When I first read the news that the Italian Government was able to get the kith and kin of the fishermen who were killed in a shooting incident to take back the cases in exchange of Rupees One Crore, I was astonished and dismayed. Equally astonished is the Supreme Court which has said that this ‘deal’ is illegal.
Cases involving the sections of Indian Penal Code related to murder or attempt to murder cannot be sent to Lok Adalats. Moreover, the deal brokered by the Italian Government gave a message that ‘Justice can be bought’. That is, you can kill or rape someone if you had crores in your pocket. But there is also a need for introspection within our borders. Salman Khan, the bollywood actor who drove over poor homeless people sleeping on the footpath was also able to get away with the money power. Many a complainants in India get easily lured by the money power and take back the cases. There is a need for stringent guidelines in the judiciary that in the case of heinous crimes like murder, honour killing, rape, etc, the Courts can take suo motu cognizance and also punish the complainants should they take back the case at a later stage after admission of the case.