This refers to the editorial “The doubt of the benefit” (Oct. 14) on the Patna High Court’s acquittal of all 26 persons convicted by a lower court for the 1997 Laxmanpur Bathe massacre in which 58 Dalits were killed. The statement “ … money power and muscle power have turned out to be among the biggest beneficiaries of the doubt perceived by the judiciary” is sweeping in nature. The judiciary decides a case on the basis of police investigations and evidence and records produced before it.
The judiciary cannot be blamed for poor or botched-up investigations.
The defect lies with the nature of the criminal justice system — where the judge plays an umpire — which we inherited from the British. The system was evolved when the subjects were weak and the rulers oppressive. Now there is a sea change.
It is time the country changed over to the French inquisitorial system in which the judge plays an active role. The judge should grill witnesses who are unwilling to speak the truth. Let us remember that justice is the objective of the legal system and law is the means to achieve it.
P.V. Ramana Rao,
The Patna High Court verdict is a classic case of porous justice delivery system. Justice should not be a chimera for the downtrodden. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
The common man losing faith in the justice delivery system will ultimately result in a more dangerous state of lawlessness.