Justice: A Misconstrued Notion

14th Century French Proverb “Little thieves are hanged but great ones escape” is of utmost relevance when juxtaposed with the prevailing notion of justice. Like every coin or bipolar object, justice has two facades wherein one facade is seen by the one who approaches the Justice delivering authority [Courts, Panchayat, teachers, parents, etc.] and the second facade is visible to those who are accused. In law, we call them ‘judgment debtor and judgment creditor’ and philosophy name them ‘Self and Other’. The presence of ‘Self and Other cannot be denied in any dispute because, in every adjudication of dispute, there happens a polarization of two groups whose position vary before and after the final judgment.

Interestingly, Justice is often misconceived as vigilantism which is an oft-debated theme of superheroes movies. This vigilantism has further been bolstered by the escalating trend of Marvels and DC movies wherein justice is only meant to be delivered by the Heros by killiing the villain. Interestingly, in such cases, both the parties define justice according to their own principles for e.g. For one sect of group Captian America’s act of killing Thanos is justice where on the other hand for Thanos’ annihilation the half of the population is justice. Appositely, in all these situations the yardstick to understand or justify one’s justice remains clouded.

Pertinently, the most blurred version of justice can be observed in the cases of Mob lynching wherein the majority defines Justice and violence gives legitimacy to such justice. Similarly, in the cases of burglary or murder or any other crime, justice amounts to giving punishment to the accused but in case the party couldn’t prove the guilt, then where does justice go? Does it fade with every day since the case is filed? Or Does it end after the trial ends? Interestingly, if justice ends with the trials then what about those cases which go unreported and where no trial takes place. Is justice not meant for such people?

Here, the question arises whether Justice can only be served when the grievance is brought to the knowledge of the authority delivering justice. Furthermore, if Justice is blind, then would is true justice served by law? Blind nature of justice is actually meant to connote impartiality and objective. But again how does the blind law recognize who is right and who is wrong? To resolve this problem, further bodies are created to ensure impartiality.

Such convoluted notions of justice often remain unanswered because they can only be answered when all the stakeholders are present which is in itself a utopian thought of justice. Hence, there is a need to revisit the notion of justice.

Author Lokesh Vyas, IIIrd Year Student

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