ON a day the Haryana Home Minister claimed that the state had topped in the country in the implementation of the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and System (CCTNS), came the news of a molestation accused shooting his victim’s father in the eye in Damdama village of Gurugram district. The accused was out on bail after being booked earlier under the POCSO Act. Incidents of crime against women have failed to come as a surprise in Haryana despite efforts being made to empower women socially, economically and educationally. The state’s rate of crime against women has been among the highest in the country, even as the number of reported cases is believed to be much less. While the gaps in social structure that lend to such crimes can be overcome only gradually with education and awareness, the reach of justice should be ensured to deter such incidents.
It is usual for the courts to grant bail on various grounds such as the nature of offence and the severity of punishment. But conditions can be imposed to make the provision stringent, even as the aim should be to make the accused suffer the consequences of the offence after undergoing the due legal process. That the crime was committed with brazenness while the undertrial was out conditionally demonstrates the belief that it is possible even to get away with murder, given the loopholes in our legal system.
The police have been accused of not acting on time despite reports that the accused was carrying an illegal weapon. Haryana has also of late seen a tussle between the Home Minister and the DGP over the extension granted to the latter and his seeking Central deputation. The political and police leadership should ensure that the morale of the force is not affected and it continues to function efficiently so as to maintain law and order in the state. The police exist for the public and it is their efficiency that will restore the confidence of the people in the government.