A day after the reported encounter of the four accused in Hyderabad veterinarian rape and murder case, Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde has reacted to the incident, stating that justice should not become revenge.
“Justice should not be revenge. I believe Justice loses its character as Justice if it becomes revenge,” he said, speaking at the inaugural function of the new High Court building in Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Justice Bobde said, “Recent events in the country have sparked off the old debate with new vigour. There is no doubt that the criminal justice system must reconsider its position, must reconsider its attitudes, towards time, towards laxity, and towards the eventual time it takes to dispose of a criminal matter.”
“But, 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 if justice if it becomes revenge,” he added.
The Chief Justice also stressed on the need to devise methods not only to hasten the litigation process but to also altogether prevent it. “There are laws which provide for pre-litigation mediation,” he said.
Justice Bobde said that the judiciary as an institution needed to correct itself, as it did when the 2018 press conference was held by four senior Supreme Court judges. “It was nothing more than a self-corrective measure and I do not wish to justify it,” the CJI said.
While some are hailing the reported encounter as justice to the Disha (name changed), the veterinarian who was gang-raped and murdered by the four deceased accused, others have called it an extra-judicial killing, and a marker of the deteriorating faith in the criminal justice system.
On Friday, the Telangana High Court intervened after a writ petition was filed by several civil rights activists, and the National Human Rights Commission too took suo moto cognizance of the matter.
The High Court directed the government of Telangana to preserve the bodies of the four men till Monday, December 9. It has also ordered officials to submit a video recording of the post-mortem of all four in a CD to the Principal District Judge, Mahaboobnagar. The Mahaboobnagar District Judge will receive and submit the CD of the post-mortem to Registrar General of the Telangana HC by Saturday evening, as per the directions issued.
According to Cyberabad Police Commissioner VC Sajjanar, the four accused in the case Mohammed Areef, Jollu Shiva, Jollu Naveen, and Chennakeshavulu were killed as they tried to overpower the escorting police personnel in the early hours of Friday by snatching their guns.
In a media briefing on Friday afternoon, Sajjanar said that Areef and Chennakesavulu opened fire at police after snatching their weapons, and then attacked the latter with stones and sticks, resulting in injuries to two policemen. “They kept firing.
They continued to fire and attack despite us asking them to surrender,” the Cyberabad commissioner said. Meanwhile, an NHRC delegation visit is underway at Mahboonagar District Hospital where the bodies of all four dead are being preserved as per HC orders.