In search of justice

An ‘aam admi’ like me is perplexed, confused, disappointed and disillusioned by the manner in which the criminal cases in our country are being dealt with. I am no legal luminary (not even basically qualified in that field to venture an opinion), but I have enough awareness to make out that things are not going the way they should be and I, like all others of my ilk, am enraged over and over again seeing the perpetrators of heinous crimes let off free or, at the most, with a perfunctory pittance of penalty.

Teenager Aarushi was gruesomely murdered, but the most powerful premier investigating agency of our land does not find the murderer! The easiest course open for this august agency is to close the case and let it be buried in the mire of myriad such occurrences. Think of the mega scams involving unimaginable sums of public money capable of punching a hole into the country’s GDP — with not even a single culprit being brought to book, let alone recovering the money that is lost to the exchequer. The list is endless.

It is beyond the comprehension of common man even to think of the cases of criminals who continue to enjoy the most expensive security and hospitality of our country despite their waging a war against our nation itself, which have sadly pushed the stature of our legal system to its nadir.

This brings to my mind a singular incident that took place when my father served as a young Amildar during early 1900s, which finds a mention in his widely-read memoirs ‘Kelavu nenapugalu’:

A scamp in a certain village regularly prowled upon young women who frequented the nearby river to bathe and fetch water, teasing and molesting them at his will. Though it was reported to the taluk police, nothing could be done since the offender was from a politically-connected family in the neighbouring village. My father, who was initiating action in the case as the jurisdictional magistrate, was surprised to find that this menace had suddenly ended and no further complaints came in. Getting suspicious, he made confidential enquiries which revealed that the culprit had been caught by the villagers themselves in his odious act and after a fair and secret trial by the village court (to thwart influential interference and to protect the honour of the female victims), he was awarded capital punishment which was duly executed and the body was disposed off in the flooded river rendering it untraceable!

In the prevailing situation in our country, is there any wonder if the morally-defeated citizen today is driven to become cynical enough to be convinced that the above incident sounds less barbarous than allowing criminals to roam free?

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