‘Lynchings a failure of rule of law’

August 02, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 05:22 am IST - NEW DELHI

Even Kasab got a trial right up to the Supreme Court, says former CJI Thakur

T.S. Thakur

T.S. Thakur

Former Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur on Wednesday said people getting killed by lynch mobs is a “complete failure of the principle of rule of law” and an independent judiciary is essential to protect the Constitution and the rule of law.

Speaking at the launch of former Law Minister Veerappa Moily’s book The Wheel of Justice , the former CJI said, “When we see day in and day out, mobs lynching people, it’s a complete failure of rule of law. If a mob can take the law into its hands and administer summary justice, what kind of rule of law is this?”

“If somebody has committed an offence, law requires that he should be prosecuted. Even the first of our enemies, even Kasab [Ajmal Kasab] the murderer who came to kill innocent people got a fair trial, got a trial right up to the Supreme Court. His Mercy petition was considered and we all know the Supreme Court assembled at midnight to see if any injustice or infirmity has been committed. Why? Because we believe in the rule of law,” Justice Thakur said.

‘Not a civilised act’

“We could have left him on the streets of Bombay [Mumbai] to be killed by a mob but it would have been a negation of the rule of law,” he said. “And if that were to happen, our heads would have hung in shame before the civilised world,” he added.

The former CJI also hinted at the churn in the judiciary and questions being raised about judicial independence.

“Independence of the judiciary is also a contemporary subject and for the past few months, you have seen how this issue has been debated. Questions have been raised and many have remained unanswered and judges have themselves raised questions about the judiciary remaining independent,” he said.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who released the book, said Mr. Moily deals with issues of law from a common man’s perspective.

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