“Fiat Justitia ruat caleum or Let Justice be done though the heavens fall” this one solitary verbiage explains the momentousness which has been attached with the notion of “Justice”. Delivery of Justice is not the property or the exclusive right which exists with the state, on the other hand, Justice is the Due, which every individual has as a prerogative right.
John Rawl was not wrong when he claimed that “justice is the first virtue of social institutions”, since time immemorial Justice has been given an exclusive place in human social order. Even our Constitution aims at delivering Justice to every individual residing within the territory of India. It would be not wrong to say that “Justice” is the edifice on which the entire Legal system is based, “Justice” is the goal to which every “law” legislated or delegated aims.
In the recent days, with the evidence of involvement of an intelligence officer, we have heard a lot about the “Ishrat Jahan Encounter”, there have been debates at various levels and forums giving variegated arguments. Some people support that there should be a fair Inquiry into the entire matter others who are more “jingoistic” claim that investigation of a intelligence agency would hamper “The National Security Apparatus” thus making India more Vulnerable and easy targets for terrorists.
I don’t know whether Ishrat Jahan was a terrorist or not whether she had come to Gujarat with a criminal intention or with some other, the only thing which I know is that a nineteen year old teenage girl was killed and as a matter of “Justice” it’s a constitutional right of her family members to know the crime she had committed and the reason for which she was killed and if there is any discrepancy in the entire matter, it should be investigated thoroughly.
The Killing of Ishrat Jahan, above all political debates, concerns the topic of “Police Reforms”, in the recent days there has been a significant rise in the number of encounters which came under the category of “disputed” and not only this in many encounters, it was found out after a judicial probe or a magisterial inquiry that they were not genuine but a clear case of “Fake Encounters” or “Extra Judicial Killings”. The last decade saw a great deal of rise in such kinds of executions, the motive behind such killings were mostly, to get “out of turn promotion” or “service rewards” and in some cases even “Personal” grudges were settled on the pretext of “encounter”. The Supreme Court Judge, Justice Markandey Katju, Commented while hearing the infamous “Dara Singh Fake Encounter case” that cops involved in fake encounters should be “Hanged”, this shows the level to which this lacunae has rooted itself in the Indian Police System.
Even if a person, is charged with committing mass killings the power to punish him for his crime is the prerogative of the Judiciary of the Country. The Police are the custodian of law and Order and are here to protect people and not to kill them. The Supreme Court went further and termed such tainted Police Officers as “Contract Killers”. It is totally a baseless argument that a officer should not be interrogated because he is an “Intelligence Officer”, these kind of arguments neither stand the test of reasonableness nor the test of rationality and nor the test of “Constitutionality”. Our Constitution treats every Individual equal before the eyes of law. On the other hand, such arguments work as encouraging remarks for such “tainted officers”. Article 21 of the Indian Constitution clearly states that no person can be deprived of his life except according to “procedure established by law” and “extra Judicial Killings” are totally in “contravention” with the “procedure established by law”.
A Fair trial and to get Justice is a constitutional right of every individual and every accused has a right to know the reason for his arrest and the charges with which he has been charged. I would end my discussion here with a comment made in the famous case of “R v Sussex Justices, Ex parte McCarthy” that “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done”.