Scrolling Notification

When I get time, I read or listen to music. If any is left, I blog!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Innocent until proven guilty!

The Association for Democratic Reforms reports that 161 members in the present Parliament have as many as 512 cases pending against them. Of these, 272 involve such crimes as conspiracy, intimidation, trespass, kidnapping, rioting, assault and murder. Thanks to the provision in the election law that allows people charged but not convicted of serious crimes to contest polls as well as hold high office, pending their appeals against the conviction.

Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat..., the legal term in Latin meant that the burden of proof rested on who alleged, not on who denied. When Sir William Garrow summed it up as 'Innocent until proven guilty' way back in 1791, he obviously did not foresee the extent to which it would be exploited by the modern day criminals. This presumption of innocence that anyone charged with a punishable offence had the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, became a cardinal legal principle in many countries including India.

To the criminals, this 'benefit of doubt' soon became a 'benefit of loopholes'. Money and muscle, together with ingenious legal interpretations helped them 'loot the magnanimity' of this legal premise. The slow process of law and the permissibility available to the accused to go on appeal in a higher court, further overburdened the judicial system.

Over forty lakh cases are said to be pending in India's courts of law. At the current rate of dispensation, it is estimated that the Indian judiciary would take more than 300 years to clear the backlog.
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 "When we take law into our hands, the loser is the law.
And when the law loses, freedom languishes."

- Robert F Kennedy

2 comments:

  1. rema.singh12:16 pm

    It is a pathetic situation. Where are we heading to? Is there a government in this country? Are we all zombies?

    ReplyDelete
  2. That many years?? Sad is the only word I can think of!

    ReplyDelete