Is The Criminal Justice Delivery System Succumbing To Fearless Accused

Chennai Law Associates


Chennai Law Associates
IS THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE DELIVERY SYSTEM SUCCUMBING TO FEARLESS ACCUSED MORE THAN THE HAPLESS VICTIMS..? Are you sleeping in peace everyday ?? Aren't you afraid ?? I was sleepless last night. I was questioning myself whether we are safe here ?
India Criminal Law
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Are you sleeping in peace everyday ?? Aren't you afraid ??

I was sleepless last night. I was questioning myself whether we are safe here ?

Two brutal murders in last 2 days and almost same kind of incident happened. One in Kolathur area and one in Choolai area (chennai).

Both the victims are some way related to me. I can never take a death news easily and now it's not just a normal death, it's a serious and brutal slaying of innocent women for desire and greed of the culprits for others money.

The first incident happened on 20.11.14 in Kolathur, chennai –

A widow was murdered brutally using wood mounted kitchen knife by an unknown person. It's come to our notice that some jewellery was taken away by the culprit. Case has been registered and the police have started their investigation. She had a cut on her neck and all over her body and there were blood stains all over her house. The deceased person has two sons, one in Singapore and one working in chennai and years back her husband passed away. A neighbour noticed approximately 2 hours after the incident that the deceased was attacked and lying on the floor in a pool of blood breathing her last. She was taken to nearby hospital and was declared dead in hours time.

The second similar incident happened the very next day i.e on 21.11.14 in Choolai, Chennai. A housewife was badly attacked and killed by using a knife by an unknown person. More than 1kg of gold was taken away by the culprit. As far as I know this family had a very hard time in past and were our neighbors once, living in a small house. When all happiness was spreading as her son just got engaged and was getting married in future sometime, this drastic incident has happened. Sadly the deceased also lost her baby several years back and the child was may be less than 3. She was our neighbour. The child fell in a bath tub and lost her life due to asphyxiation. It's sad to note that the deceased couldn't even witness her son's marriage which she was happy and excited about.

Who is to be blamed ?

I will only blame the culprit who has done this heinous crime and perhaps hold the policemen equally responsible for letting something like this to happen. Killing someone for money/gold is not going to justify the need of the accused person in anyway. It's better to earn it by working hard, labouring like what other civilised people do in this society. What I expect from the police is that they shall take necessary steps to investigate the matter and find out the culprits behind this without much delay and render justice to the victim's family.

Coming to a legal point of view –

Are these criminals committing this heinous crimes without any fear of law ?

Fear has become lesser an emotion than greed for money. People have started to believe that once wealth is amassed, all other aspects can be taken care or purchased. This thought has gone to the extent that even the process of law can be abused by spending money and one can get away from the clutches of law if money is thrown at the law enforcers at any or all stages of the prosecution. Even harsh laws like Goondas Act have been legislated to curb the menace of hired killing and criminalization of such acts as a profession. Murder for gain as it is legally called is on the rise due to various reasons. Desire to spend more money and lead a lavish life more than the actual means available to the person so desiring, is perhaps one of the prime reasons for such murders. Yet another reason is the desire to make quick money by any means rather than through truthful hard-work and sincere labour. Lack of patience to build richness and assets over a period of time through proper means is also one of the reason for such desires being born and making a normal mind into an evil one. Rags to riches stories being filmed and imaginary sustenance of such richness even though obtained through shortcut methods is being believed to be true by the literate and the illiterate alike. Even though our former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam asked all the younger generation to dream big, think big and achieve big, many have taken to this advice in the negative sense perhaps.

Aren't they afraid of the punishment they are going to get from the judiciary??

Is the punishment not that serious or justified ??

Do this criminals think that they can easily get away from the due process of law ??

