As a human being, each individual is born with rights that are known as Human Rights. These rights are the fundamental rights that each individual or entity must have as a citizen, regardless of caste, creed, gender, religion, or other factors. These are inalienable and inherent rights. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a historic document that outlines human rights and freedoms. The UN General Assembly endorsed the declaration during its 183rd plenary meeting in Paris on December 10, 1948. It was the first international agreement on core human rights concepts. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins by recognising that:
“The power of the Universal Declaration is the power of ideas to change the world. It inspires us to continue working to ensure all people can gain freedom, equality and dignity.”
It established the cornerstone for today’s human rights protection. The Declaration has been ratified by nearly every in the world. More than 80 international agreements and treaties, as well as various regional conventions and domestic laws, have been inspired by it. It has aided in the improvement of human rights safeguards for disabled people, indigenous peoples, and women. It’s been translated into over 360 different languages. It declares that:
“Human Rights are universal – to be enjoyed by all people, no matter who they are or where they live.”
There are numerous flaws and loopholes in the present rule of law. The judicial process is sluggish and usually directed toward the perpetrator’s mentality, i.e. a system which is concerned with the perpetrator’s rights and interests rather than the survivors. The existing criminal justice mechanism has failed to provide citizens with timely and accurate justice while also ensuring the certainty of punishment for criminals. The United States, with only 5% of the worldwide people, has 25% of the world’s prison population, making it the world’s largest jailer. Human rights are violated in all walks of life, not just by other people, but also by social institutions established with the sole purpose of protecting the rights of all. The denial of human rights and fundamental freedoms causes social upheaval. The extent to which human rights are valued and protected in the context of criminal proceedings is a significant aspect of a society’s civilization.
MAJOR SECTORS OF HUMAN RIGHTS ATROCITIES IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Our criminal justice system is currently outdated, obsolete, and oppressive. The problem is getting worse since almost the criminal justice system is comprised of regulations and imprisonment that routinely contravene human rights and exacerbate human wrongs. Indigenous sources have produced a plethora of reports on disturbing human rights violations during the pre-emergency and disaster periods. The overlapping of these complaints indicates a pattern of abuse in the country’s criminal justice system. The reports mostly focus on mistreatment, especially rapes and murders in custody. The following are the main areas of human rights violations:
(a) Crime: Due to the obvious cumulative effects of socio-politico-economic forces, unlawful acts are on the rise day by day. Increased population, increased unemployment, and denial of opportunity to a certain group of people are some of the reasons. Coordinated crime is on the rise. Organized gangs have quite control over finances, firearms, and communication these crimes have become a severe threat not just to the police as well as to the survival of civilised society. The level of terror inflicted on society by organised gangs is disturbing. Substantial corruption in cultural-financial institutions is also a result of these gangs.
(b) Police: In a democratic society, the police are considered as defending rights and dignity by protecting constitutional and legal liberties. However, sovereignty is jeopardised when police fail to respect citizens’ universal human rights and consistently disregard the rule of law. When a complainant approaches the police to file a complaint, he is frequently greeted with disrespect, disinterest, and ignominy in the police station. As the use of third-degree tactics is an accepted part of police interrogation methodology, it has been recognised as an abuse of foundational freedom and also is prohibited by law. Nonetheless, this practice is common at police stations.
(c) Judiciary: In the judicial precedent, the criminal justice system is founded on the assumption of innocence and the necessity that the felony charge is proven beyond a reasonable suspicion. The trial is another flaw. The prosecutor should be chosen on merit, and appoint qualified and politically independent prosecutors. The prosecution has an obligation of fair presentation, which implies that it must present to the court all relevant facts, including those that are favourable to the accused. As Justice Arthus. V and Erbilt would say, “If they (the common citizens) have respect for the work of the courts, their respect for the law will survive the shortcomings of every other branch of Government; but if they lose their respect for the work of the courts, their respect for law and order will vanish with it to the great detriment of society.”
(d)State: The country’s so-called human rights watchdog seems to be the worst perpetrator. The executive’s increasing consolidation of power has proven problematic. We are experiencing the State’s power and supremacy in all of its forms. Numerous fundamental rights activists, as well as civil liberties organisations, have criticised the federal and state governments for their flagrant disdain for basic human rights and dignity. The authorities’ authoritarian inclination has turned the State into an abuser of the poor. Worst of all, state terrorism is being used to combat private terrorism.
Recommendations for the advancement of the Criminal Justice System
(a) Analytical Interrogation: Crimes are frequently performed in secret and with care so that there is no sufficient proof against the perpetrator. In these situations, having a powerful and clever investigative agency competent in using modern technologies is critical. Physical examination of said suspect, definitive diagnosis of the victim, analyses of spotted prints, photographs, as well as writing, use of forensic ballistics, wiretapping and other forms of digital surveillance, lie detectors, and truth serums are among the techniques employed. To apply these methods, the investigator must have the requisite equipment and technical understanding.
(b)ProactivePolice: The police, the government, and society all have a role in enhancing public safety in the nation and producing pro-citizens police. Schooling and ongoing training have a big impact on organisational behaviour. The content and techniques of police training are outdated. The police force’s credibility and efficacy can be improved by all segments of society, particularly the media. At the very least, people can refrain from disparaging the police without cause. If they can expand law enforcement collaboration, the opposing side will almost certainly respond positively, resulting in increased societal defence and a stronger law and order situation.
(c) Unvarying stance by the government: To combat human rights abuses, the government should issue an explicit proclamation of unified policy regarding contraventions of the plaintiff’s human rights by enforcement agencies. Governments should enact strict legislation to penalise those who violate human rights. In the event of human rights abuses, governments must take swift corrective measures. The process for defending the accused’s social justice at the global, state-wide, and local scales must be strengthened, and states should not avoid international scrutiny on human rights issues. Every state must establish a functional agency to conduct inspections and investigate human rights abuses.
(d) Security System: Police violence, police malfeasance, prison maltreatment, and wrongdoing should all be dealt with completely and effectively. Senior police officials must form a committee to deal with the problem seriously, and unfair police officers should face disciplinary punishment and be held accountable to compensate survivors of their crimes. The task for India is to improve human rights in its national criminal system by updating its law-enforcement infrastructure. A path to reconciliation is to improve the internal culture of human rights, which will help to restore our global reputation.
As Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer says, the process must be “uncompetitive, casual, versatile, compassionate, practical, and without legal complications.” Nowadays, India’s objective seems to be strengthening human rights by enhancing its legal system within the national criminal system while also ensuring that socio-economic welfare and national unity are not jeopardised. The National Human Rights Commission(NHRC)will create a change if it is a plan in place to recognise human rights violations in crime prevention operations rather than being a face-saving tool for widespread criticism of human rights scenarios and actively involved in corrective and remedial actions. Reconciliation is found in the evolution of the fundamental human rights sector at home that would also, in turn, restore our global reputation. As a result, it might be argued that together we can improve citizen awareness of human rights to protect the perpetrator’s human rights and basic freedoms. The Indian existing legal system may therefore be deemed the healthiest legal system in the world if these accumulations are removed by the law. Similarly, a reasonable person’s faith in the law may be re-established until it is destroyed.
Author(s) Name: Anshuman Dwivedi (University of Lucknow, Lucknow)