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Miscarriage of Fast Track Justice

Abstract

Every person’s life revolves around the concept of justice. Courts have been established in every country for the purpose of regulating justice. The courts are held in high regard as the guardians of the rule of law. This element of the courts contributes to the development of a trusting connection between the general public and the courts. When this relationship is harmed by unlawful influence in the courts, a miscarriage of justice occurs. A miscarriage of justice is the responsibility of the courts. The Supreme Court of India, the country’s highest court of appeal, declared that the rule of law is in place. As the ultimate bidder to justice, it is the apex court that gets to decide what is right and what is wrong. When the top court commits a miscarriage of justice, the entire country is thrown into chaos, and the public loses faith in the country’s judiciary.

The comment of Justice A.S. Anand, former Chief Justice of India and Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, that the acquittal decision in the Best Bakery trial by a fast-track court was a “miscarriage of justice,” is not limited to that case, but can be applied to the entire mechanism of so-called fast-track courts as envisaged by the previous NDA government and now scrapped by the current UPA administration. The state did very little to return justice to its proper ‘quick’ track, and it is impossible for the average person to appreciate the question of when he will receive final justice in criminal or civil litigation.

Introduction

The decision to close the fast-track courts by the end of April, a year earlier than the five-year deadline, by starving them of funds because the Twelfth Finance Commission did not recommend any allocations, will put an end to the experiment without finding a viable replacement or doing anything to resolve pending cases.

The subject of the nation’s justice system’s very existence arises. Delivering justice is a challenging task since it must not only be done, but it must also appear to be done. This means that the court’s role does not end once the judgment is rendered, which offers justice to the parties in the case, but also after the court ensures that the judgment is applied. In recent days, there have been several cases of miscarriage of justice that have impacted not only the people engaged in the case but also the general public. Many people are confused about who is to blame for a miscarriage of justice: the courts or the judges who give the verdict. In either case, the integrity of the court system as a whole is jeopardized.

As a result, the court system has developed a number of strategies in order to limit the rising number of miscarriages in the delivery of justice and to carry out its mission efficiently and without hindrances. They can be successful at times and also fail at other times. As a result, the judiciary must keep a close eye on itself in order to avoid miscarriages of justice.

Miscarriage of Justice Explained

Justice can be defined as justness or righteousness, whereas miscarriage denotes failure. As a result, a miscarriage of justice denotes a failure to declare what is right and just. A miscarriage of justice happens when an innocent person is found guilty, allowing the true perpetrator to flee the scene. The criminal justice system is meant to be set up in such a way that it punishes those who are found guilty as well as acquits those who are found not guilty. If any of these ingredients are missing, a miscarriage of justice will very certainly result. True, the criminal justice system cannot ensure the punishment of the wicked or the acquittal of the innocent, but it may certainly attempt. Even after being exonerated of the erroneous prosecution, it is difficult for an innocent individual to lead a normal life after being tried as a criminal. As a result, it is the responsibility of the state to guarantee that the person has a normal existence.

Under Article 14(6) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, read with General Comment 32 of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany have already adopted the same remedial method in which the State regulates statutory responsibilities by providing compensation to victims of wrongful prosecution. The High Court of Delhi emphasized the rehabilitation of victims of unfair prosecution in the case of Babloo Chauhan v. State Govt. of NCT of Delhi1, in order to assist them to lead a normal life following their acquittal. The court stressed the creation of a legal framework that would govern the formation of a committee to care for these innocent victims. Miscarriage of justice results in wrongful prosecution and humiliation of the innocent party. Miscarriage of justice can occur not only in the courts but also in the hands of investigating officials on the ground. Innocent people are also affected. Taking note of these factors, the Supreme Court issued a historic decision in 2016 in the case of Rudul Sah v. the State of Bihar2, declaring that innocent people who have been subjected to shoddy investigation and unfair prosecution shall be compensated by the state in question. A miscarriage of justice can be caused by a hasty decision on the part of the court in certain cases to clear out pending judgments, plea bargaining, which involves providing an incentive to the judge hearing the case in order to declare the innocent as guilty, bias in the investigation procedure by the officials, evidence gathered by the police associated with the offense is frequently destroyed, and judicial misconduct on the part of the judge. As a result, a miscarriage of justice is an unwelcome activity carried out by the judiciary or investigating officials that, to a considerable extent, violates human rights.3

