Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde
File image of Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, the Chief Justice of India | PTI photo
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Jodhpur: In the backdrop of the Hyderabad rape-murder incident and gunning down of the four accused in an alleged encounter, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Saturday said justice can never be instant and loses its character when it becomes revenge.

At the same time, he admitted that the recent events in the country have sparked off an old debate with new vigour, where there is no doubt that the criminal justice system must reconsider its position and attitude towards the time it takes to dispose of a case.

“But I don’t think justice can ever be or ought to be instant, and justice must never ever take the form of revenge. I believe justice loses its character of justice if it becomes revenge,” the CJI said during the inauguration of a new building of the Rajasthan High Court here.

The CJI’s remarks came a day after the police claimed that all the four accused in the rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad were shot dead in “retaliatory” firing by the cops when two of the accused opened fire at them after snatching their weapons and tried to escape from the site where they had been taken for a reconstruction of events as part of the investigation.

Also read: Another culprit must share the blame for Hyderabad encounter – Indian media

Addressing the event here, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad urged the CJI and other senior judges to ensure that there is a mechanism to monitor quick disposal of rape cases, saying that the women of the country are under pain and distress and crying for justice.

“I would urge the CJI and other senior judge that now there must be a mechanism to monitor the disposal of these cases so that India’s stature as a proud country governed by rule of law must be restored at the earliest,” Prasad said, and assured government funding for it.

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The Hyderabad incident had sparked demands of swift punishment to rape convicts. The news of the ‘encounter’ killing led to celebrations in some quarters and concern in others.

The four accused were arrested on November 29 for allegedly raping and killing the 25-year-old veterinary doctor by smothering her and later burning her body, an incident that led to widespread outrage and brought back memories of the December 16, 2012 Nirbhaya case.

“The women of the country are under pain and distress. They are crying for justice,” Prasad said.

The minister said there are 704 fast-track courts for heinous offences and others and the government is in the process of setting up 1,123 dedicated courts for POCSO and rape offences.

Also read: Unnao woman’s family demands ‘Hyderabad-like justice’ for men who raped & burnt her alive

“In the law relating to women violence, we have already laid down capital punishment and other severe punishment including completion of trial in two months time,” he added.

The Chief Justice of India, who spoke after the minister, stressed that as an institution, the judiciary must remain committed to making justice accessible to people by strengthening the existing avenues and evolving newer means to achieve an affordable, quick and satisfactory settlement of disputes.

“At the same time, we must be aware of the changes and perception about the judiciary,” Justice Bobde said said.

He said there is a need in the judiciary to invoke self-correcting measures but whether or not they should be publicised is a matter of debate.

“We have to devise methods for not only speeding up litigation but all together preventing it. There are laws which provide for pre-litigation mediation,” he said, adding that there was a need to consider compulsory pre-litigation mediation.

Surprisingly, no courses were available for conferring a degree or diploma in mediation, he said.

He also said the press conference held by four senior most judges of the apex court last year was just a self-corrective measure.

In an unprecedented move, Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurien Joseph– had on January 12, 2018, held a press conference, saying the situation in the top court was “not in order” and many “less than desirable” things had taken place.

Ranjan Gogoi later in the year had succeeded the then chief justice of India Dipak Misra.

“I believe the institution (judiciary) must correct itself and indeed it did during the time when the much-criticised press conference was held. It was nothing more than a self-corrective measure and I do not wish to justify it,” Justice Bobde said.

The CJI further said, “All judges were eminent and Justice (Ranjan) Gogoi in particular showed great competence and led the judiciary from the front.”

Also read: How ‘Hyderabad encounter’ helped Cyberabad police go from flak to flowers in 7 days


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5 Comments Share Your Views


  1. All citizens opinion is their individual experience culled out of their interactions in the society we live. We must respect every individual opinion. At the behest we ought to find a solution for all problems to pass on a livable society to our next generations. Encounters is not an answer for all the crime. Rape and murder are different crimes, when a person commit both in combined, a section of society is reacting with sympathy and kindness on the ghost act and a kind of insecurity for an instant punishment but that doesn’t secure anyones future. So we must let it to judiciary to do justice.
    Not only for rape and murder cases, there are many more cases of injustice is being done to many sections because of delay in justice delivery system. A large section of people lost faith on our present political system, which has engulfed the beaureocracy , so for us there is no alternative but to strengthen the judiciary for speedier justice and accessible to public.

  2. Courts should know justice delayed is justice denied. Every other case in India is delayed unless it is the elite who manage bails on phone calls late in the night. Take the case of Nirbhaya though fast tracked despite many years no conclusion other than jeuvenile pertetuator is released abd is enjoying freedom with govt benefits of tailoring machine etc. Now why do our courts who have holidays more than nursery children not give fast judgements? Why is police not filing chargesheets in time? Why the police are not hauled up for not filing chargesheet? In the case of Disha, hyderabad victim, the policd refused to file FIR citing jurisdictional issues. Only on crowd anger police acted. We can bd a liberal society if judiciary and policr work, in our country where everything happens with Sifarish noghing happens to common cases. Do process failure with judiciary and police horribly late is thdle root cause of failure of India as liberal state, waiting for mord taliban type judgements giving instant justice.

  3. The cji’s attitude is rather cavalier. He is still talking air when the need of the hour is action. I have no confidence left in the judiciary’s capacity for self correction, it is too corrupt. I urge the Parliament to force reform down the throat of the judiciary.

  4. 1. I agree with view that justice cannot be instant. However, it cannot be delayed too. 2. It is not job of the police or someone else to decide in what way punishment should be given to those accused of a crime 3. However, let us not overlook a few ground realities. During last seventy and odd years after Independence, we have refused to implement legal reforms; we have not implemented police administration reforms; we have refused to have in place a judicial system and procedures which ensure speed and efficiency and which do not allow someone with right political connections to deny justice to victims of any crime. Fact is that we have failed on many counts and citizen-votes are tired of saying the same again and again. It is time our lawmakers as also other important stakeholders civil society do some critical introspection and take self-correcting measures as suggested by Chief Justice of India.

  5. How does one offer solace to the parents and family of the five year old girl who was violated in Darbhanga. Wait ten to fifteen years, the perpetrator will be convicted and sent to jail.


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