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Supreme Court of India on Mass Carnage Gujarat 2002 #mustshare

” When the ghastly killings take place in the land of Mahatma Gandhi, it raised a very pertinent question as to whether some people have become so bankrupt in their ideology that they have deviated from everything which was so dear to him. When large number(s) of people including innocent and helpless children and women are killed in a diabolic manner, it brings disgrace to the entire society. Criminals have no religion. No religion teaches violence and cruelty-based religion is no religion at all, but a mere cloak to usurp power by fanning ill-feeling and playing on feelings aroused thereby. The golden thread passing through every religion is love and compassion. The fanatics who spread violence in the name of religion are worse than terrorists and more dangerous than an alien enemy.”

From the Judgement in the Best Bakery case. Justices Soraiswamy Raju and Arijit Pasayat 12.4.2004

 Other Direct Quotations from the Judgement

…..”When a large number of witnesses have turned hostile it should have raised a reasonable suspicion that the witnesses were being threatened or coerced.

……”Strangely, the relatives of the accused were examined as witnesses for the prosecution obviously with a view that their evidence could be used to help the accused persons.

…..”If the State’s machinery fails to protect (a) citizen’s life, liberties and property, and the investigation is conducted in a manner to help the accused persons, it is but appropriate that this Court should step in to prevent undue miscarriage of justice that is perpetrated upon the victims and their family members.

…….”Right from the inception of the judicial system it has been accepted that discovery, vindication and establishment of truth are the main purposes underlying (the) existence of courts of justice.

…….”If a criminal court is to be an effective instrument in dispensing justice, the presiding judge must cease to be a spectator and a mere recording machine by becoming a participant in the trial.

…….”Failure to accord fair hearing either to the accused or the prosecution violates even minimum standards of due process of law. It is inherent in the concept of of law that condemnation should be rendered only after the trial in which the hearing is a real one, not sham or  mere farce and pretence.

…….”Time has come when serious and undiluted thoughts are to be bestowed for protecting witnesses so that ultimate truth is presented before the court and justice triumphs and the trial is not reduced to mockery.

……”Legislative measures to emphasise prohibition against tampering with witness, victim or informant have become the imminent and inevitable need of the day. Conducts which illegitimately affect the presentation of evidence in proceedings before the courts have to be seriously and sternly dealt with.

……”Witness Protection programmes are imperative as well as imminent in the context of alarming rate of somersaults by witnesses with ulterior motives and purely for personal gain or fear for security. It would be a welcome step if something on those lines is done in our country.

…….”The entire approach of the high court suffers from serious infirmities, its conclusions lopsided, and lacks proper or judicious application of mind. Arbitrariness is found writ large on the approach as well as the conclusions arrived at in the judgement under challenge.

……”When the ghastly killings take place in the land of Mahatma Gandhi, it raises a very pertinent question as to whether some people have become so bankrupt in their ideology that they have deviated from everything which was so dear to him.

……’If one even cursorily glances through the records of the case, one gets a feeling that the justice delivery system was being taken for a ride and literally allowed to be abused, misused and mutilated by subterfuge. The investigation appears to be perfunctory and anything but impartial.

…….”The golden thread passing through every religion is love and compassion. The fanatics who spread violence in the name of religion are worse than terrorists and more dangerous than an alien enemy.

……’It is no doubt true that the accused persons have been acquitted by the trial court and the acquittal has been upheld, but if the acquittal is unmerited and based on tainted evidence, tailored investigation, unprincipled prosecutor and perfunctory trial and evidence of threatened/terrorised witnesses, it is no acquittal in the eye of law.

……”The modern day “Neros” were looking elsewhere when Best Bakery and innocent children and women were burning, and were probably deliberating how the perpetrators of the can be saved or protected.

…….”The high court appears to have miserably failed to maintain the required judicial balance and sobriety in making unwarranted references to personalities and their legitimate moves before the competent courts – the highest court of the nation, despite knowing fully well that it could not deal with such aspects or matters.

…….”We are satisfied that it is fit and proper case, in the background of the nature of additional evidence sought to be adduced and the perfunctory manner of trial conducted on the basis of tainted investigation, a re-trial is a must and essentially called for in order to save and preserve the justice delivery system unsullied and unscathed by vested interests.”

…..”A-13 to A-18 (all policemen) started fabricating false evidence and causing disappearance of evidence immediately after Bilkis lodged an oral complaint giving the names of the assailants and the details of the incident, with the intention of causing disappearance of evidence to screen the offenders.

….”The two doctors conducting post-mortem did not discharge their duties truthfully, sincerely and strictly in accordance with rules and procedure. By not collecting valuable pieces of evidence such as vaginal swabs, saliva, nail clippings and clothes of the deceased, A-19 and A-20 caused disappearance of evidence with the intention to screen the offenders.

…..”No person, however big he may assume or claim to be, should be allowed, irrespective of the position he may assume or claim to hold in public life, to either act in a manner or make speeches which would destroy secularism recognised by the Constitution of India.

……”Communal harmony should not be made to suffer and be made dependent upon (the) will of an individual or a group of individuals, whatever be their religion, be it of minority or that of the majority.

………”Religion cannot be mixed with secular activities of the State and fundamentalism of any kind cannot be permitted to masquerade as political philosophies to the detriment of a welfare State. Religion sans spiritual values may even be perilous and bring about chaos and anarchy all around.”

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