Alarming Rate of Pendency

The amount of unresolved cases is upsetting. As indicated by data accessible on July 5, 2000, there were 21,600 cases forthcoming under the steady gaze of the Supreme Court, contrasted with 1.05 lakhs 10 years earlier. In the High Courts, there are presently 34 lakhs of forthcoming cases, contrasted with 19 lakhs a decade prior. The Supreme Court has 645 cases progressing for over a decade, while the High Courts have 5,00,085. The inability to fill judge vacancies sooner rather than later is one of the reasons for the huge expansion in the number of forthcoming cases in High Courts. There are presently around 100 such vacancies. The quantity of cases anticipating preliminary in the country’s 12,378 locale and subordinate courts is assessed to be in large numbers. 1,500 of the 12,205 judge and justice positions in these courts are vacant.

Fundamental Rights of Speedy Trial

The fundamental right to a speedy trial has become a daily farce due to the delays, lack of accountability, and half-baked ideas. “A timely trial is essential to criminal justice, and there can be no doubt that the delay in trial by itself constitutes a denial of justice,” the Supreme Court stated.4 “There can be no question that rapid trial — and by speedy trial, we mean a properly expedited trial — is an integral and vital aspect of the fundamental right to life and liberty contained in Art 21,” it continued in another case. It is a vital responsibility.5 Even if Art. 21 is not enforced, the demand for quick justice is unavoidable under the Constitution. According to the preamble of the Constitution, the state is required to guarantee social, economic, and political justice to all of its citizens.6 The state should strive for a social order in which justice is represented in all aspects of national life, according to the Directive Principles of State Policy. “The State shall ensure that the operation of the legal system promotes justice; to ensure that no person is denied access to justice because of economic or other disadvantages,” it continues.7 The Supreme Court has held that “social justice would include ‘legal justice,’ which means that the system of administration of justice must provide a cheap, expeditious, and effective instrument for realizing justice by all sections of the people, regardless of their social or economic position or financial resources” in interpreting this provision.8

Need for a fair Judge-Population Ratio

The way public authority has would not take on a suggestion by the Law Commission of India to upgrade the judge-to-populace proportion. As indicated by the 120th Law Commission Report, “In the event that official portrayal can be determined in light of populace, as recently expressed, and other state administration, police, and different administrations can be arranged similarly, there is not a great explanation for why a similar standard can’t be applied to legal administrations. While the populace is a segment unit, it is additionally a vote-based unit, it should be recognized transparently. At the end of the day, we’re discussing residents who have popularity-based privileges, for example, the option to admittance to equity, which the state is committed to giving “. While proposing a fivefold expansion in legal strength at all levels of the Indian legal executive (from 10.5 to 50 judges for every million of the populace), the 120th Law Commission additionally noticed that India’s judge-populace proportion could not hope to compare to a few different nations. Rather than spending Rs 4750 crore to redesign the current legal executive by expanding the judge-populace proportion, the NDA government has proposed a 502-crore quick track court project for a five-year term, which is a specially appointed, silly endeavor to deal with a huge issue of confusing pendency.

The arrangement required the foundation of 1750 quick track courts, five in each locale, to speed up the goal of forthcoming lawbreaker cases. The idea is sound since it tackles the issue of undertrials grieving in jail for a really long time and turning into a monetary weight on the public authority. An amount of Rs. 502.90 crores was endorsed as an exceptional issue and upgradation award for the legal organization for a long time, till 2005, under the Fast Track Court Scheme. There are at present 1.8 lakh undertrials in bars, with the public authority paying around Rs. 361 crores each year on their upkeep at a pace of Rs. 55 for each individual, consistently in jail. As indicated by the sources, “just about two crore cases were anticipated to be settled by 2005,” bringing about tremendous reserve funds in prison uses while likewise settling a “genuine basic liberties worry.” “No less than five such courts work with full government help with each locale the nation over,” said Mr. Arun Jaitley, then, at that point Minister of Law (2000-2002, 2003-2004). The system, which would likewise deal with undertrial cases, was financially savvy since it would cost an expected Rs. 100 crores each year, contrasted with the Rs. 360 crores spent by states every year on undertrials upkeep. The Center set out just Rs 100 crore each year for this reason, with the assumption that all forthcoming detainee cases would be settled in something like a time of the most optimized plan of attack courts’ foundation. It is obscure whether the undertaking will be finished in something like four years. As per Union Law Minister H R Bhardwaj (2004-2009), the most optimized plan of attack courts could resolve 3.8 lakh of the 8 lakh cases allotted to them in four years. The middle would not give them Rs 100 for the undertaking’s fifth and last year, compelling them to close down the nation over.

