Beyond Reasonable Doubt Law

In an article titled Dance of the Wolves in Tehelka (weekly magazine; Vol. 5, Issue 17), the box declares:

Many of the accused were given anticipatory bail even before they were arrested. The result: accused are roaming free.

Well, for the sake of clarification, anticipatory bail can only, and only, be granted ‘before the arrest’. After the arrest, it’s regular bail. And ‘accused’ are ‘roaming free’ precisely because they are ‘accused’. And if the above statement is to insinuate failure of criminal justice system, the facts underlined within the statement do the opposite. It is not the failure but the success of the criminal justice system that all accused are treated alike so long as they are not convicted.

The law is being followed in letter and spirit and ‘presumption of innocence’ is being accorded due importance. An ‘accused’ cannot be treated as ‘convict’ unless his offence is established ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ unless it could be shown that there is a probability of the accused trying to run away, or he is influential enough to retard the process of justice if released on bail.

Yes, some really dangerous elements can very well take the advantage of the law. But then it is the price we pay to ensure that no innocent is punished.

First Published on my WordPress Blog on April 29, 2008

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