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12th-Mar-2016

Justice system must rise above police methods for peace and order

By MAINUL HOSEIN

It is for all to see how arbitrary police power has made the country more dangerous nationally and internationally. Show of police power has proved no threat to real criminals. Only open political agitations have been suppressed as a short term measure.The real criminals have no difficulty in getting away with big crimes. They have shown how easy it was to steal US$ 101m from Federal Reserve Bank, New York by using the safety system of Bangladesh Bank. The Governor of Bangladesh Bank was minding other things than his own. Britain has stopped carrying cargo from Bangladesh to London for safety reasons despite heavy police presence at the air ports and elsewhere in the country. The police are busy in filing cases after crimes are committed in the way of a police state. The police themselves are taking advantage of their unrestricted power and earning bad reputation for themselves and the country.The people are losing freedom so that the criminals have all the freedom to commit crimes.In no democracy, justice system is so much dominated by refusing bail and granting police remand as in ours one. The justice system is not so transparent where an accused is easily denied freedom to defend himself. Refusing bail will not prevent crime, it helps the real criminals not to be caught and punished.Justice system has to be seen as different from police methods. It is the justice system working through police that prevents crime and not the police methods without the justice system. Where justice system is resorted to for easy harassment of people in both private and government cases, justice will be delayed for hiding the truth and protecting the criminals.Our practice is such that punishment starts as soon the police takes up a case. Nightmare begins for the victim how to get bail and avoid remand to police custody. This provides good opportunity for real criminals to remain safely away. Bail should be granted unless one has a dangerous criminal record. Bail is not to be treated as punishment without trial.Nowhere justice can be done without knowing the political system. In our country to do justice is difficult for our political system where the police dominates politics. Here, the rule of law is struggling for survival. But the judges cannot give up and must rise above police methods. In our political system to do justice is an act of great courage on the part of the judges because the rule of law is not understood or appreciated. The constitutional independence of the judiciary is not in a happy situation. The Parliament, fully controlled by the government, has now assumed the power of impeaching justices of the Supreme Court. As protector of the Constitution the judiciary must not let it lying down. It is a challenge for the judiciary to save the Constitution. A person who is denied bail to suffer imprisonment cannot be blamed if he believes that in our criminal justice system punishment first, trial thereafter to see he deserved punishment or not. Objection to granting bail and easy claim for police remand have made justice process fearful as well as corrupt. A fair justice system which can be so made only by the judges.We must take helplessness of the general public seriously when punishment starts with very commencement of the case. The protection of rights by the justice system is the demand of civilised living. It is also the demand of our Constitution. We must not prove as a nation too cowardly for defending our own Constitution.  We must not be careless about it before it is too late.We note this painfully that the enjoyment of protection of law depends more on the police than on the judiciary. To argue from the point of view of constitutional guarantee of an individual's freedoms, it is unconstitutional to depend so much on police for enjoyment of freedoms. We are not saying this to accuse police but to highlight the weakness of our justice system.The judiciary must ensure that police conduct properly in dealing with court cases. Fair justice is impossible if judiciary is not in control of fair police conduct.