My opinion is not just based on the yesterday’s incident in UP. A lady cop was shown giving instant punishment to an alleged Romeo in the full public view. Romeo reportedly was moving along with some girls. I am aghast at the police action. What is the crime committed by the young man? Under what section of the CRPC was he punished? And who gave the power to the cops to decide the punishment?
This Khap panchayat mentality is all pervasive now. Wrong doers are getting away not because of lack of laws. Policing suffers from terrible shortage of infrastructure plus feudal mindset. Notorious delays in prosecution and justice deliverance are accepted by us because we believe in rebirth. Police adopting the khap system of instant justice deliverance is welcomed by many of the so called educated people too. Because unchecked police’s terror rarely knocks the doors of such people.
This mob mentality is affecting the judiciary also. In a recent case in some dist court in TN, an accused sought bail. The judge bailed him but with a condition that the accused will clear certain numbers of julifora trees (A poisonous tree called Seemai karuvelu in Tamil), get a certificate to that effect from the Village Administrative Officer and produce the same in the next date to the court. I was shocked to find tons of praise for this funny judicial order in the social media.
On the very same day, I posted this in social media:
’’It is an unacceptable order from the judge. How can you punish an accused even before his guilt is proved? Even the convicts cannot be forced to do anything as pleased by the judges or authorities. They too have certain rights.
‘Bail is rule and jail is exception’ is the legal dictum. About 25 years ago, a Supreme Court C bench headed by the great justice V R Krishna Iyer advised the union government to change the bail law dropping anti-democratic and feudal conditions like property/ monetary security and the need of guarantors etc. The state does not care to act in all these years because the people suffering from the archaic law are from the lowest strata. And the feudal/colonial era bail conditions continue merrily’’.
I am really thrilled that the accused challenged the bail conditions (removing julifora) in an upper court. He is a fit citizen of a democratic nation. Only such individuals can check the arbitrary actions of the authorities. And the appellant judge has duly scraped the bail condition and asked the judges to go strictly by law and not be influenced by any extraneous situations prevailing at that time in the society.
This khap system of justice deliverance is affecting the highest judiciary too. Recent judgment on Jana Gana Mana recital in cinema halls is a fit example. A judicial observation - To satisfy the collective conscience of the nation - earlier from a Supreme Court verdict was a judicial over reach and influenced by extraneous happenings.