Justice can never be instant: CJI Bobde

“I believe justice loses its character of justice if it becomes revenge,” CJI Bobde said during inauguration of new building of Rajasthan High Court.

Jodhpur: In the backdrop of the Hyderabad rape-murder incident and gunning down of the four accused in an alleged encounter, Chief Justice of India S A Bobde on Saturday said justice can never be instant and loses its character when it becomes revenge.

At the same time, he admitted that the recent events in the country have sparked off an old debate with new vigour, where there is no doubt that the criminal justice system must reconsider its position and attitude towards the time it takes to dispose of a case.

“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 of justice if it becomes revenge,” the CJI said during the inauguration of a new building of the Rajasthan High Court here.

The CJI’s remarks came a day after the police claimed that all the four accused in the rape and murder of a young veterinarian in Hyderabad were shot dead in “retaliatory” firing by the cops when two of the accused opened fire at them after snatching their weapons and tried to escape from the site where they had been taken for a reconstruction of events as part of the investigation.

Addressing the event here, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad urged the CJI and other senior judges to ensure that there is a mechanism to monitor quick disposal of rape cases, saying that the women of the country are under pain and distress and crying for justice.

The Chief Justice of India, who spoke after the minister, stressed that as an institution, the judiciary must remain committed to making justice accessible to people by strengthening the existing avenues and evolving newer means to achieve an affordable, quick and satisfactory settlement of disputes.

“At the same time, we must be aware of the changes and perception about the judiciary,” Justice Bobde said said.
He said there is a need in the judiciary to invoke self-correcting measures but whether or not they should be publicised is a matter of debate.

“We have to devise methods for not only speeding up litigation but all together preventing it. There are laws which provide for pre-litigation mediation,” he said, adding that there was a need to consider compulsory pre-litigation mediation. Surprisingly, no courses were available for conferring a degree or diploma in mediation, he said. He also said the press conference held by four senior most judges of the apex court last year was just a self-corrective measure.

In an unprecedented move, Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, M B Lokur and Kurien Joseph– had on January 12, 2018, held a press conference, saying the situation in the top court was “not in order” and many “less than desirable” things had taken place.