Instances of miscarriage of justice are many in India. Sometimes, such instances arise due to gross negligence by the police in the investigation. Sometimes, due to wanton fabrication of evidence and violation of the legal procedures to be followed during the investigation.
Such instances continue to take place and even increase in number because of the lack of fear in the police officers that action might be taken against them for miscarriages of justice caused by negligence or mala fide actions or inaction.
There has been a worrisome increase in the number of such cases ever since terrorism made its appearance in the early 1980s.Calls for ruthless action against terrorists and zero tolerance of terrorism have unfortunately created an impression in the minds of sections of police officers that any methods are good methods for dealing with terrorists and terrorism. Political tolerance of the use of illegal methods in dealing with terrorists has added to the belief that the police can take liberties with the law and procedures while dealing with terrorism.
One has to be firm and ruthless under the law in dealing with terrorists, but one cannot go beyond the law in dealing with them. One has to use the might of the law against them, but one cannot use illegal methods and procedures during the investigation. Use of such methods and procedures prove counter-productive.
Since many of the acts of terrorism committed in India are by jihadis, innocent Muslims have often been the victims of mala fide investigation. Instead of controlling terrorism, it aggravates it by adding to the anger in the Muslim community against the police and other investigating agencies. It becomes a vicious circle. The more illegal the methods used by the police, the more the terrorism. The more the terrorism, the more illegal the methods used by the police.
A shocking instance of such wrongful action and miscarriage of justice has been brought to notice after 16 years by a Division Bench of Delhi consisting of Justice Ravindra Bhat and Justice G.P.Mittal. In a judgement delivered on November 22, 2012, it has acquitted two Kashmiri Muslim convicts who had been awarded death penalty by the trial court in a case relating to an explosion in the Lajpat Nagar Market of New Delhi in 1996 in which 13 persons were killed. Another convict’s sentence was reduced to life term.
It is a horrendous case because if the court had not noticed the wanton miscarriage of justice by the police, three persons might have been executed by the state on the basis of evidence of questionable value and authenticity. It was not a case of the police unconsciously using such evidence, but wantonly using such evidence in full knowledge of its lack of authenticity in order to obtain a conviction.
The judgement has said: "Police have not maintained minimum standard of probe in the case, test identification parade (TIP) was not conducted, statements of vital witnesses were not recorded. There was also absence of (police) daily diary entry in the case." The court has observed that there was casualness in the investigation of the case.
While we have taken many steps to improve the quality of intelligence collection and physical security, we have not succeeded in improving the quality of investigation. This has had two results. Firstly, an increasing number of undetected cases. Secondly, instances of the use of wrongful methods and miscarriage of justice in cases which are claimed to have been successfully detected.
After the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai, the government had set up the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to improve the quality of investigation. Despite this, the number of undetected cases has been increasing. This judgement has drawn our attention to a serious case of miscarriage of justice due to bad investigation in the year 1996-- sixteen years later. One does not know how many more such instances remain unnoticed or undetected during the prosecution and trial.
It is important for the government to go into this and take corrective action to prevent a recurrence of such instances. There is a need to improve not only the quality of the investigation, but also the quality of the supervision over the investigation by senior officers.
B. Raman is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: email@example.com Twitter @SORBONNE75)
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Our home minister Mr PC says it is wrong for the Muslims protest because they are time again framed,killed or sent to gallows.He would not say that his caste Chettiars are targetted!
Who is going to compensate the 16 years of ignominy and torture.Police simply frames at the behest of RSS and this cruel charade goes unabated and unchecked by all Govts including the biggest charlatan Congress.
In this scheme of things two things happen.One- the real culprit(most of the cases RSS and its affiliates) escapes and the Muslims get bad name further polorizing the people that would yield rich dividents for BJP the political arm of RSS.
Well Mr Raman knows all this and this article is antipodal to his purpose and that is intrguing.
Mr Raman knows well that he and his cohorts did the same police is bent upon doing with absolute impunity.Any Muslim is game for them.IB is after innocent or unconnected Muslims to frame on terror charges.Sometime in CBI too.Samjuta Express is one good example.After Aseemanand confession they had been released.There are several cases in which Muslims have been wrongly convicted to be released by higher courts.In many other cases they ahve been sent to gallows.Who does this framing in the intelligence and police?There must be a motive and what is that?This is simple over zealousness.There is an elborate planning that goes on in the selection of target before framing.
In all crimes motive need to be established.The only beneficiary is RSS and its affiliates.if they are brought in to surveillence most of these crimes will not happen as they are the ones who commit and the plan to frame Muslims gets underway by their people in the administration.
In Malegaon two bajrang Dal activists were killed while making bombs.But there is no arrest of any Bajarangis to this day.Had it been any Muslim organization they would have been banned and tortured in police custody.
Mr Raman as a former intelligence official knows all these and it is surprising that he is changing tack.Perhaps his guilt conscience is getting the better of him.
> "innocent Muslims have often been the victims of mala fide investigation. Instead of controlling terrorism, it aggravates it by adding to the anger in the Muslim community against the police and other investigating agencies...."
As can be expected, this topic dominates Muslim blogs and other news Muslim outlets.
>> In a judgement delivered on November 22, 2012, it has acquitted two Kashmiri Muslim convicts who had been awarded death penalty by the trial court in a case relating to an explosion in the Lajpat Nagar Market of New Delhi in 1996 in which 13 persons were killed. Another convict’s sentence was reduced to life term.
Unfortunately we hear these kinds of stories just too often.
"Even Kasab MAY have escaped if he were Indian."
Kasab WOULD CERTAINLY have escaped if he were female.
There should be no surprise or shock over how this case unfolded over the years. In name of secularism and propriety, even Kasab may have escaped if he were an Indian.
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