My criminal law professor made the following statements in class today;
1) 90% of the acquittals in the country happen because of the lack of evidence even though the people have committed the crime.
2) People in the parliament bomb blast and bombay blasts are being acquitted because of the lack of evidence.
3) Jessica lal and Priay darshini Mattoo resulted in disasters at first because of the lack of evidence.
All this happened, as can be observed in the evidence class. I am in a legal institution, one of the best I must say, and am taught to believe that the law is a failure. Such teaching comes from irrelevant facts. Its not just my teacher, but distinguished law people in the Country like Madhav Menon who make such statements and the parliamentarians sitting at the centre blindly trust them and make the law.
For example: The 142 law commission report says that Convicts are acquitted because the law is not strong. This baseless statement was then used as a justification for bringing in plea bargaining in the Country. Madhav Menon states that the conviction rate in the Country for lesser crimes is as low as 40 % where as the NCRB report states it to be 73.2% in Delhi alone. The Parliament says that Convicts are roaming about freely in the Country.
If you observe the examples above, you will see the usage of the word convict by these law makers. Well, you are a convict only is you have been held guilty by a court and not when you allegedly commit a crime. Such usage has made the common man loose faith in a system that is merely applying procedure. We jump to joy to see a man being convicted but the same is not seen if an alleged convict who is innocent is acquitted. Even though Bhagwati and Krishna Iyer made statements like “its more important not to convict an innocent man than to let a criminal go free”, we don’t seem to follow them anymore. I sometimes feel bad for Manu Sharma. Perhaps he was really innocent and got convicted because of the role of the media and the pressure of the public.
So then there needs to be a way in which crime is reported in the Country. Be it the newspaper or teaching the law. Information must be precise and not a bundle of ridiculous statements that most people would readily believe. As I write this, I feel bad for most of my class who would now be thinking that the criminal system is ‘crap’ and most Convicts roam free.