virtually innocent, lives a normal life, holding jobs and having a family. When justice is finally meted out, the effect is naturally a lot diluted. In 1994, senior police officer Sumedh Singh Saini was accused of murdering Vinod Kaur. Twenty years later, the case has not been solved, and in the meantime, Saini continues his post in government service, while Vinod’s family has had to move base due to death threats. When justice is finally meted out, if at all, the guilty will have a very short sentence to serve, and the prosecutors might not even be there to enjoy the benefits.
JUSTICE HURRIED IS JUSTICE BURIED
Correct degree of punishment
For proper justice to be meted out, everything must be taken into account to ensure the fairest trial. The accused needs to be given a chance to explain their actions, which allows the court to decide on the magnitude of the crime and the subsequent punishment. For instance, a person accused of murdering another will be given a shorter sentence is he killed in self-defense than one who killed to gain property.
A stint in prison has long-lasting effects on the accused and their family, so it is necessary that no innocent person is ever convicted. It is not uncommon to see an accused being actually framed by the real perpetrator, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Determining the absolute truth from available evidence takes time, and being hasty here will simply obstruct justice.
Redressal of grievance at any time
The victim of a crime might not always be able to appear in court and demand justice immediately after the crime is committed, especially in the case of a physical assault. It would be gravely wrong to pass a sentence on the accused- of conviction or acquittal, without hearing the story from the victim first. In such cases, it is imperative that the court take its time into further investigations and stall the process of passing verdict till such time as the victim is able to testify.
It is not easy to decide what should be the proper course of action when a crime occurs. Justice should not be so hasty that it is not justice at all, and it should neither be so slow to come that the perpetrator never pays for their crimes at all. The process of investigation should begin as soon as a complaint is filed, and all measures must be taken to speed up the final verdict without losing effectiveness.