India's Wonky Judiciary

19/12/2014 8:01 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

A lot has been said over the last few days on the horrific incident, yet again, in Delhi. The guns have been trained on a world famous taxi app for putting innocent lives in jeopardy, and the Delhi Government, in a typical knee-jerk reaction has banned such services till further notice, thereby leaving the hapless people to fend for themselves in the absence of enough creditable modes of transport.

While we may blame the foreign hand, the problem lies closer. It's the Indian Judicial system which is also under the scanner. The alleged accused was a serial rapist, and was out on bail for the last so many years. He had serious charges against him, and yet, he roamed free, managing to hoodwink the law so brazenly.

There are millions and millions of unsolved cases pending at all levels of courts, all across the country, with just dates being handed out as next steps. Under trials have spent more time in jail waiting for the trail to start, than they would have otherwise spent, had a judgment been passed. A judgment in a high profile murder case took forty years (no kidding) to dispense justice, with a caveat of an appeal in the higher courts. 'It's not over till it's over', is an apt description of our 'honourable' judicial system.

There is an urgent need in the country to revamp the judicial system. It has been brushed under the carpet many a times under the guise of contempt of court. There are countless cases where high ranking judicial officers have been spared either in the garb of 'no evidence' or 'contempt of court'.

In the 65 years of independence, only two impeachment hearings have happened, despite so many fit cases where there was ample proof of wrong doings, including a case involving the former Chief Justice of India, who is now an 'honourable' member of the Human Rights Commission!

Over the last few years, we have been able to make small but significant strides with regards to the political reforms in the country, and have managed bring some sort of transparency, though we still have a mountain to climb, but unfortunately, in the case of judiciary, the powers to be have successfully managed to stonewall all such efforts, taking refuge in the labyrinth systems and laws which define the Indian judicial system. In layman terms, we still have no sight of the mountain to climb!

So, the need of the hour is surely to bring about the much needed judicial reforms and accountability, for the sake of Democracy we claim we live in, else we may be heading into a banana republic with criminals running wild in the absence of a credible judicial system, and serious crimes will just be just statistics, and the adage 'Justice delayed is justice denied' may be inscribed in our national emblem.

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