Initial Setback

At the point when it was first presented, the allies were irritated, truth be told. The arrangement was tested by the Andhra Pradesh Bar Council as unlawful and incapable of giving quick equity. The AP High Court requested a stay on the activity of quick track courts after the appeal was acknowledged. The bar chamber’s reactions to the most optimized plan of attack courts are legalistic in the most terrible feeling of the world. For instance, it scrutinizes the Finance Commission’s affirmation that the expense of undertrials (assessed at Rs 20,000 for each individual each year) will diminish as quick track courts speed up the goal of their cases. The bar board asserted, rather grandiosely, that a court’s only intention is to administer equity, not to diminish prison spending.

It likewise goes against the directing officials being named on a two-year agreement from among resigned judges. The bar committee contended that the most optimized plan of attack courts’ authoritative judges will be less responsible than the customary courts’ long-lasting judges. The AP High Court deferred the plan’s execution since it seemed to have major legitimate and sacred flaws. The Union government pursued the High Court’s choice to the Supreme Court in a Special Leave Petition (SLP). As indicated by the SLP, the High Court made a lawful blunder by really giving the writ request through an ex-parte request in light of a simple at first sight assessment of the legitimacy of laying out quick track courts without articulating the grounds. The High Court’s structure was deferred on May 2 by a Supreme Court seat comprising Justice B.N. Kirpal and Justice Ruma Pal. Afterward, while hearing a case on the situation with undertrials in different States, one more Supreme Court Bench, drove by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Justice A.S. Anand, Justice R.C. Lahoti, and Justice Doraiswamy Raju, communicated lament that the plan of quick track courts, notwithstanding its significance, was not brought to the CJI’s consideration before the public authority made a declaration in such manner. The judges called attention to that the assets given to state legislatures to layout quick track courts ought to have been put in the possession of the Chief Justices of the High Courts for appropriate use.

“On the off chance that you fabricate structures first, pick judges,” the Bench noticed, “the most optimized plan of attack courts will turn out to be incredibly sluggish.” The Court inferred that the course of action would have worked better assuming the Chief Justices of the High Courts included picked the cases and areas that the most optimized plan of attack courts ought to attempt. The Bench additionally considered how previous District Judges could be enlisted as managing officials and who might be responsible for them. Its basic comments have caused frustration, as Law Ministry authorities keep up with that the plan’s draft was conveyed to all states and Chief Justices of every single High Court, and that it was just executed after intensive interviews with the legal executive at all levels. As per these sources, just the Chief Justices of the High Courts would allow judges to quick-track courts. In reply to a TV interview, H R Bharadwaj demonstrated that by March 2004, 1400 such courts were working, with 8 lakh cases going over to them, with 3.8 lakh cases getting a decision. Notwithstanding, he asserts that the strike rate is excessively low and that the explanation for this is that the most optimized plan of attack courts are dealt with by judges who come up short on energy for equity. “More youthful blood ought to be allowed an opportunity as opposed to resigning judges; they can acquire advancements and have a future,” Bharadwaj commented. He additionally expressed that he will start filling vacancies in different courts in the nation in the following three weeks.

Impact

The media claimed in 2002, while the courts were still getting up to speed, that the plan was beginning to have, “It had a positive influence on crime, since the number of heinous crimes had decreased, notably in Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had also suffered the effects.” The Parliamentary Standing Committee, which includes members from all political parties and is chaired by an opposition member, expressed pleasure in May 2003 and asked the government to do more.9

Lack of Accountability

Ad hoc Judges would be appointed for a two-year term from among retired sessions or additional sessions Judges, members of the Bar, and judicial employees who would be elevated on an ad hoc basis under the fast-track court program. The High Courts will be in charge of appointing judges. The Centre has urged state governments to use a particular drive to fill any vacancies that may arise as a result of ad hoc promotions. They did not anticipate the issue of presiding officers’ lack of accountability as a result of the provision of a short tenure in office after retirement.

