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This article has been written by Amber Raaj, a student at Symbiosis Law School, Noida. It deals with the case of the Senari Massacre of 1999.

Introduction

A massacre is considered as an indiscriminate and brutal slaughter of many people. It is also considered a crime against humanity. India has faced a large number of massacres over the years and one of them is the Senari Massacre of 1999 in which many upper caste men were slaughtered by the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCC) members in the village. In this article we will focus on the Massacre and the status of its decision and whether justice has been served or not. We shall also discuss the loopholes of our judicial system, why there are many pending cases before the court and how to overcome this problem.

Senari Massacre : what had happened and was it different from other massacres  

In the case of the Senari Massacre, on 18th March,1999, nearly 34 people of upper caste men were forced out of their homes by cadres of the Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and were slaughtered near the temple of the village.

The massacre was the continuation of the caste war between the MCC and the armies which were in private in nature of the upper caste.

The Ranbir Sena was led by Barmeshwar Mukhiya. In 2012, he was sent to jail. There was such a spray of rank viciousness during the 1990s, that a miserable police power would secretly regret that their order gave off an impression of being to gather bodies from slaughter spots, not to forestall the killings in any case. The last significant rank slaughter in Bihar occurred in October 2009, when 16 OBC individuals were killed in Alauli, Khagaria. As a result, the pattern of position slaughters gave a method to left-wing extremism. After the Dalelchak-Bhagora massacre in Aurangabad in 1987, which murdered 42 upper caste individuals, including 21 from a single family, the Senari massacre witnessed the greatest number of upper caste casualties (34).

On the other hand, the Laxmanpur-Bathe massacre in Jehanabad in 1997 resulted in the deaths of 58 Dalits and OBCs at the hands of the Ranbir Sena.

The decision of the Trial Court

The matter was sent to the Jehanabad Court which sentenced death punishment to the 11 accused and life imprisonment was sentenced to three accused. The judgement was challenged before the High Court of Patna. Somewhere in the range of 1990 and 2005, Bihar saw the killings of more than 400 individuals remembering a few cops for more than two dozen rank slaughters as the now-disbanded MCC and upper position private militaries battled a bleeding battle of wear down. 

The decision of the High Court

On May 21, 2021, the Patna High Court acquitted all 14 defendants. The lower court’s judgement was overturned by a Division Bench of Justices Ashwini Kumar Singh and Arvind Srivastava, who cited a lack of adequate corroborative evidence. The Court stated that the prosecution bears the burden of proving the accused’s guilt to an extent that it can stand on its own” The decision of the court must be able to stand on its own. In the current instance, based on the evidence shown during the trial, there is real and reasonable doubt about the Appellants’ guilt. As a result, the impugned judgement (of the Trial Court) is therefore set aside insofar as the Appellants in these appeals are concerned. The Court said that, “although witnesses against them are different, the accused people have received seven standard and similar inquiries”. 

Pending appeal before the Supreme Court

The Bihar administration submitted a compelling argument before the Supreme Court. The Prosecution had told the Supreme Court that it has 23 witnesses, including 13 eyewitnesses who lost family members in the atrocity. Abhinav Mukerji, Counsel for the Bihar government, informed the Supreme Court that no accused had contested the date, time, location, or manner of occurrence – even so, all 14 had been acquitted by the Patna High Court. Mukerji told the Supreme Court that the High Court’s conclusions contradicted the facts presented. Furthermore, the state government has argued that the impugned order violates Supreme Court precedent, which states that simply because the names of the Accused are not mentioned in police statements and their descriptions are not given, the evidence of the eyewitness cannot be thrown out on that basis.

Why the delay in justice

  • The most recognizable reason behind the pendency of cases is the lacking depiction of judges in the Indian judiciary. The amount of judges is not as much as required. The central inspiration driving value can’t be met if we don’t have the normally appointed authorities to pick the case.. The openings of the existing courts, both lower and the higher, are not fit to be filled.With a relatively low degree of judges in various situations, Indian legitimacy is insufficient in terms of the primary demand of the judge’s competence. The chances of judges affect the pendency of proceedings without a doubt. Both are in conflict as compared to one another.
  • The second tremendous reason behind the pendency of proceedings in Indian courts is the registration of fake cases with the intention of imposing useless obligations on others. Genuinely, I am trying to draw your thoughts towards recording fake cases remembering the ultimate objective to settle resentment.Once a case has been documented, an evaluation of the equivalence may be made, and whether the evidence is open or closed, the intelligibility or discontinuity of the equivalent relies. However, the vital season of the court is currently being squandered unnecessarily. Also, on account of this, there is a deferral in value. The Delhi Commission of Women (DCW) uncovered shocking estimates that 53.2 for every penny attack cases recorded between April 2013-July 2014 in Delhi were found false. The report says that between previously mentioned dates the number of attack cases recorded in Delhi was 2,753 out of which, only 1,287 cases were seen to be legitimate, and the remaining 1,464 cases were seen to be fake.
  • In this age, even the smallest workplace in the private sector is well equipped with computers and other technological gadgets that help them increase their productivity and update their records. Almost every court has a pile of rotting files in the basement.. Thus, even though we live in the computer era, our techniques are out of date and urgently require a re-examination.

