oppn parties Salman: Not Innocent Beyond Reasonable Doubt

News Snippets

  • The Army conducts an operational alert exercise in eastern Ladakh
  • The IAF reopened the Vijaynagar advance landing ground, an airstrip in Arunachal Pradesh near the Chinese border
  • Amit Shah says he never sought to impose Hindi
  • Government bans the manufacture and sale of e-cigarettes in India
  • Mamata Banerjee seeks an appointment with Home Minister Amit Shah today
  • Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee meets PM Modi in what she later described as a government-to-government meeting
  • Supreme Court sets a deadline of October 18 for completing the hearings in the Ayodhya case
  • Pakistan rejects India's request for use of its airspace when PM Modi flies to the US later this week
  • Crude prices fall sharply as Saudi Arabia assures normal production in a few weeks. Prices fall by 5.4% to $65.30 per barrel
  • Sensex tumbles 700 points over fears that rising crude prices will deal a body blow to the tottering Indian economy
  • As Rajeev Kumar fails to appear before the CBI despite several notices, the agency forms a special team to locate and apprehend him
  • S Jaishankar says Pakistan is not a normal neighbour and its behaviour is a "set of aberrations"
  • External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar says PoK in Indian territory and the country hopes to have physical jurisdiction over it one day
  • Barasat Sessions court near Kolkata rejects Rajeev Kumar anticipatory bail application citing lack of jurisdiction as the reason
  • PM Modi celebrates his birthday with Narmada aarti and later has lunch with his mother.
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Salman: Not Innocent Beyond Reasonable Doubt

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
To get a conviction in court against a law-breaker, it is of prime importance that the investigation is done with efficiency and follows defined procedures. For, the law looks only at evidence and the judges decide on the basis of what is presented in the court. The reprieve granted to Salman Khan by the Bombay High court in the hit-and-run case proves that the investigating agencies did a sloppy job. This is reflected in what the court said in its order. The court said that it was constrained to set Khan free because the prosecution had “failed to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”

Judges have always followed the Blackstone ratio while deciding cases – that “better that ten guilty persons escape than one innocent suffer.” This is as it should be. It is the duty of the prosecution to convince the judge about the guilt of the accused. The maxim that no person is guilty unless proved has stood the test of time. Hence it is that in this case, the role of Mumbai police should come under the scanner. How could a police force known to fight the underworld and terrorists with bravery do such a sloppy job in this case? Is there more than what meets the eye?

In cases where the rich and famous are involved, too many wheels turn at the same time to interfere in the investigations. Unbending investigating officers are transferred, witnesses turn hostile or are even eliminated, questions are not asked of material witnesses, lawyers make deals and money changes hands as if it grows on trees. Politicians and NGO’s, who at other times stand with the poor, are found missing or are seen aligned with the perpetrator. After all, who cares for a few slum-dwellers that died?

Turning the Blackstone ratio on its head, one is tempted to say that letting off one guilty not proved innocent in such cases will give rise to hundred such persons. Further, one is also tempted to ask that if the prosecution failed to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt, was the defense able to prove innocence beyond reasonable doubt. This is a fit case to go to the Supreme Court as there are too many loose ends and the apex court might see things differently.