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A matter of justice - Editorial

29 November 2013 04:46 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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All three suspects in connection with the killing of a police constable and his wife in Matara have died within a week or so. One suspect was shot dead by the police when he allegedly tried to shoot at them while the other two had drowned in their attempt to escape.

Incidents of this nature are common in Sri Lanka and people are so used to them that they do not see the flip side of it anymore.

In fact, the police said that they were in handcuffs when they jumped into the water to swim across and escape!

Criminals should be punished for committing crimes and nobody will question it. But in punishing them, the eyes of the lady justice should not be covered.
According to our Constitution, all suspects are considered innocent until found guilty through a proper judicial process. Therefore, all suspects have the right to a fair trial. Even the criminals have this right until they are found guilty of alleged crimes so it is the duty of the law enforcement authorities to respect that inalienable right.
However, the mentality of most of the Sri Lankans is such that they think probably this is the best way to preserve law and order. Although at another level, they know that the given story is too good to be true.

On the one hand, there are justifiable reasons which compel them to think in that manner.

They know that if authorities followed the due process to bring the perpetrators to justice, most of the time the court process would take such a long time, and by the time they are punished, most of the people would have forgotten that such a crime had ever taken place.

There is a legal maxim to this effect which says “justice delayed is justice denied.”  On the other hand, since a criminal case must be proven beyond reasonable doubt, there is a certain degree of possibility that suspects could get away unpunished on bizarre technicalities despite being found guilty.

However, it should be noted that transparency of justice must exist in a vibrant democracy which Sri Lanka claims it to be, especially at a time when Sri Lanka is receiving much flak for alleged human rights violations and governance issues.
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  • mohamed asfar Friday, 29 November 2013 06:15 AM

    justice should be just and served fast then no need anyone to jump into the river.


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