RECENT INSTANCES OF MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE IN INDIA
Justice is the building block of a society. If justice is not delivered or is failed to be delivered then the society can fall apart easily. It is an essential part of an individual’s life. The whole judiciary and the system of courts have been set up so that this essential element is fulfilled by free and fair means. If something unjust happens to an individual then he/she urges that the unlawful act that has been committed against him/her gets justice in the eyes of law. The chain of courts and the judiciary has been set up so that justice is provided by following proper regulation in a free and fair manner. “The judiciary and the courts are an instrument that helps safeguard justice.” This aspect helps build up trust amongst the government and the citizens and provides the citizens with a feeling that they will be protected from all the unlawful acts. If the court somehow fails to provide justice then it would transfer and promote a wrong image of the judicial system. It would show the incapability of the judicial system and would break the trust between the citizens and the judiciary. If justice is miscarried it can certainly create turmoil amongst the citizens and ruin the entire democracy. There is no doubt to the fact that delivering justice is one of the most difficult tasks as the duty of the court does not end just after dictating a verdict; it has to check that the verdict as delivered is true in its sense of application too. It is important that justice is delivered in its true sense and to do so one has to delve deeper into every factual situation of the case and has to ensure that the party involved experiences a sense of justness and perhaps that there is no miscarriage of justice. Miscarriage of justice might affect people at a larger stage and create doubts in their minds regarding the judicial system and its capabilities.
II. What is Miscarriage of Justice?
In recent times there have been a lot of cases where justice was not delivered as it was expected. There was a huge bridge between the expectations of the parties and the verdict delivered. Thus, this faultiness at the end to the judiciary to act just can be called as miscarriage of justice. In this, the innocent might be held guilty whereas the guilty might set free. This miscarriage of justice has extensively increased in the past few decades due to various reasons. The first and biggest reason could be human error in criminal cases. Cases of miscarriage are predominant in the criminal law cases where there are a high chance and stake of human error such as faulty eye witness among others. The next reason for miscarriage can be malpractices at the end of prosecutors and the defence counsel. The cases of miscarriage of justice are increasing majorly because of the malpractices of the defence counsel. The next major reason is the misconduct and the malpractices at the end of police and other government officials. As per a report in India, major rape cases are not solved or not looked into just because of the misconduct of the police and various other officials. These were few reasons for miscarriage of justice and it is the responsibility of the state to reduce these causes to the maximum and promote and deliver justice to its citizens. The state should build up proper committees to form a remedial method to provide proper justice. There have been several cases that have helped in building up the required framework such as Babloo Chauhan @ Dabloo v. State Govt. of NCT of Delhi. It helped in the proper recovery of the victims that were wrongfully confined and prosecuted to live a normal respectable life as any other human being. After this case, a special committee was also formed that would take care of the innocents and help them lead a normal life. Another important case that helped build up a remedial system was Rudul Sah v. the State of Bihar. In this, the Supreme Court of India declared that all the innocents who have gone through long, extensive, and poor investigations will be compensated in every aspect whether it was because of misconduct of government officials or improper evidence against the accused or humiliation faced by the innocent in the proceedings. Thus, it can clearly be said that miscarriage of justice is an unwanted activity that violates and infringes human rights to a huge extent.
III. Recent Instances of Miscarriage of Justice in India
India has been a house to a lot of criminal activities in the past few decades. Malpractice of various government officials, improper conduct of authorities are a few reasons that have led to an increase in criminal activities further causing the miscarriage of justice at various stages. Some of the recent cases show how justice has been miscarried in India by various authorities.
The case of Parsa Kente Collieries Ltd v. Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limitedis one example of miscarriage of justice. In this case, the leave was granted hastily by the Supreme Court of India without proper discussion with the bench. This case was supposed to be dealt by the summer vacation bench of court but in reality, a different bench heard the case with just one advocate and made the final judgment within the next day. This act of the Supreme Court certainly shows miscarriage of justice as there was a lack of evidence to make up the judgment and there was no proper discussion with the counsel. A different bench independently took over the case and made the judgment in haste when there was no need to do so; this matter could have been dealt with properly as it was not that urgent. This case shows how the court misused its power and abused justice just for the sake of clearing a pending case.
M/s Adani Power (Mundra) Ltd v. Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission and Ors. was another case that showed abuse of power by the Supreme court in the same manner as it was in the above case. Here, the court made the decision and the judgment on an earlier date than that was officially set. Here also there was no need for the court to pass a judgment hastily. The court was biased towards a party that is why it worked according to them and passed the judgment hurriedly. This shows abuse of power and miscarriage of justice by the court and the higher authorities.
The case of Zulfikar Nasir & Ors v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors, popularly known as the Hashimpura Massacre is also a major example of miscarriage of justice in India. In this case, forty-five Muslim men killed in the massacre, who was unlawfully detained by the men of the Provincial Armed Constabulary. These men were unlawfully detained without reasonable justification. So, the high court of Uttar Pradesh declared that the families of the deceased had the right to know the truth and access justice, and attain compensation. But after twenty years the court acquitted all these men on the grounds of lack of transparent evidence. This act by the court shows how it abused its power and did not provide justice in its true sense. Even the court failed to compensate the families for their losses. This case is an example of miscarriage of justice in India.
Not only does miscarriage of justice takes place in court, but it also happens before that too and mostly in rape or sexual assault cases, in which the victim is generally forced to not file a case or a petition against the rapist due to political, family or any other reason. This also indicates failure at the end of the judicial system to provide an adequate support system to the victims. The victims of sexual assault generally do not have accessibility to justice because of the lack of a remedial system. The Nirbhaya rape case (Mukesh & Anr v. State for NCT of Delhi & Ors) is such an example that shows the loopholes in the Indian judicial system. It shows the difficulties and problems that the rape victim has to go through just to attain justice. It took years for the rapists to finally get punished. This case is a recent example that shows the miscarriage of justice in India. IV. Conclusion and Remedies
The above-mentioned cases clearly show the position of India and its judicial system. The country can easily fall apart if this miscarriage of justice continues to be so. To avoid this the government should set up special courts that would make up a proper legal framework and remedial system for these cases. Also, the courts should strictly take into consideration the principle of natural justice. It should not violate and infringe any of the human rights and improve its accuracy of solving cases and dealing with them in a just and free manner. Curative petition and judicial review are some instruments that could further help to regulate the Indian judicial system appropriately. Courts have been a hope for justice for ages and will continue to be so if these instruments are followed properly and more effective instruments like these come into play. These will help the Indian judiciary to work effectively and efficiently and reduce miscarriage of justice.