Let’s find the truth, and not loopholes


The nation is hardly bothered to know whether Bollywood actor Salman Khan was drunk or not. Whether he was driving on the D-day or not? What concerns every citizen of this country is why it took 13 long years for the system to decide a simple matter of fact? Why was the tax payers’ mo ney and prime time on visual media wasted to debate a matter-of-fact issue which, in any progressive society , would have taken a few days to be decided?
After everything is over, there is typical hue and cry and chestbeating about the `botched up’ investigation by police. Nothing surprising or amusing. Like a compass needle that always points towards north, the accusing finger for every ill in our country points towards police. Why did no one talk about it when he was slapped with five-year imprisonment? How could two judgments based on exactly the same set of evidence and arguments be diametrically opposite! Irrespective of whether the investigation was perfect or otherwise, the fact is, that it remained unchanged while the judgment swung from one extreme to the other. Imagine two levels of police set-up taking such a diametrically contradictory stand on the outcome of an investigation.Mayhem would have let loose.Police get 60 days to finalize investigation by collecting every possible evidence most of which is from non-cooperative and hostile sources. No one wants to unnecessarily get entangled in somebody else’s problems. Same system gives 13 years for the defence to search loopholes and technical flaws in the investigation! Finding deficiencies is not difficult in any case.

In fact, if Kasab and perpetrators of Nirbhaya’s rape could afford, and had it been politically correct to defend them, enough deficiencies and technical loopholes could have been found in those investigations too to get them acquitted. Thank God they could not afford.

The battle between prosecutor and the defence is that of un-equals.A lowly paid prosecutor whose job is to stitch hurriedly collected evidence and witnesses, many of whom are reluctant and pliable, is pitched against a highly paid battery of defence whose single-point programme was to find loopholes, deficiencies and technicalities in the investigation and get their client acquitted.

It is disheartening to see the acquitted accused, flashing victory signs and reposing his faith in the judicial system. Every accused claims o let law take its own course but in reality , every possible impediment is put in the way of the law taking its own course. Every accused exploits our criminal justice system to his her advantage by searching loopho es and loose-ends for hisher benefit Not surprising that every accused has full faith in our system. Hisher confidence comes from the ability to delay .

The only person who has little ex pectation from the system is the vic im. Here the victim is left wonde ring what did he get from the system after 13 years of ordeal. Only fault of his was that he was poor and had no capacity to plead his case. Does the responsibility of finding the truth only rest with police?
Expecting a standard of proof “beyond all possible doubt“ instead of “clear and convincing“ to declare any accused as `guilty’ places an un reasonable burden on the prosecu ion and ill-numbered and ill-equip ped police. Let us not forget that we have a collective mandate to find the ruth and not merely the loopholes!

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