Maybe, swear words were invented to sum up unfortunate cases like these. Five years ago, a couple in Agra was sent to prison for a crime which, it was later found, they never committed. Ever since their release, the couple has been looking for their minor children who were sent to "some orphanage."
The heartbreaking story
In 2015, police had arrested Narendra Singh (40) and wife Najma (30) from the Bah area in Agra on charges of murdering a five-year-old boy. The couple was arrested under the pressure of public uproar to nab the guilty and close the case. The chargesheet was submitted without verifying facts, and the prosecution relied on circumstantial evidence while the investigation officer did not even try to find who the FIR was registered against. It means the one truly guilty is still out in the open.
"It is unfortunate that innocent people have spent five years behind bars and the main accused is still free," the court said in its judgement and has also directed the SSP to take action against the investigating officer. The couple is justified in accusing the police of miscarriage of justice but more than that, they're in tears that their children had been made orphans throughout.
Not the first case of miscarriage of justice by police, nor the last
Indian legal system requires an urgent update. Supreme Court had provided a compensation of Rs. 50 lakh to former ISRO scientist Nambi Narayanan, 24 long years after his illegal detention. Narayanan was illegally detained on the charge of leaking official secrets to a spy racket. The Supreme Court has time and again stressed the need to have a public law which grants adequate compensation in cases of wrongful arrests and detentions.
Among the recent similar examples, Assam's Madhubala Mandal's case is another classic example of unlawful arrest and detention. The 59-year-old woman was wrongfully arrested and detained for three years in Assam. Wrongfully sent to jail as a foreigner, she was finally released from a detention camp after officials started the process of correcting a clerical error that made a retired teacher in southern Assam a 'D'. Mandal was released after the police admitted that they did the blunder of arresting Mandal instead of Madhumala Das in 2016.
Social media users are not just angry, but furious
One doesn't even need to step into the couple's shoes, to realise the amount of regret and frustration they are justified in harbouring against the courts and the police. Who's responsible for their five years and the time taken away from their minor kids who were then aged 5 and 3?
Why is there no repercussion for this? Questioned a user on social media platform echoing the general public sentiment. "In USA they give huge monetary compensation amounting to millions for people who have been wrongfully imprisoned for a long period of time. I don't know whether such a thing exists here but it definitely should. Their whole lives have been ruined," posted another user.
Police and the judicial system require overhaul and be held responsible for such lapses. No one can return lost years in prison nor repay the life to their children. As suggested, "The guilty police officers be prosecuted and terminated from the job? They don't deserve the job. If they go unpunished, it will set a very wrong precedent," argues one social media user. True, it's time to ponder.