There are serious concerns that litigants with clout at the district level could use the plan to their advantage to advocate for the fast disposition of causes they care about, which could lead to a miscarriage of justice. The model does not allow for the infusion of new and youthful judicial talent, which is plentiful. There were no fundamental changes in the legal system as a result of the fast-track courts program. There has been no new procedure code established. Retired judges, who have served in the past but have no plans for the future, are dispensing justice at a breakneck pace. It’s worth noting that these gentlemen never performed at even half their normal speed in their regular jobs. This is due to two factors. One, because they were vulnerable to disciplinary hearings during their ordinary jobs, the judges were cautious. A person who has already retired and is serving on a short end-of-career tenure is not subject to disciplinary action. This is compounded by the Indian legal system’s complete lack of judicial accountability. Two, some judges see this term assignment as their last chance to make some money while the sun is shining. As a result, there was a greater emphasis on speedy wheeling-dealing and the disposal of the greatest number of cases possible.

Is it permissible to follow the easy way of acquitting the accused because of a mechanical adherence to the idea that “hundreds of criminals may escape, but one single innocent must not be punished”? Though it is a commonly accepted principle that no innocent person should be punished, courts are obliged to be sensitive and cautious in order to ensure that no criminal escapes. In such circumstances, the criminal justice system’s sustainability is put to the test. Otherwise, criminal activity will continue uninterrupted.

Worst Example of Fast-Track Injustice: Best Bakery

At its Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court, the National Human Rights Commission challenged the judgment of the Fast Track Court of H.U. Mahida acquitting all 21 accused in the Best Bakery case, which involved the murder of 14 Muslims in communal riots in Vadodara on March 1, 2002. The NHRC claimed in its petition to the Supreme Court that even as one witness after another, including the main eyewitnesses, became hostile, Judge Mahida made no attempt to figure out why this was happening. The NHRC objected strongly, citing documents, that there was no adequate cross-examination of Zahira Sheik and Lal Mohammad, who contradicted their earlier written statements. “Instead of attempting to bolster the prosecution case, it appears that steps to the contrary were done,” according to the NHRC appeal. The NHRC also noted how the trial was reduced to a farce by excluding a full cross-examination of the investigating officer, who testified on June 21. The Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court No. 1, Vadodara, completed the examination and recording of all 21 accused people’s statements under Section 313 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) on the same day and proceeded to hear arguments in part. The Fast Track Court, as its name suggests, handed down its decision on June 27.10

On February 20, the trial began. Was the trial court completely powerless in the face of a dearth of evidence? Apparently, the trial court believed it lacked the authority and jurisdiction to determine who was the genuine criminal if the accused were not guilty, or to compel restitution from the government to the victim. In his ruling, Judge Mahida stated, “The court of justice is not a court of justice in the true sense, rather it is a court of evidence.” “The prosecution was required to petition to the court to have the trial conducted in camera under Section 9 (6) of the CrPC when one witness after another was observed by the court to be resiling from the earlier statement made. Even if the prosecution did not do so, the court had the authority to request that the trial be held in private “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) drew attention to this. The trial court can postpone the trial under Section 309 of the CrPC for reasons that must be stated in writing in order to guarantee that a safe environment is provided for witnesses to depose without fear. It is also conceivable to recall and re-examine any person previously examined under Section 311, particularly if his or her testimony appears to be critical to the case’s just conclusion. The Fast Track Court did not use these powers and instead chose to acquit everyone. On August 8, the Supreme Court Bench appeared to concur with the NHRC’s petition in broad terms. It ordered the Centre and the Gujarat government to produce a report within two weeks detailing any plans to reform the criminal justice system.11

Recent instances of miscarriage of justice

The case of Parsa Kente Collieries Ltd v. Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited, in which leave was eventually granted, was decided in haste and without much deliberation by the Supreme Court. According to the notification dated May 9th, 2018, the matter was meant to be heard by the summer vacation bench of the court, but it was instead taken up by a different bench. The case was put on hold since the court couldn’t reach a decision owing to a lack of evidence. In addition, the court took up the matter on May 21st on its own, hearing an argument from one of the parties involved. The judgment date was given the very following day.

The decision was made without informing the attorneys engaged in the case. The court’s action appeared to be ambiguous because the subject was not urgent enough to be dealt with before the deadline. As a result, this ruling was seen to be a miscarriage of justice because there was no necessity involved and the court made its decision in haste in order to clear out the pending cases. M/s Adani Power (Mundra) Ltd v. Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission and Ors was a case similar to this one in which the court acted similarly. In this case, too, the court’s decision was based on a new date chosen by itself rather than the previously specified dates. This clearly demonstrates that the court was biased in favor of one of the parties in the case. Both of these cases involved Adani Business Groups, and because the verdicts were in their favor, the business group profited by crores of rupees. Both rulings were rendered in an unreasonable and rushed way, which is contrary to the court’s regulations.

