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CENTRE for POLICY ANALYSIS

 

ARTICLE
P.B. SAWANT | 31 JULY, 2015

JUSTICE IN PERIL

The current events have raised some ponde-rable questions relating to our criminal justice system. The system involves three different institutions—the investigating agencies, the prosecution and the Courts. The Courts have to decide the cases on the basis of the evidence, law and jurisprudence. The evidence is collected by the investigating agencies according to their own methods which are inscrutable. The prosecution has to assist the Court by presenting its case as fairly as possible.

How much diligent, sincere, honest and impartial are the agencies in collecting the evidence? Are they upright, or work under some pressure? Are they corrupt, biased, prejudiced or amenable to influences? Answers to these questions determine the truthfulness, adequacy, cogency and assurance of the evidence collected. The next stage is the presentation of the evidence in the Court. How honestly does the prosecuting agency discharge this job? One may raise the same questions with regard to the prosecutor, as are raised in respect of the evidence collecting agency. Is he corrupt, is he amenable to pressure and populism.

Does he indulge in manipulation of evidence, brow-beating and threatening of the witnesses? The code of conduct for the government prosecutor reminds him that he acts and has to act on behalf of the society at large and not on behalf of the government or the prosecuting agency. It is not his duty to secure conviction at any cost, by creating or suppressing evidence. If there is no reliable evidence or if he is convinced that the person who stands accused is not guilty, it is his duty to inform the Court accordingly and not persist in prosecuting him. This is his minimum moral and professional obligation to the society. Do the prosecutors abide by this elementary ethical precept? On the other hand, a great majority of them count their progress on the number of convictions they secure, by whatever means they choose to adopt.

Courtesy: Mainstream Weekly

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