Talking about long-drawn cases in India, there are millions of them that are pending and awaiting justice. One of the historical case is Raj family of Sova bazaar that was a land case involving (Raja Radhakrishna Deb), a land case that is still pending in the Calcutta High Court. This case is pending for about 175 years that came to Court in the year 1833.
Off late, two long-drawn murder cases have been hogging the limelight for quite some time now. First is the Nirbhaya case that has been going on for eight long years (incident happened on December 16, 2012) while the second is the Sheena Bora murder case has been going on from 2015 when her murder case came to light.
Let’s take a look at both the murder cases in detail:
On December 16, 2012, Jyoti Singh, now nicknamed Nirbhaya and her friend Awindra Pratap Pandey got onto a private bus after watching a show of Life of Pi in South Delhi. The night out was supposed to be a fun break from Singh’s studies; she was a medical student who had aspirations of becoming a physiotherapist. Instead, the night turned out one when it was the last time she would ever venture outdoors again. Six men including the bus driver attacked Pandey before brutally beating and raping Singh for an hour, causing irreparable internal damage, before discarding her battered body on the side of the road.
“They tore my clothes and raped me in turns,” Jyoti had reportedly told the police. “They hit me with an iron rod and bit me on my entire body with their teeth. They took away all my belongings, my mobile phone, purse, credit card, debit card, watches, etc. Six people raped me in turns for nearly one hour in the moving bus.”
Two weeks later, Jyoti died. Pandey, though injured, survived.
Singh’s death and the subsequent investigation sparked massive protests and a worldwide conversation. Millions criticised India’s political and criminal justice systems and the country’s historic dismissal of sexual assault victims and survivors.
The second case is of Sheena Bora murder who was allegedly murdered by her mother Indrani Mukerjea and father Peter Mukerjea.
Seven years after the alleged murder of Sheena Bora, the doctor who had examined her skeleton and conducted the post-mortem told a Mumbai court that till date he has not been able to find the cause for her death. Sanjay Thakur, who is a doctor at BYL Nair hospital in Mumbai, had conducted the tests after the skeleton was dug out in 2012.
A witness in the court said that the doctor collected the samples of skin, teeth, hair and bones from the skeleton for the DNA tests. He kept the samples of bone and teeth in one jar and the samples of skin and hair in another. He then handed over the sealed jars to police as it is.
However, when advocate Sudeep Pasbola, appearing for the prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case Indrani Mukerjea inquired Sanjay Thakur on why the cause of death could not be ascertained, he said that since the body was half burnt and decomposed when it was found, the cause of the death could not be ascertained.
Police inspector Vinod Bhagat, while in the witness box, said that he was present at the site when the skeletons were exhumed, however, no FIR was registered.
According to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Sheena Bora, a resident of Guwahati was killed by her own mother Indrani Mukerjea in 2012. Indrani had allegedly killed and disposed off Sheena Bora’s body which was later found by a local villager on May 23, 2012. However in 2015, when Sheena Bora’s murder came to light, the skeletons were re-exhumed and examined all over again.
According to the CBI, the motive behind Sheena Bora’s killing was her demand for a flat in Mumbai. CBI chargesheet stated that Sheena Bora was blackmailing her mother.
While in the first case, even though the day of the hanging of the convicts was fixed for February 2 by the Supreme Court, but due to a last minute hindrance, the hangings were stalled. The second case has been going on as scheduled but in between Indrani fell ill and was admitted to the JJ Hospital. Then she lodged a complaint that the jail authorities were ill treating her. Meanwhile Peter Mukerjea has been granted bail. However, the court has stayed his release for a certain period in which the CBI could drag Mukerjea to the Supreme Court.
It is only in India I believe cases in Court take long time to be solved. While the convicts are fed and allowed to live long, the interest in the case is lost and it goes on lingering.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)