It’s possible that the court reached a decision as it saw fit, but the process by which the cases were handled, both of which were affiliated with a huge business company, was not fair. Another case in which the court committed a miscarriage of justice was Zulfikar Nasir & Ors v. State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors, often known as the Hashimpura massacre. The Hashimpura massacre occurred during the Rajiv Gandhi government’s reign of terror in India. The massacre resulted in the deaths of approximately 45 Muslim men who were being transported by a Provincial Armed Constabulary truck. Those men were wrongfully detained and held in detention for an indefinite period of time. As a result, the actions of the members of the Provincial Armed Constabulary were manifestly illegal. The killings occurred while the Muslim men were being held in jail. Because neither the men who were taken away nor their dead corpses were ever returned to their families, the High Court made it plain that the victims’ families had the right to know the reason and the truth as part of their access to justice. In a 2015 verdict, twenty years after the occurrence, the court acquitted all of the accused males on the basis of a lack of transparent evidence. The court’s decision has sparked a number of questions and debates about the country’s justice delivery system. After the matter had been neglected in the High Court of Uttar Pradesh for so long, such a move by the Supreme Court was a clear indication of a miscarriage of justice. The compensation which was decided by the Uttar Pradesh government to be provided to the families of the victims of the massacre was not put into effect as well. Many legal experts simply labeled this as genocide, and the court’s inaction on the topic was not welcome.

The court may have reached a rational judgment, but it should have also devised some means of obtaining justice for the victims’ families and should not have delayed the case for so long. Because jihadists are responsible for a large number of terrorist activities, many innocent Muslims have been exposed to abuse and harassment as a result of investigative officials declaring them guilty. The court had recognized the police officials’ miscarriage of justice in a case from 1996, in which the officials had arrested a few Muslim males and accused them of being responsible for an explosion at New Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar Market. These guys were cleared of the same charges in a 2012 ruling. If the court had not reviewed the police investigation, this case would have been considered a terrible miscarriage of justice. Following the 2011 attack, a new investigative team was developed in order to avoid future mismanagement and carelessness when conducting investigations. This episode, which occurred after the formation of the new time, exemplifies how officials’ carelessness and stupidity caused innocent individuals to suffer as a result of the improper prosecution of a case in which they were not even involved.

This case also highlights the Supreme Court’s role in the case, which is to keep a check on the activities of the police officers involved. Along with the courts, the government bears the duty of policing officials’ carelessness. The fact that the cases are being handled in his state must be made known to the state governments. Strict actions must be taken to ensure that authorities work diligently and with care. Taking a cue from Indian cases, the insights of a miscarriage of justice are nothing new in international situations. The United States of America has long struggled with racial issues, so the Florida bench’s decision in the case of Florida v. George Zimmerman, which involved the assassination of Trayvon Martin, an African-American teenager, by George Zimmerman, an American, was not a welcome one, as it exacerbated the society’s long-standing racial divide and was thus declared a miscarriage of justice. In this instance, the defendant was hurt as a result of the plaintiff’s murder and thus claimed self-defense. As a result, he was cleared of the murder allegations leveled against him. Several civil rights activists were opposed to the verdict, which was deemed to be discriminatory.

The court’s decision may not be incorrect, but the fact that a youngster was slain without cause should have been causing alarm. These examples show when a case has reached a court and has been heard by that court. There are a number of different situations that lead to a miscarriage of justice even before the case reaches the courts. The rape instances stand out among them. Several times, the victim of a rape case has been forced to withdraw their petition from the court due to pressure from society, the families involved, and political considerations. This implies a terrible miscarriage of justice by the courts due to the lack of support it is meant to provide to the victims and the inability to withdraw the claims that are pending. The oppression of African-Americans by whites has been a long-running social fight. The courts exist to promote equality and to eliminate any disparities that may arise. The Florida Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Florida v. George Zimmerman served to accentuate the social divides that previously existed. It is usually preferable for the courts to end a case with a conclusion based on grounds and clarity, as the absence of these factors leads to injustice.

