To make my point very clear and real, I will give an imaginary example to show how YOU also can be sent to jail if evidences are fabricated and your lawyer is unable to beat maze of laws.
I do not want to scare you unduly. Our system is fine and works well barring some exceptional cases.
But we must be aware about shortcomings in our system. Several Police reforms are suggested by Supreme Court, but they are not seeing light of day, because there is no demand from public for immediate police reforms. No political parties have promised police reforms. I wonder why.
It is now no more any secret that innocent people can be jailed by fabricating evidence. Recently, news reports came that a person who was supposed to have been murdered many years ago surfaced. And on charge of his murder, three innocent persons were in Jail SINCE 10 YEARS.
Supreme Court immediately took notice and released these persons.
So there is nothing surprising about what I am writing.
In place of Convicted person, some other paid employee in jail.
Such news also have surfaced that some rich man was convicted. Some switch over was made and in his place an innocent person was willing to spend time in jail. Of course, salary was being regularly sent his family.
Caged by a False Dying Declaration.
As a lawyers, we have come across cases where wife and husband relations become so strained that wife decides that she will commit suicide but will see that whole family of husband goes to jail. She burns herself and gives dying declaration giving names of all members of in laws family.
On basis of Dying Declaration, police arrests them, courts send them to Life Imprisonment. High Court on appeal, acquits some and confirms conviction of some. Then those who are still in jail, come to Supreme Court.
The first question which Supreme Court asks us is ,”Tell us and argue why this dying declaration given before a Magistrate should not be believed?” If we fail to answer convincingly, our client remains in jail.
Let Us Examine The System
Let us take an imaginary example of You. You have never committed any crime in your dreams also.
Can this existing system harm you? How can they do it?
This is only an academic discussion. No intention to scare you. Intention is just to make you aware about need for earliest police reforms.
Let us start a story about You.
If some rich enemy of you, decides to send you in jail, he will have to first consult police investigating officer of your area or his higher officer.
Then without your knowledge, your phone will be tapped. It is necessary to catch you alone. One Sunday morning, you decides to go alone in your office and clear some pending matters.
Suddenly door opens and police comes and arrests you for murder of someone. You will be taken to police station where you will be asked to change your clothes and give clothes you were wearing.
You are shocked.Your family is shocked. They contact a lawyer. He gets copy of FIR or compliant from police.
Complaint says that there were two brothers who had came from Porbandar to your office and had asked you to return Rs.5000/- loan which they had given. You refused and got angry and killed one of them. His brother rushed to police station and you were arrested.
You will tell your lawyer that you do not know these person. You were just doing some pending work.
Lawyer will move bail application but police will oppose, saying that weapon of murder is yet to recover and investigation is yet going on.
The Court will reject bail application.
Next Sunday, police will take you and some two witnesses, to compound of your office. Being a Sunday, no one else will be there in compound of your office. Police will dig somewhere and surprisingly, a knife will be found. You will be taken back to custody.
After some days, chargesheet will be given to you. And thereafter sometime trial will begin.
Prosecution will first examine brother of deceased who will say that you killed his brother. There will be other witnesses who will say that they saw two brother entering in your office.
Other two witnesses will say that police called them at police station and asked them to witness recovery of weapon. In their presence, you told police that you were willing to show where murder weapon is hidden.
Then all of you went to compound of your office and you pointed out a place where you had hidden knife.. On digging at that place, a knife was recovered.
Chemical Examiner will say that blood group of deceased and blood group of stains on your clothes and blood group on knife matches.
A hawker will come in witness box and will say that you purchased this knife from him a week ago.
At the end of trial, Judge will ask you,”What have you to say ?”
You will say ,”All the witnesses are lying. You do not know any one from Porbandar except one Mohan”
Judge will say, ” Do you want to examine any evidence in support of your defense? Do you want to examine this Mohan or anyone else who can prove you innocent?”
You will say, “Sir, how can I examine Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi? He was born in Porbandar but then he was shot dead and he become Mahatma Gandhi. I remember him on every 2nd October. But he won’t come to give evidence in my favour.”
Judge will close the case. Hear arguments of lawyers.
Your lawyer will point out why these witnesses should not be believed. He will also argue that motive of murder for Rs.5000 loan is unbelievable and not proved.
The Judge will say that in our system motive is not required to be proved. It is only to be seen whether there are enough evidence to believe that your client has committed crime without any doubt.
The Judge will sentence you for life imprisonment on basis of evidence came on record.
Answering Your One Question
The first question which may come to your mind is, “From where police can get so many persons to lie against me?”
Here is the answer. There are many small time offenders and criminals. Police catch them and then let them go if they give promise to be police witness in any case and to depose whatever police says. The police has always such witnesses ready.
The dead body may be of some beggar.
Exception proves the Rule but it is not the Rule itself.
Let us put things in proper prospective. Such fabrication may be in some cases but by and large we have good police officers and they do very good investigations. We have honest public prosecutors who don’t prosecute false cases. Our system is safe for you and me and it works very well.
FIVE Weaknesses in the System
A. States are refusing to implement police Reforms though asked repeatedly by Supreme Court.
B. Weakness of Defense Lawyers in not taking aid of private detective agencies to collect evidence for defense.
C. Lack of Public Awareness and lack of public demand for Police Reforms.
D. There are enough provisions in Law for filing complaint of malicious prosecution against police, and to take out perjury proceedings against lying witnesses and complainants.
But they are only in books. Time limit to file such counter complaint is one year from the date a false case is filed against you. Such counter cases should be filed immediately… without any delay. But few lawyers give such advice. I don’t know why they don’t give such advice.
E. People have a mind set that Judges should do everything. Judges are not Gods. It is a wrong mind set that they should do everything..
Lawyers, Prosecutors, Activists and also you, all have duty to ask for reforms and to do their bits about it.
DISCLAIMER:Nothing stated herein is legal advice. There is no intention to defame any police or judicial system. The only intention is academic discussion for debate and public awareness. Nothing stated herein should be taken an authentic or representative view of the system.