Slow Injustice: Hyderabad Blast Case - Learn Vocabulary (THE HINDU ARTICLE)


Slow Injustice: on Hyderabad Blast Case Verdict

Speedy trials alone can undo the sense of injustice caused by acquittal after years in jail

The wholesale acquittal of all 10 persons arrested in connection with a blast at the Police Task Force office at Begumpet in Hyderabad in 2005 must occasion serious introspection on the prevailing gulf between crime and justice. While they no doubt bring relief, acquittals in such cases also carry a sense of injustice, especially when they are based on absence of evidence and not merely because there is some doubt about culpability. It may also seem unfair to those who feel the accused got away; but more often, the injustice flows from the loss suffered by the accused who might have spent years in prison, possibly in the prime of youth. There have been quite a few instances, in recent times, of those arrested for alleged involvement in terrorism incidents being released after years in prison. Examples include Nisar-ud-din Ahmad, who spent 23 years in prison in connection with several train blasts, before the Supreme Court ordered his release last year. Aligarh Muslim University research scholar Gulzar Mohammed Wani spent 16 years in jail on suspicion of being a member of the Hizbul Mujahideen before he was acquitted due to lack of evidence. Exoneration from one or two charges cannot be adequate recompense for the loss of liberty and the trauma of the trial. A key aspect of these cases is that they were serious crimes warranting credible investigation and vigorous prosecution. The outcome, often acquittal for want of evidence, reflects poorly on the investigating machinery as well as the judicial system. In December 2016, the National Investigation Agency managed to get Yasin Bhatkal, founder of the Indian Mujahideen, and four others convicted and sentenced to death in connection with the 2013 twin blasts in Hyderabad, but it is a rare instance of a successful prosecution and a relatively quick trial.

Fairness in the administration of criminal justice is not secured by the final outcome alone, but must be built into the process of determining whether a person is guilty or not. Courts tend to deny bail in cases related to terrorism, but do not show a matching commitment to an expeditious trial. Delayed trials weaken the prosecution’s case. Witnesses tend to forget crucial details or lack the resolve to depose carefully. Every person acquitted may not be innocent; equally, it cannot be said that people are going scot-free after committing grave offences. Individuals come under suspicion for their links with organisations or groups, but are exonerated by courts after the prosecution fails to link them to any particular crime. One way of addressing the problem of prolonged incarceration and perfunctory prosecution is to make it a matter of policy to have a quick and time-bound trial at least in serious cases involving acts of terrorism and those under special laws. Justice, if it has to be substantive, cannot be in slow motion.

Learn Vocabulary from (THE HINDU ARTICLE)

1)Culpability (noun)  (दोषी):  kul-pae-bil-i-tee
Meaning - responsibility for a fault or wrong
Synonyms -guilt, blame/fault, responsibility.
Antonyms -  innocence, chastity, decency, guiltlessness
Example - You must bear your share of the culpability for this loss.

2)Exoneration (noun)   (दोषमुक्ति) - ex-on-er-a-tion
Meaning - the action of officially absolving someone from blame, to prove that someone is not guilty of a crime or responsible for a problem, bad situation, etc.
Synonyms -  vindication, freeing (from blame), acquittal, discharge.
Antonyms - condemnation, punishment, imprisonment
Example -  Empathy for the criminal's childhood misery does not imply exoneration of the crimes he committed as an adult.

3)Incarceration (noun)  (क़ैद कर देना):  in-kar-ser-ey-shun
Meaning - the state of being confined in prison, to lock a person up as a consequence for his or her actions
Synonyms -  imprisonment, confinement, custody.
Antonyms - freedom, redemption, liberty, discharge
Example - Finally the bad deeds of Ram Rahim Singh led to his incarceration.

4) Perfunctory (adjective)(असावधान ):  per-funk-ter-ee
Meaning - done routinely and with little interest or care
Synonyms -  casual, uninterested, careless.
Antonyms - attentive, prudent, careful
Example -  If you study in a perfunctory way, you will not get a good result in the exam.

5)Prolonged (adjective)  (लंबा) -  Pro-long-ed
Meaning - lengthened in time; extended; drawn out
Synonyms- continuous, ongoing, persistent.
Antonyms - short, brief, cursory
Example - Due to his illness, his absence from work was prolonged.

6)Substantive (adjective) ( मूल) - suhb-stun-tiv
Meaning -associated with issues of key importance, meaningful 
Synonyms -  important, significant, essential
Antonyms - optional, meaningless, unimportant
Example - As a busy employee, David is tired of attending monthly meetings that are not substantive to his work.

7)Gulf (noun)  ( अंतर,विचलन) - gu-lf
Meaning -a difference between two people, groups, or things.
Synonyms - divergence, contrast, difference.
Antonyms - conformity, similarity, agreement
Example -The gulf between Mr. Trump’s worldview and that of most European leaders on topics from trade to immigration will be on display in the coming days.

8)Introspection (noun)  (आत्मनिरीक्षण) - in-tro-spek-shun
Meaning:  the process of examining one’s own thoughts and feelings
Synonyms - self-observation, self-analysis; contemplation.
Example -Perhaps if you indulged in a little introspection, you would stop repeating the same bad habits.

9) Acquittal (noun) (दोषमुक्ति) -  a-kwit-l
Meaning - a judgement or verdict that a person is not guilty of the crime with which they have been charged.
Synonyms - dischargerelease, freeing, exoneration.
Antonyms -sentence, blame, indictment
Example - When there is not enough evidence, a criminal case will usually end with an acquittal.

10)Expeditious (adjective)  (शीघ्र) - ek-spi-dish-us
Meaning - performed quickly and efficiently
Synonyms - speedy, swift, quick/fast-track.
Antonyms -slow, lagging, sluggish
Example -The man was saved because of the doctor’s expeditious diagnosis.

Assume the article above as a Reading Comprehension, try to answer the following questions-
  • What was the key aspect in all the cases as mentioned in the passage?
  • Which way is suggested in the passage to address the problem of prolonged incarceration and perfunctory prosecution?
Some words from the article above are given below. Try to make sentences with these words in the comment section which will be reviewed by us.
  • Prevail
  • Credible
  • Warrant
  • Resolve

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