Rape cases are a serious societal issue, and it is not difficult to press charges in such circumstances because there are statutes dedicated solely to rape. According to police officials, even after a successful investigation, the case is delayed due to a lack of judicial participation in such instances. Following that, the nation was made aware of the delays in the court’s decision-making ability through the case of Mukesh & Anr v. State for NCT of Delhi & Ors, also known as the Nirbhaya case. After nine years of litigation, the victim achieved justice when the rapists were sentenced to death by the court. However, not all rape cases have the same resources and support as Nirbhaya’s. This is a reflection of the court system’s flaws, which result in a miscarriage of justice. The events described above occurred within the last five to ten years. They were chosen because they reflect the direction in which the country and the world as a whole are heading. When the courts have gone to the aid of the victim to prevent injustice, they have also stayed silent or absent when justice has been denied.12

Why not the system is strengthened?

Poor litigants will continue to suffer unless systematic reforms are implemented to eliminate delays. Even within the current system, there is no reason why formal court processes should not be developed to expedite the hearing of urgent matters rather than leaving it to chance or using fast-track courts. Decisions on requests for early hearings are often made without regard for the consequences of any delay for poor litigants under the current system. Fast-track courts are unlikely to make a difference to the massive backlog of cases if there isn’t a rational and sensible system in place to support the rapid disposition of cases.

There is a need for studies that assess the quality of decisions rendered and the level of public confidence in the judicial system on a regular basis by the Law Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, law schools, and the nation as a whole. The fast-track court plan was a temporary fix that appears to have worked on the surface, as the backlog of cases has likely decreased and cases are being resolved more quickly. On the other side, it has caused major problems by resulting in a massive ‘miscarriage of justice’ in thousands of instances, eroding the judiciary’s credibility. On a legitimate mission, the entire legal system should be run on a fast track.

Ways to avoid a miscarriage of justice

No court wants to issue a decision that could result in a miscarriage of justice. It is not only the courts that are responsible for delivering an unjust verdict, but also the investigating officers who arrive before the case reaches the courts. Miscarriage of justice, if it occurs, should be prevented in order to ensure that the courts provide justice in a clear, affordable, and consistent manner. Below are some suggestions about how to go about doing so.

Special Courts

When courts are inundated with cases, they issue hasty decisions in an attempt to reduce the number of pending cases, which leads to miscarriage of justice. By their very nature, decisions made in haste are destined to be unjustified. To avoid this, special courts have been recommended and are being built up to handle a few cases and give justice quickly and without any loopholes. It has been suggested that special courts be established in each area to prevent unjust prosecutions from being carried out. The harmed person can file a claim alleging that he or she was wrongly prosecuted. The claimant bears the burden of proof for the unjust prosecution.

The special courts provide an efficient system for filing cases, payment options for clearing fees, a list of timetables for case disposition, the time limit for filing an application, and so on. For ordinary folks, this has made the court system easier, faster, and smoother. This is one technique to ensure that judges’ actions are monitored and that miscarriages are avoided. The special courts are required to send notice of the appeals hearing to the parties concerned in the case after receiving a claim.

The special court will provide an award for damages, whether monetary or non-monetary, to any party in the case after hearing the case and hearing both sides’ appeals. This simplifies the entire legal process for both the parties and the courts. The court must consider a few issues before awarding compensation to the victim, which is given below:

  • A brief financial history
  • Emotional harm to the aggrieved person
  • Damages to the aggrieved party’s health, and so forth.

Human Rights

Human rights are fundamental rights that are granted to all citizens, regardless of their background. Human rights include the right to a fair trial, the right to freedom of speech and expression, and the right to liberty, all of which might be considered essential aspects in preventing a miscarriage of justice. The right to a fair trial is guaranteed under Article 6 of the Human Rights Convention, which states that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Article 5 of the Human Rights Convention guarantees liberty.

The phrase “liberty” refers to the fact that a person will be prosecuted according to the method laid out, and that the person imprisoned must be aware of the reasons for his detention. The guarantee of access to justice within a certain time frame is accompanied by liberty. The right to freedom of expression is addressed in Article 10 of the Human Rights Convention. This freedom allows an individual to connect with others who can help him get out of trials or provide a larger platform to demand justice, such as the media.

The special courts provide an efficient system for filing cases, payment options for clearing fees, a list of timetables for case disposition, the time limit for filing an application, and so on. For ordinary folks, this has made the court system easier, faster, and smoother. This is one technique to ensure that judges’ actions are monitored and that miscarriages are avoided. The special courts are required to send notice of the appeals hearing to the parties concerned in the case after receiving a claim.

