In pursuit of justice | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 23, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:30 PM, March 23, 2018

In pursuit of justice

Why do criminals escape and innocents suffer?

On March 22, this newspaper carried two contrasting reports that paint a grim picture of the overall situation of our legal system. The first report was based on a study carried out by the Police Bureau of Investigation (PIB) which showed that many murderers go unpunished due to lacunae in the whole legal and judicial process. The other report, in contrast, tells the story of a man who was declared innocent by High Court 28 years after he had appealed against his conviction.

According to the PIB study, more than half of the murder cases saw no conviction because they were diluted due to the sheer incompetence, negligence and unscrupulousness of the officials involved in various phases of the whole process. The authorities concerned should take note of these findings and vigorously pursue them to remove the flaws in the entire legal process.

The other case, in which a convicted man who had served three years' jail was declared innocent after 28 years, was the result of a laudable effort by Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee. The committee should be empowered with the adequate human resourceand other arrangements to detect all such pending cases, using the technology available, so that those could be disposed of without further delay.

Our judiciary and the authorities concerned should earnestly strive to identify and resolve the flaws or shortcomings and procedural loopholes that cause the innocent to suffer and the guilty to escape. Unless we do so, our pursuit of building a just society may not be successful.

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