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Wednesday 29 January 2020

CJI about Hyderabad encounter: Retribution is not justice

Justice can never be instant. And justice must never ever take the form of revenge. Justice loses its character if it becomes revenge: CJI

Reacting to the encounter of the gang-rape accused in Hyderabad, Chief Justice (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde today critiqued the police for the incident. At an event in Jodhpur, Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde said that justice should never be done in a hurry. He said when justice was done with a sense of retribution, it “loses its character as justice”.

In the inauguration ceremony of the new building of Rajasthan High Court in Jodhpur in the presence of Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, CJI SA Bobde 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 revenge.”

After the encounter, Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar, associated with similar encounters since 2008, justified the police action by saying that the three men and the juvenile accused in the gang-rape and murder of a woman veterinarian near Hyderabad had snatched the firearms of the cops and were killed in police’s “retaliatory” firing on Friday morning.

The police version is that the accused were running away from the police in Chatanapalli near Shadnagar, about 50 km from Hyderabad, where they had been taken to relate the respective spots they had spoken about during their interrogation to the sequence of the crime they had allegedly committed on 27 November. What makes this story difficult to believe is the fact that Sajjanar had reported a near-identical account after heading an encounter killing of three people accused of an acid attack in Mamunur forest 30 km from Warangal in 2008 just a day after arresting them.

That’s not all. In 2016, as a part of the Greyhound team of Andhra Pradesh, formed to hound Naxals, Sajjanar and his team got rid of a former Maoist Mohammed Nayeemuddin, saying that the Naxal was the first to open fire at the police team using an AK-47.

The CJI was speaking after the new building in Jodhpur of Rajasthan High Court was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind today. The main building of the High Court has been built in a 9.05 ac with 22 courtrooms, including the courtroom of the Chief Justice of Rajasthan, where separate cases will be heard. Apart from the regular hearing courts, two chambers have been created for Lok Adalat.

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