Wednesday, October 20, 2021
HomeOpinionDiaryThe “Nirbhaya” and the relevance of legitimacy over law

The “Nirbhaya” and the relevance of legitimacy over law

The Supreme Court has said while rejecting the plea filed by the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) against the release of the juvenile (now adult) convict that its hands are tied by law. The juvenile who was in question committed a brutal crime along with adult criminals provides enough evidence of the gravity of the crime, which should be sufficient for any legal system to use the discretion provided in the system and deliver justice. It’s an apex court’s failure along with our political system which has its drawbacks, completes the sordid picture where the youngest convict “walks free”.

If the current law is the sole influence, it should be noted that the convict had not undergone any rehabilitative programme, which is mandatory by law, the precise reason that raised the question on his release. By this logic, it is quite possible that this kind of convict could repeat the crime, continuing to be threat to women and the society. Since, no one knows the identity of the convict, nor is he a big name in society, it is very much conceivable that he could blend into society easily and strike again, now wiser than the last attack.

The verdict has shown disparity in the punishments awarded to those committed the crime. The most brutal among them walked “free”, while the rest have been sentenced to death. It only corroborates the judicial disappointment.

What is disturbing is the court has not attempted any new interpretation/s of the law to uphold legitimate justice. The top court could have held the juvenile convict till the finalisation of the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill, but it did not happen, whereas the courts showed undue urgency in disposing Bollywood biggies’ and other VIP cases. Selective over-prosecution and non-prosecution of the guilty becomes a popularity contest and not virtue jurisprudence. No wonder, there is no value for life in India which is why people give/get justice outside the system instead of going to courts.

The learned, not so learned, after all
The Rajya Sabha, for its part, by not passing the Juvenile Justice Amendment Bill in time, has indirectly supported “walked-free” convict. Despite the Delhi gang rape happened during the Congress regime, both in the Centre and the State, the party failed to contribute to the amendment perspective of the juvenile law and were busy in disrupting the parliament.

If there is no justice, there should be no freedom. Reform requires integrity, but the integrity has been bought out by the highest and most influential bidder. Just a question of curiosity: Don’t get the age issue. What would be the scenario if an offender is 15 years and 10 months in similar crime in future after the age limit is reduced to 16 years?

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