The length of trial, the percentage of conviction, the punishments being outdated and not instilling fear in the accused are all reasons for the accused to believe to live in their present dream rather than be unduly worried about a harsh future. Lack of value based education and the disappearances of the importance of the moral science in schools and the undue importance of money and materialistic objects of luxury such as mobile phones, big televisions, cars and advanced bikes and the huge promotions done by Film stars and sports stars to endorse these luxury products of varied nature are also in one way or the other creating the urge to posses these things knowing fully well that their financial capacity does not permit such possession. Such purchases leads to debts and such debts pushes many a person to take the easy route of crimes of varied nature to clear their debts and to buy peace (according to them). To shun fear while committing the offence, most of the accused take to intoxication at the highest level by use of alcohol and drugs. They do this to ensure no sympathy of any nature should ever visit their mind during the commission of the said offences be it murder, theft or any other crime. Fear of punishment is one aspect and fear to commit such crime and see blood-shed, etc is another. The latter is based on psychological harshness which is being overcome by systematic practice of blockage of sympathy by individuals who resort to such crimes for sheer greed. The law of punishment in a country like ours is more human to the in-human criminals. Reformation of a criminal and the employment opportunities in the jail and the Jail products being sold in a open market are all welcome ideas to tap the under utilized huge human resources lodged in various jails on various terms of sentences imposed by court of law. However the image of a jail and the life inside jail and the Human Rights highlighted for the convicted prisoners is definitely conveying a very light message and comfortable stay except for some restriction on personal movement so far as a criminal in the making is concerned. This view of the author is exclusively personal and is not intended to bring any drastic change in the current system. Present Jails do not instill fear in any accused or even a convict. Present punishments can be subjected to longer legal challenges and entanglement leading to the accused completing his prime of the life freely outside. Speedy trial in criminal justice delivery system has been seriously resorted to by the Supreme and higher courts off-late, particularly in the last 5 years. Conviction percentage in the criminal case is also on the rise now. But the system still remains favorably placed towards the accused as the entire burden of proving the crime is cast on the State and not the wrong-doer, unfortunately under the criminal justice delivery system of our Country. Developed nations have time and again proved to the entire world that harsh punishments and a burden of proof being cast on accused after being charged with the criminal offence have indeed reduced crime rates drastically in their countries. I think to myself as to how the system can be said to be fair by allowing an accused prima-facie culpable as per the police investigation to remain silent throughout the proceeding and force the prosecution to prove each and every aspect of the guilt of the accused beyond every reasonable doubt. It is high time the burden of the prosecution be reduced and the burden of the accused be increased in criminal trial to make the accused more vulnerable to conviction and not hope for an easy acquittal in a criminal trial. Fear has to be born and grown and fear of death or Capital punishment of a few accused according to me is not real fear. Permitting accused to live a lavish life and then be awarded even a capital punishment and wide publicity of such capital punishment have all not resulted in any fear being evoked in the accused of our vast democratic country with vast human rights. More than fear awareness of one's rights and duties and right upbringing of children and inculcating more human values should be taken up as organized programmes by the social welfare and family related Ministries of the Central and State Government.

Disrespect to human life and value for money and material luxuries even at the cost of another man's life has got registered into many such human minds in and around us. We do not know what our friend or neighbor or even a maid servant who comes home, is thinking about our financial growth or other material aspects and what information/news about us is being circulated in our neighborhood particularly with regard to the persons available/not available in the house, locked houses, duration of our trips/visits and many such information's are always found to have been crucial for the accused to have shown their skills at the scene of occurrence. Lack of acceptance of scientific methods like CCTV camera and need for a security in gated and non-gated communities, be it multi-storied or not and above all lack of concern for our immediate neighbours also contribute largely to the commission of such offences repeatedly in Metros. Fault can be found in the Police force mainly for delay in investigation and use of scientific tools for detection and bringing real culprits strictly before a court of law and securing maximum punishment from the court for such accused and increasing the percentage of conviction, etc. But the virus lies widespread in the society and mushrooming of criminals is going unchecked from the social angle by the people in power. Whether criminalization of politics and unrestricted entry of criminals into politics is a cause is also being seriously viewed by the Supreme Court off-late. Prohibition to contest election if convicted for more than two years irrespective of the appeal remedies is a right step in the right direction by the Hon'ble Supreme Court. We will hope for more such judicial activism in the right direction and legislation to curb such menaces and make our country a better place to live in the years to come.

*** Twist in the above said incidents –

Investigators in the second incident that happened on 21.11.14 (Choolai) have found that the husband murdered the deceased and faked the robbery of 1 KG of gold to conceal the crime. A CCTV footage from a security camera at a primary school near the couple's house found that husband/accused returned home at the time of the murder.

And also in the first incident that happened on 20.11.14 (kolathur) – its been suspected that a family member of the deceased has committed the crime. The case is still under investigation and police/investigators are trying their best to identify the accused.

This article took shape in a discussion mode when Advocate AASHISH M DAFARIA raised the above questions on recent incidents of two brutal murders in two days in Chennai and answers are attempted by Mr. M.L JOSEPH, Managing Partner, Chennai Law Associates.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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