The sword of justice has no scabbard, the famous quote of JOSEPH DE MAISTRE is a powerful metaphor emphasizing the idea that justice must be constantly wielded and never sheathed. It implies that justice is an ongoing, active force that cannot be contained or restricted. Just like a sword, justice must always be ready to be unsheathed and used to strike against anti Dharm Sansthapna (धर्म संस्थापना ). This quote reminds us that justice cannot be passive or dormant; it requires constant vigilance and action to maintain a fair and equitable society.
A law student at UPES COLS, Dehradun in 2014 wrote a legal oracle in this regards. Resonating very close in the context of the legal vista this decade first let’s understand what is a legal oracle in a classical way and then relate it with the present context.
A legal oracle is a metaphorical term used to describe a person or entity believed to possess profound knowledge and insight into legal matters. Similar to the concept of an oracle in ancient Greek mythology, a legal oracle is considered to have supernatural powers of foresight and understanding when it comes to legal issues. This oracle is often sought after for guidance and predictions in legal cases, serving as a trusted source of wisdom for attorneys, judges, and even the public. While the idea of a legal oracle is mostly symbolic, it represents the need for expert advice and wisdom in navigating complex legal systems and decisions, highlighting the importance of relying on trusted legal professionals for guidance and interpretation.
The compilation of this research was known as the Legal Laser. It is imperative for all feminists and activists to go through the compilation number 9 of the series at the ‘ law week’ to understand the status quo of women empowerment in 2024. So before this legal oracle in quote unquote begins important it is to know that this is for the ones who tend to uproot the interconnectedness of domestic violence, rape and incest. So along with the international stand of the UNO on women empowerment let’s share the oracle to establish a hypothesis before we take this on war level at Law Week.
So on January 21st 2014, a law student at COLS UPES (www.upes.ac.in) reproduced the legal oracle as follows.
“As a law student, I wonder how vague and non productive was the scenario with laws framed under the retribution theory of administration of justice.
The spirit of law lies in the “volksgeist” theory which states that laws grow like a language along with society. In Indian context however though society has grown by leaps and bounds since freedom, yet the laws governing it still remain unfazed.
With the drastic increase in the frequency of rapes the fragility in administration of justice becomes more apparent . In Indian Penal Code of 1860, unlike other grave offenses like attempt murder(section 307), attempt robbery(section 393), attempt rape is nowhere defined in Indian penal code. Section 354 and 509 deal with assault or criminal force to women with intend to outrage her modesty yet they classify such assaults under compoundable offenses (section 320, CrPc) which are open for compromise and accused is applicable for bail within a month. Besides this as per the doctrine of ‘rule of law’ no one can be punished with a penalty more than what is prescribed in the penal code at the time of commission of that particular crime.
Therefore the increasing public pressure demanding death penalty for ‘justice’ in Delhi gang rape case is in itself in contradiction to the substantive principal of natural justice secured by procedural law. It is thus difficult to arrive to a conclusion whether such a decision should be taken under legitimate expectations or the Rule Of Law must be followed intact and undiminished.
Well, as a law student I believe that the sword of justice has no scabbard. No assumptions must come in its way while dealing with such issues as crimes like rape do not arise from poverty or illiteracy but from lawlessness itself. Therefore the utilitarian approach must be adopted in dealing with such cruel and inhumane demonstrations.
A very famous name amongst the BBA/LLB 2010-15 BATCH at UPES once quoted a citation in a verdict “ We are punishing you not because you stole the horse but because horses should not be stolen.“
This legal reasoning is called deterrence and this deterrence according to Montesquieu is the essence of every legal mechanism to survive. In absence of deterrence laws remain nothing more than a bundle of cobwebs catching small insects, letting hornets and wasps to break through. Public protest gaining momentum against Delhi gang rape is a demonstration of awareness and unity of nation yet we must realize that in the darkest corners of our villages thousands of such draconian crimes go unnoticed and unchallenged everyday. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, the need of the hour is a brand new world of law with justice secured and peace preserved in every part of the nation.”
References and bibliography :
Macbeth : The first paradox.
Prophecy number one ” The Thane of Glamis”.
The Prophecies by Nostradamus.