The Indian Express | 27 November 2017
Citing the case of the Talwars, Shah said, "there was complete miscarriage of justice with the media playing havoc in the case and circulating ludicrous theories about the character of a young girl and her parents."
Former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court A P Shah Sunday said there were “no avenue to seek recourse to justice” or demand compensation for those wrongly incarcerated, citing the case of the Talwars and the bus conductor in the Ryan murder case.
Shah was speaking at a panel discussion on ‘The Need for Institutionalisation of Repeal of Laws’, organised by the Centre for Civil Society (CCS) at the Constitution Club of India.
He said that in the Aarushi Talwar case, there was “complete miscarriage of justice with the media playing havoc in the case and circulating ludicrous theories about the character of a young girl and her parents”, and that in the Ryan case, the “conductor was being made a scapegoat and falsely incarcerated by police”.
“Both these cases highlight the unfortunate scenario of people whose lives have been destroyed by such false arrests. They have practically no avenue to seek recourse to justice or subsequent compensation from the state… What is the remedy for this bus conductor? Frankly, I don’t know. He may file some petition under Article 226, but frankly there is no remedy, legislatively, available in India which is statutorily recognised,” Shah said.
He said social consequences for such persons include stigmatisation, persecution and inability to get employment.
“There are countries that have recognised their international obligations and codified specific laws for providing compensation to persons accused or convicted wrongly,” he said, citing the example of the UK, where the Home Secretary was obliged to pay compensation for wrongful incarceration.
The panel discussion was preceded by the release of the ‘The Repeal Laws Compendium’, produced by CCS in collaboration with students from various institutes such as the Maharashtra National Law University (MNLU) and Symbiosis Law School (SLS).
Students found obsolete laws in five states — Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Karnataka — and have demanded that these be repealed.
Senior advocate K T S Tulsi, who was also at the event, said: “If rule of law has to be effective, efficacious, you have to do away with redundant laws… Several laws are made and forgotten. Our conviction rate is perhaps the lowest in the world — less than six per cent. The legislature should devote more time going into the nitty-gritty of the law.”
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