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Nimble hand of justice Justice delayed is justice denied. - Editorial

29 August 2012 09:13 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Well maintenance of law and order in a country the poper depends on the speed at which justice is meted out to the public. Be they the citizenry of the South who passed a period of terror due to the three-decade war, or their counterparts in the North who were daily witness to it, the course of justice should be evenhanded and prompt.

This was a fact vehemently re-emphasized by the Mahanayake of the Malwatte Chapter most venerable Thibbotuwawe Sri Siddhartha Sumangala Thera on Monday when Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris paid him a courtesy call.

Ven. Thera told Prof. Peiris that court action should be expedited against those in custody over terrorism charges while those who are innocent should be released. He also said, those detained on minor offences should not be unnecessarily kept in custody and they should be directed for rehabilitation after investigations are completed and due legal measures are taken.

His word could not have come at a better time than now when the country is getting prepared to face the lions in Geneva. More than files full of words of reassurance, it is solid action that is required for Sri Lanka to sail safely in the Swiss waters.

The current system of meting out justice should be such that it leaves adequate space for the guilty to be reformed. After all, punitive action alone would not add to safeguarding law and order in the long run.

Rehabilitation, if conducted the proper way, can immensely contribute towards slowing down the escalating crime rate. True enough, they may have been taken into custody for the purpose of safeguarding national security. The fact that they were wartime detainees should not make them the children of a lesser god. Under no circumstances should it be that they are detained for eternity.

The importance of an efficient rehabilitation mechanism is the need of the hour when the country’s prisoner population is increasing and looking into their welfare is taxing the government. Even though converting them fully may not be possible for any reformative body, a genuine attempt should be made to see that those who were found guilty once would not end up regaining the label.

The incomprehensibly slow traffic in court rooms and investigation processes should be remedied immediately so as to speed up the process of meting out justice.
After all, the judiciary is the only institution that has retained people’s faith, when the Executive and the Legislature have disappointed people with their incurable obduracies. Therefore, it is vital that nothing stands between people’s right justice and the process of granting it.
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