Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde on Saturday said, “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 a revenge.”
His statement comes a day after all four accused in the rape and murder of woman veterinarian in Hyderabad were killed in an encounter with the police when they were trying to escape during the recreation of the crime at the same spot where the woman’s body was found.
CJI Bobde was speaking at an event in Jodhpur where he came for the inauguration of a new building of the Rajsthan High Court.
CJI said, “Recent events in country have sparked off the old debate with new vigour. There is no doubt that criminal justice system must reconsider its position and attitude towards laxity and eventual time it takes to dispose off criminal matters.”
“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.
S A Bobde also spoke about the press conference held by four senior most judges of the apex court last year. He said that it 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 Mishra.
“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
The CJI further said, “All judges were eminent and Justice (Ranjan) Gogoi in particular showed great competence and led the judiciary from the front.”
He stressed 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, the CJI said.
The 27-year-old woman veterinary doctor was on November 27 gangraped and murdered near the Tondupally toll plaza in Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad and her body was dumped and burnt 25 km away at the Chatanpally Bridge in the Ranga Reddy district, sending shockwaves across the nation. The 4 accused were shot dead in a police encounter on November 6.
Later on Friday evening, the Telangana Police revealed the details of the early morning incident at a press briefing.
Amid aspersions being cast on the alleged encounter, Cyberabad Police Chief VC Sajjanar said: “The law has done its duty”.
He said that the men were brought to the crime spot to recreate the November 27 incident as part of the investigation, where the accused attacked the police with sticks and then snatched the weapons from them and started firing.
Sajjanar further claimed the police warned the accused and asked them to surrender but they continued to fire. Then we opened fire and they were killed in the encounter, he said.
(With PTI inputs)