Rectify loopholes in criminal justice system

I read the editorial, “A lifetime in prison” (Dec 21) with great interest. The most prominent feature of the Delhi High Court judgement in the celebrated Jessica Lall murder case is the suo motu judicial cognisance of perjurers, collaborators in crime and subversion of the system.

Such judicial hot-pursuit is the need of the hour as demonstrated by some recent Supreme Court and High Court judgements in Zahira Sheikh, Priyadarshini Matoo, Nitish Katara and Manu Sharma cases. The abuse of authority (whether political, administrative, investigative and even judicial indiscretion), connections, power and pelf is often so audacious that the common man’s faith in the justice system is more pervasive than is apparent and every such subversion of justice cannot reach the requisite public and media glare, that the above cases have acquired, to agitate the common conscience.

The manipulation and subversion of justice by spoil brats, wanton criminals and their relatives, collaborators in crime and investigation and even judicial incompetence at lower levels will continue due to abuse of power and pelf and dwindling criminal justice system.


The prosecution is practically ineffective if witnesses can take a U-turn at will. The perjury is, therefore, required to be urgently taken of seriously and effectively addressed. The justice system shall be better served when there is an adequate witness protection programme, minimum scope for perjurers and collaborators in crime to escape, fair, quick and responsible investigations and a sufficiently alert judiciary.

Even the judges who pass casual and so-called “perverse” judgements wherein indiscretion and inadequate appreciation of facts and circumstances of the case is so glaring, as revealed in the recent judgements, should be taken off judicial work and assigned office jobs.


Switch over to plastic currency

In India, the problem of counterfeit notes is increasing day by day. If this problem is not addressed urgently, it will erode the Indian economy. More than half of the counterfeit currency is produced using computers and high quality printers. Switching over to plastic currency is the best solution. It will provide greater security against counterfeiting. Such currency will also last four times longer than the conventional paper notes.

The plastic notes are not only thin and non-porous but also resistant to water, sweat, oil etc. As paper notes are cellulosic in nature, microbes grow on them when they get soiled causing diseases. Moreover, they get mutilated very early and have to be destroyed. On the other hand, if the polymer notes become dirty, they can simply be wiped or washed. Australia was the first country to convert its entire banknote currency to plastic in 1996. Today even small countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have shown interest in this technology.

We should not lag behind and develop the technology of note printing on polymers with extra safety measures. The polymer required for the plastic notes is bi-axial oriented polypropylene (BOPP), which is produced in plenty in India. Switching over to plastic currency will give a boost to the domestic polymer industry also.

NARESH KUMAR, Principal, SSDP School, Noormahal (Punjab)


In the Jessica Lall murder case, the political bigwigs, the high-heeled and the well-connected circumvented justice for a long time by buying and selling the witnesses and lawyers (Editorial, “Justice at last!”, Dec 19). But how long could they derail the God’s will? Manu Sharma and his two friends were at last convicted and sent to Tihar jail. 
Honestly speaking, it is the public outcry that made the media act honestly and come out of its shell in the Jessica Lall case. Under public glare, when any piece of news becomes “breaking news”, the judiciary too comes out of its routine slumber and the long arm of the law finally catches the culprit.

There are loads of cases in the countryside or outreached areas of the cities or small towns that are out of the media’s watch. Most of the time, the victims are unable to reach the media or the public for timely help.

Even in the case involving Gagandeep Singh Barnala, a sitting MLA from Dhuri in Punjab and son of Tamil Nadu Governor Surjeet Singh Barnala, after a few hearings, the victim herself turned hostile. And the evil won over the truth. Consequently, who is answerable for her uninvited defeat? Obviously we, the people are.



As has been found in numerous cases, specially the high profile ones, the victim and the witnesses are intimidated, threatened or lured with hefty sums to turn hostile so that the accused is saved. A law should be enacted to help the poor victims and witnesses. It must be ensured that these people are not harmed and justice is given to them.

The Union Law Ministry and the Law Commission should look into the matter and do the needful by enacting laws so that once the victim or witness gives a statement in sound mind, he/she cannot retract. This will help save the lives of the victims and witnesses.

In doing so, the people who consider themselves above the law can be easily brought to book and justice given to the victims. I am reminded of an old saying, Jab sazayen sakht hoti hain to jurm kum hotey hain!



A series of recent court judgements which had gladdened the cockles of many hearts, seemed to have changed the age-old idiom “might is right” into “right is might”, though for the time being. It will have a deterrent effect on the progeny of the high and mighty having tendencies of committing similar crimes.

Anyhow, it is a wake-up call for the police that they will no longer dance to the tune of political masters. The indomitable role played by the media has borne fruit. It also paved the way for expediting cases that were languishing for many years.

D.V. JOSHI, Bartana (Zirakpur)


It requires great courage to be a witness against a person like Manu Sharma. Almost everyone in this world wants him to be safe from the well-off criminals because money can purchase everything.

The two judges who have given this amazing ruling too deserve salutations. This verdict has proved that justice and truth are still alive.

PIARA SINGH MANAV,Batala (Gurdaspur)



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