Justice finally dawns

Yesterday, 17th Oct 2006, was a great day for the Indian people. Yesterday Priyadarshini Mattoo's murderer's acquittal was reversed. Yesterday, the judicial system looked at itself in the mirror, and decided to clean the dirt. The High Court is Delhi was shocked how a murderer and rapist like Santosh Kumar Singh could have been acquitted despite all the evidence against him. It was surprised that an accused like him could be cleared on "benefit of doubt." It is clear that some judges, Delhi Police, and even CBI officials clearly played with the evidence to free the murderer, who is the son of a senior police officer. Himself a lawyer, some of his friends are still on his side, and had a brawl with mediapersons outside the court. All said and done, I am relieved that justice is still alive. In justice lies true democracy, and the day the voice of truth dies in our country, we will cease to be a democracy.

Loopholes, however, remain. It took ten years to put one murderer behind bars, though all evidence was against him. Yet, he will pay for it now. If we persevere, and the courts continue to pull up errants, we can make this country a better place. Nowhere is the voice of the common man as loud and clear as in India, let's take advantage of that. We need to support justice, even if it sometimes goes against the ruling class.

The judiciary also needs to put a system in place where this justice permeates to the grass root level. While high profile cases like Priyadarshini Mattoo and Jessica Lal receive a lot of media coverage, what about the crimes against women that happen everyday? Do those cases (if any proceedings are actually initiated) carry on for years on end? Maybe they do. The proposed reforms to the Indian Police system will bring corrupt officers under the scanner. So will the empowering of IAS officers to deny unacceptable orders of their superiors. Let's not forget the implications of the RTI (right to information) Act that empowers Indian citizens. The tools are right there, but their success depends on you and me.
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