Justice Loses Character If It Becomes Revenge

Justice Loses Character If It Becomes Revenge


Every time, when a wrong is attempted, human emotions are betrayed. There may be several reasons, both good and bad, for attempting something wrong either by an individual or a group or by a system, and they affect each in turn. The effect in terms of material loss is often recovered with the passage of time but the effect, in terms of a psychological balancing act of an individual or a group or a system, is often of a devastating nature, where under sometimes, not only one or two or say a few, but many lives come at stake.[1] There may be umpteen number of select propositions, to read and understand the various wrongs that are crucial in motivating human emotions, and so human condition, but what in all they lead to bifurcating those emotions of yours’ with the subjectivity of revenge. Revenge seems to be the effect of passion, the result of abusive private reason. Contrary, the State represents the public authority that neutralizes passion and private interest, so as to deliver an impartial judgment to the parties.[2]


Can Justice be ought to be instant, is a matter of debate but vehemently, the prospective was never ever there to make it subject to immediate. In the wake of rape-cum-murder of a veterinarian and the subsequent killing of the accused in an impugned encounter, seems to raise eye-round through celebration in some quarters and concern in others questioning the shootout as police exercising extrajudicial execution.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, the conviction rate in cases of rape disposed of by the courts saw only a marginal increase from 27.4% in 2014 to 31.8% in 2017. In 2017, 57.9% of the 57 cases of rape-cum-murder saw convictions while still the pendency rate is still high with 90.1% of the total 574 cases still pending before courts.[3] The records raise the thought that the aftermath of slow conviction in rape cases could be the prima facie outlook of public supporting extra-judicial killings? And on the other hand, the dissenting voices raised concern over the alleged encounter entailing due process taking a back seat. Meanwhile, Twitter remained sharply divided over the impugned ‘encounter’ of the accused. Hashtags, around the encounter dominated online course, with #Encounter and #HyderabadPolice being the top trends. Appreciation and criticism of Hyderabad Police cut across political lines.

People hail extra-judicial reprisals when the law proves dysfunctional but when a member of Parliament, having sworn allegiance to the constitution calls for rapists to be lynched, she commits perjury and admits to lack of faith in the legal system and in democracy. Democracy characterizes itself differently from majoritarianism by virtue of certain individual and group rights it committed itself to and the will of a temporary majority cannot breach those rights. In light of securing those rights, specific institutions and their enhance mechanisms are integral to democracy. Due process is what we call setting those institutions and mechanisms in motion. The four accused killed in Hyderabad without the benefit of due process and characterizing clear blatant violation of Fundamental Rights under Article 20[4] and Article 21[5] by the State in Hyderabad.


The killing may seem and taste like justice but the truth is, there exist no shortcuts in solving the problem of crimes against women and allowing police to kill the ones’ it accuses only makes us more unsafe. Even if people believe that the swiftness injustice should prevail and the state should execute the accused, the obvious question that still arises is how we could presume that police have sought the right people? It was not the scene that they were caught flagrante delicto, rather it is now we have to believe that the Police have caught the real perpetrators.

It is to be kept in mind that there is a reason due to which the police cannot label anyone guilty, the accusation can be pressed but the final call resides in the Judiciary to decide on the accuracy of the accusations. This is because every sphere is being well equipped and is bestowed with its specific functions and encumbrance in the sphere will not affirm justice.

One of the realm newspaper, even reported that the Police was considering something out of the sphere, primarily extrajudicial, in order to soothe public lined up angrily for revenge and the damage to the image of the police.[6] Somewhere, even if the police story is considered right, the degree of incompetency is way too high. In the realm of affirming justice, the revengeful attitude was being satisfied.


As stated under the Indian Constitution[7], Right to Equality is a Fundamental Right. It is considered to be generally a negative right[8] of an individual but the obvious question arises is do you want equality with those unfortunate individuals who are being detained by the police for crimes, which the police are under the pressure to solve but lack the competency to? The answer in the present scenario dealt to be in negative. If you are still in support of the death squads in the realm of police then the support is for a social hierarchy of group(s) with differential rights and then mentally establishing yourself within the elite lot, immune to such arbitrary violence at the hands of the state. The act of the police simply advances that when in the realm of affirming justice, revenge is being satisfied and there exists no rule of law, who is taking the hit can be entirely arbitrary and who is in the line of fire does not even matter.


While Justice’s face is impassionate, revenge’s face is both marmoreal and animated by divine anger.[9] Revenge seems to be the effect of passion, the result of abusive private reason but in the contrary, the State represents the public authority that neutralizes passion, so as to deliver an impartial judgment to the parties. In cases where crimes are prosecuted and punished not in the form as criminal publica but as criminal private, punishment is in principle at least to some extent is considered to be revenge.[10] The Hyderabad scene creates a division of intellectuality when in the realm of affirming justice, assuage of public anger and revenge was given way.

Revenge is the antithesis of Justice and emotional justice often leads to back door entry of revenge. The Hyderabad encounter case marked the back door entry of revenge in the face of justice being imparted. The sphere of even body is limited and restricted, the functions and the exercising of these powers are within the sphere. This Encounter case is in prima facie view of the writer creates an encumbrance within this sphere and further for the sake of fulfilling the paramount credibility of this emotional justice violates the principle doctrine of Rule of Law.

According to Mahatma Gandhi, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”


[1] Judging Human Condition: Illustrations and Expositions from Hamlet and Justice, 8 RMLNLUJ (2016) 102 at pg. 102.

[2] Substance, Vol. 35, No. 1, Issue 109: Law and Literature (2006), pg. 20.

https://www.jstor.org/stable/3685634 accessed on 4 February 2020.

[3] TNN, Hyderabad Rape-Murder case: An ‘encounter’ that left a nation divided, Times of India (December 9, 2019, 07:52am)

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/an-encounter-that-left-a-nation-divided/articleshow/72410968.cms accessed on 9 February 2020.

[4] INDIA CONST. art. 20.

[5] INDIA CONST. art. 21.

[6] Vikram Sharma, Priyanka Reddy Murder: Cops discuss ‘other options than arrest’, Deccan Chronice (Nov 30, 2019, 6:51 am) https://www.deccanchronicle.com/amp/nation/current-affairs/301119/priyanka-reddy-murder-cops-discuss-options-other-than-arrest.html?__twitter_impression=true accessed on 13 February 2020.

[7] INDIA CONST. art. 14.

[8] V.N. Shukla, Constitution of India 37 (Mahendra P. Singh, Eastern Book Company, 10th Edition).

[9] Supra note 2, pg. 22.

[10] Ibid.