In the future: Justice by SMS Votes?
High Court has reversed the Lower Court's judgement and pronounced the accused (Santosh Singh) in Priya Mattoo case, as guilty. It has even indicated the maximum punishment is under consideration.
The public outcry, media activism, etc. etc... played a significant role in bringing about this judgement.
Justice needs to be based on Facts, Investigations and Evidence.
So lets see What new facts came into light between the time Lower Court acquitted the acused, and High Court passed its judgement. Almost Nothing new was presented by CBI or any investigating team. So one may argue that the Trial Court bungled, and all has been set right by High Court. Yes this is the case, but what took 6 long years to do so? Apparently until the media pressure increased, dates were not being alloted into hearing this case for years - for whatever reasons.
So, this becomes a curious case of Flip-Flop Justice based on Outcries, Candle Light Vigils, Media Activism.
On the face of it - it even sounds attractive. But is it?
We run the risk of subverting the very idea of a strong and a just legal system. Any legal system that needs to be swayed by the Vigils, and Activisms - will be deemed to be weak. But the fault does not lie with Legal System alone - its the investigating agencies (as pointed out by HC) that deserve the strongest rap on its knuckles.
With this trend - we run the risk of doing justice to Media Savvy Victims, and being ignorant or even unjust to a lesser victim from not so informed backgrounds. Can we honestly say that - if the the victim (Priya Mattoo) was a poor old woman from the backward villages of Uttar Pradesh - she would have got similar justice?
What we need is a strong Investigative System (Police, CBI), free from the clutches of Politicians. A Judiciary that doesn't have to spend time in informing the govt. that pot holes need to be repaired.
Otherwise - we run the risk of handing out justice or injustice by SMS Votes and it's likes.
Mattoo verdict: Victory for judicial system
Trial judge mauled justice, says HC