Judicial Delay – UPSC Ethics

In your opinion, should an aged person of about 75 years old, caught and proved in a corruption case, who has undergone twenty years of judicial trial, be leniently punished by the court? Or should he be acquitted on humanitarian grounds? Substantiate. (200 Words)

The serious lacuna of our tardy and long judicial proceeding has complicated the subjective jurisdiction procedure. The judiciary finds itself at the three crossroads when it has to choose among the basic tenet of law which is equality of law, leniency or acquittal when its own delayed procedure has already traumatized the convict. The case stated above shall be scrutinized from all angles including humanitarian aspect before arriving at final decision.
As the convict, has already suffered for last 20 years and he is now 75 years old, considering human ground holds relevance, but the nature and extend of crime shall also be considered. As the case is of corruption and though he has suffered a lot but freeing him is not appropriate as he has to bear his share of punishment. Also it will convey a wrong message to other convicts, as the cases of judicial delays are not uncommon. Other angles such as intentional delays induced by the convict, may also be considered, as it is not only judiciary which cause delays.
Though judiciary has to follow its rule book, but the age of the convict and the prevailing situations, demands leniency. Thus the court on the basic of seriousness of the crime may permit lesser sentence. Also it is to be make sure the health of the old man might be given due care. Judiciary might consider a lesser sentence on the conditions of taking responsibility of education of poor kids. Some other societal work might also condition upon his lesser sentence.
The bottom line is that though the rule of law and equality before law must prevail, but considering leniency on humanitarian ground in exceptional cases will incorporate human angle in our judiciary. But we need to seriously work for removing anomaly of Justice delayed.



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