Indeed, we sent Our Messengers with clear signs, and sent down with the Book and the Balance, that people may uphold justice, says the Qur’ān (57:25). The Constitution of India in its Preamble itself speaks about justice as the fundamental principle of our governance and political system. Judiciary along with Legislature and Executive is one of the pillars of democracy.
A few months back, a retired Judge of a High Court, commenting on the status of justice delivery in India, observed that the judicial system is so tedious, time consuming, complicated and expensive that most of the people do not dare to approach judiciary to get justice. Such people curse themselves and speak negatively about justice in India. The wearer of shoes knows where the shoe pinches.
Some more examples show how difficult it was to the victims of anti-Muslim pogrom of Gujarat 2002 to get justice. Getting justice and punishing the perpetrators, who include murderers, arsonists and rapists, is almost impossible. Or, you will have to spend your whole life for it. One of the examples is Bilkis Bano who, with the help of Teesta Setalvad and a number of human rights activists, fought tooth and nail for two decades to get a semblance of justice for the victims. Also see how an honourable Judge of the apex court cast aspersions against activists like Teesta Setalvad and Sreekumar and a vengeful police, on the instructions of a less than responsible administrator, spring to action to teach a lesson to those who fought for securing justice to the victims. It is a long long battle which may require your whole life. The three to four thousand victims of anti-Sikh riots of 1984 are still fighting to get justice and get the culprits of heinous and inhuman crimes punished.
Ask a question to yourself. Leave the cases of those who died and suffered during the most shameful carnages and massacres during the partition of the country. Just count from 1980 to 2020, a period of 70 years. Can anybody cite at least one example of a murderer getting hanged for his anti-human crimes? Why our system is so inefficient that culprits go scot-free and victims continuously cry to get justice.
When the Supreme Court has explained that bail is the rule and jail should be an exception, why journalist Siddique Kappan had to fight for two long years to get a conditional bail? We know that fictitious charges have been levelled against him. Why fact-checker Mohammed Zubair had to get a temporary bail from the Apex Court with great difficulty? Is it possible for lesser mortals and poor and resourceless people to bear the cost of approaching the elevated portals of the Apex Court. Before Judiciary the motto should be “Do justice even if heaven falls. Do it without fear or favour.”
We are faring very badly in Human Development Index and also on democracy, freedom and delivery of justice. These things require the utmost attention of our intellectuals. It should be done before people lose faith in your systems and rebel.