The concept of justice is as old as origin and growth of human society itself. The social nature of man demands that he must live peacefully in society. While living so, he experiences a conflict of interests and expects rightful conduct on the part of others. This is the reason why Salmond and Roscoe Pound have emphasized the importance of justice in there definitions of Law. According to Blackstone, “Justice is a reservoir from where the concept of right, duty and equity evolves.”1
Justice, means the fulfillment of the legitimate expectation of the individual under laws and
to assure the benefit promised therein. It emphases on the concept of equality. It requires that
no discrimination should be made among the various members of the society.
In B.P. Achala Anand v. S. Appi Reddy & Another , the apex court emphasized on Cicero’s
definition of justice that “Justice is the disposition of human mind to render everyone his due.”
The definition of justice mentioned in Justinians Corpus Juris Civilis (adopted from the Roman Jurist Ulpian) states “Justice is constant and perpetual will to render to everyone that to which he is entitled.”3
The significance of justice is that it acts as an ointment on the wounds of the suppressed class of society. However, when this justice acquires the tendency of revenge it loses its basic components and turns into poison which distorts the whole system of the country.
WHAT HAPPENED IN HYDERABAD?
On 27 Nov. 2019, the most unfortunate incident had occurred namely the rape and murder of veterinary doctor. While investigating the said case, the police had taken into their custody four persons. They are charged under IPC sections 302 (murder), 375 (rape) and 362 (abduction). In order to re-construct the scene of the crime, the police had taken the four
offenders accompanied by armed police personnel in the wee hours of 06 Dec. 2019. According to the information available from the Press, and according to the statement made by the police themselves, the offenders were taken to the scene of the crime between 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., early in the morning. It is further alleged by the police that while the police personnel and the four offenders were at the scene of the crime, the four offenders allegedly tried to snatch the fire arms worn by the police personnel, and allegedly fired the fire arms at the police. Therefore, in an act of alleged self defence, the police killed the four offenders.
People were seen shouting slogans in praise of the Hyderabad Police. Flowers were showered on police personnel. People were seen celebrating the police action in other parts of the country, including the cosmopolitan city of Mumbai. Some politicians too have justified the police action. Mayawati, the former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh said the police action is “commendable” and that justice has been done. However, former Supreme Court Judge Justice Madan Lokur said that such cheerleading is reflective of a serious problem. “The celebrations by eminent persons is a clear indication that they believe that the justice delivery system has collapsed and that speedy justice is not possible, however grave the offence. The views expressed in parliament of lynching in public where perhaps the trigger for that expression. The time to introspect and improve justice delivery is perhaps over- tragically,” Lokur said. defence, causing death is not a crime under the Indian Penal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code. As a benefit of doubt, it is also not yet clear whether the police used all means to capture the accused when they allegedly tried to escape.
From the above act of the police it might be inferred that the act of the police was not an act of self defence but a pre-planned encounter case which was driven by idea of taking revenge in name of providing swift justice.
There is no law that sanctions killing of an accused of any crime, including that of rape and murder. This forms the basis for a robust judicial system. The police are an investigating agency and not entitled to adjudicate cases pronouncing verdict on someone’s criminal culpability. Declaring someone guilty falls under the jurisdiction of the courts. This is a check on police’s action lest they pick up and implicate people to bring a closure to the case.
In People’s Union For Civil Liberties And Another v. State Of Maharashtra And Others. it was held that, it is the constitutional duty of Supreme Court to lay down guideline regarding procedure to be adopted in police encounters because such police encounters affect the credibility of rule of law and the administration of criminal justice system
HOW DOES JUSTICE BECOMES REVENGE
In the Nirbhaya case there is delay in providing justice to the family member who are waiting for the execution of the convicts from more than seven years. This case proves that there is a loophole in the Judiciary. Due to this delay in execution the people are losing their faith from the judicial system of the country. During the proceedings of this case the Hyderabad incident happened which aggravated the anger of the public by adding fuel to the fire. Due to delay in Nirbhaya case we are reminded of a saying by Willam Goldstone,
“JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED.”
The statement by SP minister Mrs. Jaya Bachchan was that the four accused of rape and murder case be brought infront of public and they should be lynched by the public. This is of a nature of taking revenge from the accused who have not even been taken to the court room and declared convicts.
These type of delay and statement take away the foundation of the justice and make it look like revenge instead of avenge.
Justice plays a crucial role in the life of every individual. It not only affects the individual but also gets affected by the acts of the individual. The Hyderabad encounter appears to show that how people’s restlessness can lead lawlessness. Thomas Hobbes himself said that law should be able to keep peace if not, then the society owes nothing to it. If the present court and justice system cannot provide speedy trails, quick access to justice, the society does not owe a duty to believe that it is anything. We cannot blame society for this but the lagging justice system, lack of Judges and slow progression in courts. This happiness in the society for a fake encounter merely reflects this fact that the system is failing and taking form of revenge
DETAILS OF THE TEAM AUTHOR
UTKARSH KUMAR GUPTA
FACULTY OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF LUCKNOW
FACULTY OF LAW, UNIVERSITY OF LUCKNOW