The story of Satya Rani Chadha : another example of the effect of delay in justice

Satyarani Chadha, a pioneer of Delhi’s anti-dowry campaign in the 1980s and a co-founder (with Shahjehan Aapa) of ShaktiShalini, a women’s organisation and a refuge for dowry and domestic abuse survivors, died on 1st July 2014. Satyaraniji, who was in her late 80s at the time, had been battling illness and dementia for the last several years. Satyarani started on a life-long battle through her organisation ShaktiShali for women survivors of domestic violence, dowry abuse, and harassment in their marital homes, turning her sadness into courage and drawing strength from her tragedy. She spent many years advising, counselling, and assisting parents and daughters who were subjected to dowry harassment and abuse by their husbands and in-laws.

The principal alteration, made in 1983, changed the integration of the notion of share in the law regarding any interest for gifts whenever during the marriage. The subsequent alteration was achieved in Section 113 of the Indian Evidence Act (1872), as indicated by which an abetment to self-destruction was assumed if a married lady committed suicide within seven years of marriage and if her significant other/parents in law had exposed her to any type of viciousness and remorselessness. Satyarani Chadha, however, found the win in her daughter’s case and the legal improvements to be of little consolation. “I lost my daughter 35 years ago, but in the process, I rescued tens of thousands of others,” she added. But what did I receive in the end? “My son-in-law is alive, married, and absconding; he is not in prison,” she continued, “but my daughter is dead. This disgust with the legal system will never leave me”. Satyarani Chadha will be remembered by the Indian women’s movement as a lady of tenacity and courage, with an unwavering dedication to ending the societal scourge of dowry and domestic abuse. She persisted in her fight for women’s dignity to the end, requesting land from the government to build shelters and houses for girls and women who were harassed and subjected to abuse in their marital homes.

Important steps taken by the judiciary

The latest experiences on the pendency of cases, at all levels of courts the country over, makes it obvious that many things should be done to fulfill the order of speedy value. The data, assembled from the electronic interface of The National Judicial Data Grid (NJDG) and the court destinations, exhibits very little has changed over the two or three years but the monstrous pendency of cases have taken the center stage in a couple of meetings between the legitimate chief and the public power. As indicated by the information made open by the Supreme Court of India to the Union Ministry of Law and Justice, the number of impending cases for the Apex court of 18th December was 54,719. The number of cases impending in the court for more than 5 years was 15,929, which is over 29% of the cases. Those keeping things under control for evacuation for more than 10 years included 1,550 cases. As demonstrated by the estimations available on NJDG, as of December 26, more than 34.27 lakh cases were impending for high courts, excepting High Courts of Allahabad and Jammu and Kashmir. Data open on the Uttar Pradesh government’s law office’s site revealed a pendency of more than 3.2 lakh.

  • On the Eleventh Finance Commission’s recommendation, 1734 Fast Track Courts of Sessions Judges were permitted to transfer old outstanding cases, with the scheme set to terminate on 31-3-2005. These courts have dismissed 10,99,828 cases out of a total of 18,92,583. The plan had been extended until 31-3-2010, based on the implementation of Fast Track Courts and their commitment to clearing the surplus.
  • Suit through the courts and councils set up by the Finance Commission of India is one technique for settling the question, which is an adversarial strategy for question resolution that stimulates a win-lose situation, whereas alternative dispute resolution attempts to achieve a win-win situation for both parties. No one is a failure, and both groupings are satisfied at the end of the day. ADR systems include assertion, arrangement, intervention, and resolution. Section 89 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in order to incorporate optional frameworks into the norm.
  • The acceptance of data innovation-based frameworks in the legal system to make the legal system more successful in supplying expedient and opportune equity to the prosecutors was extraordinary in comparison to other ways for achieving the improvement of the legal parts in the country.Mr Justice G.C. Bharuka, a judge of a few months, established an invention in Indian law in 1991 in the Patna High Court while he was an infant Judge of a few months, and there was some progress so long as he stayed in Patna, whereafter it remained.
  • The Law Commission of India addresses a similar topic in its Seventy-Seventh Report. As a result, the judges should get enough preparation and training. The identity of judges plays a critical role in the equitable conveyance system. It is critical for judges to have adequate judicial education and to avoid bias in the court of law. They should also remember the principles of natural justice and audi alteram partem.

Conclusion

The consistently extending rulings in courts and meetings around the country have been a source of concern for more than a decade. By virtue of the extending people and besides a simultaneous addition in the care among occupants as for real rights, the pendency in the courts has been expanding. 

It is standard that pendency of cases in the courts, chambers and high courts would achieve the growing pendency of cases in the Supreme Court. In such conditions, it is being suggested that uncommon leave petitions under Article 136 of the Constitution should be restricted by suitable guidelines. Furthermore, others argue that the Supreme Court, under Article 136, should merely focus on a matter of vital concern. While it is true that “justice delayed is justice denied,” it is equally true that “fast justice is injustice.” Despite the fact that fast track courts have helped to reduce India’s backlog, judges and observers have expressed concerns over the quality of justice being delivered.

References


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