oppn parties Nirbhaya Case: Justice Done, Time To Revisit The Judicial Process

News Snippets

  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
The plot thickens in Rajasthan. Sachin Pilot removed as deputy chief minister and PCC chief. His loyalists dropped as ministers.
oppn parties
Nirbhaya Case: Justice Done, Time To Revisit The Judicial Process

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2020-03-20 13:05:16

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

Finally, justice has been done. The Nirbhaya rapists were hanged at 5.30 am today in Tihar jail after they exhausted all legal remedies available to them. It took more than seven years for the final closure of the case and it raised several questions about the laws, the legal process and the way in which defense lawyers tried to pick loopholes in the system. If one believes that the certainty of justice is more a deterrent than the severity of punishment, the Nirbhaya case provided proof that the law needs to be revamped so that criminals and their lawyers do not delay the process interminably. The whole country watched in disbelief as several death warrants came to naught due to the mechanisms of the defense lawyers who tried every trick in the book to delay the inevitable.

The first rule that needs revision is the one in the jail manual in Delhi that provides that if more than one person is awarded the death penalty in a single case, all of them are to be hanged together. It was this rule that allowed lawyers to file individual petitions for each of the remedies available to the death row convicts separately and delay the process for more than five months. Either the jail rule should be revised to provide for individual hangings when every remedy is exhausted for each individual convict or the relevant law should be changed to provide that if more than one person is awarded the death penalty in a single case, they have to jointly use all remedies available to them. As the latter will be difficult to implement, the jail rule should be revised forthwith.

Then, there are many layers of petitions and objections and curative petitions that the death row convicts can avail of. Some of these appear frivolous and are just used to delay the process. The whole process needs a thorough reexamination by legal experts and the Law Commission. There should be a predefined guideline with timelines that death row convicts can avail of as legal remedy once the Supreme Court confirms their sentences. No deviation should be allowed from that guideline under any circumstance. That would ensure that everything is transparent and defense lawyers cannot discover newer loopholes just to delay things and make a mockery of the legal process.