Principles of Natural Justice

Natural justice principles have served as an important check on the possibility of a miscarriage of justice. In a similar way to human rights, the Indian Constitution includes natural justice principles in some of its sections to protect public rights. When there is a miscarriage of justice, it is the general public who suffers the most. Natural justice principles underpin all other statutes in place, hence they must be kept in mind for the Constitution to work effectively, as their violation amounts to the arbitrary exercise of power.13

Curative Petition

Curative petitions are those that serve as the last constitutional alternative for redressing grievances that have arisen in the court after the review plea has been exhausted. The Supreme Court adopted a curative petition for the first time in the matter of Rupa Ashok Hurra V. Ashok Hurra and Anr, in order to prevent a miscarriage of justice from occurring. In this case, the court stated that curative petitions can only be filed if the petitioner can show that the principles of natural justice have been violated.

In addition, the petition has the burden of establishing that the court was unaware of the presence of a curative petition at the time of the judgment. Although curative petitions are viewed with suspicion in unusual circumstances that are witnessed in open court proceedings, they are one of the tools for preventing miscarriages of justice and placing limits on the use of the courts’ power. In plain terms, a curative petition is a second review by the courts of its own judgments that have previously been issued. Article 137 of the Indian Constitution gives the Supreme Court the power to reconsider its decisions after they have been declared obligatory. The party that has been wronged has a legal right to make an appeal to the court for a second time to have its judgment reviewed, which must be done according to the court’s regulations.

Judicial review

Judicial review is a judicial power that allows the courts to check the constitutionality of the legislature’s and executive branches’ responsibilities. True, miscarriage of justice does not always arise as a result of court orders, but it can also emerge from the influence of the legislature and executive branches of government. Several cases have occurred that demonstrate how the executive’s influence and statutes enacted by legislatures might leave the judiciary unsure of what verdict to issue. To be on the safe side, courts frequently fail to pursue the road of justice, resulting in a miscarriage of justice. To avoid this, the courts can control the power of judicial review to keep a check on the other branches of government, and rather than being influenced individually, the three branches of government can work together to avoid a situation that could result in a miscarriage of justice.14

Conclusion

Miscarriage of justice is not a welcome development because it violates human rights. For the judiciary, a miscarriage of justice raises a lot of questions. The judiciary’s goal is to correct injustice. Because it leads to unfairness on the side of the parties concerned in the case, a miscarriage of justice negates the judiciary’s goal. The judiciary is well aware of the duties and responsibilities it bears to the nation’s residents. As a result, there is no need to instruct the courts. The judiciary, for its part, has already taken a number of steps to address the miscarriage of justice.

The judiciary should use more of these types of corrective procedures in order to successfully carry out the application of law and protect the innocent by administering justice. It is important to remember that the courts have served as a guiding light in countless cases, providing justice to both parties involved. Default does occur from time to time, but this is because of the confidence that courts have built with the public through time. The remedies and instruments established by the courts to provide safeguards will serve to maintain the judiciary’s independence and, as a result, allow it to function effectively.

References:

  1. 247 (2018) DLT 31
  2. 1983 AIR 1086
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/09/miscarriage-of-justice-victims-uk-supreme-court
  4. Hussainara Khatoon V. State of Bihar AIR 1979 SC 1364
  5. Maneka Gandhi V. Union of India, AIR 1978 SC 597
  6. Constitution of India, 1949, art.38(1)
  7. Constitution of India, 1949, art.39(A)
  8. Babu V. Raghunathji AIR 1976 SC 1734
  9. https://eachother.org.uk/5-shocking-miscarriages-justice-prisoners-need-human-rights/
  10. https://www.news18.com/news/india/miscarriage-of-justice-delhi-hc-acquits-man-of-raping-daughter-10-months-after-his-death-1978487.html
  11. Dr. Madabhushi Sridhar, Miscarriage of Fast Track Justice, Legal Service India http://www.legalservicesindia.com/articles/misoj.htm
  12. Oishika Banerji, Recent instances of miscarriage of justice, iPleaders https://blog.ipleaders.in/recent-instances-miscarriage-justice/
  13. Laskit, Concept of Natural Justice, Legal Service India https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-1549-concept-of-natural-justice.html
  14. https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2018/09/08/wrongful-prosecution-miscarriage-of-justice-legal-remedies-law-commission-of-india-report-no-277/

This article is written by Arryan Mohanty, a student of Symbiosis Law School.

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