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Look who has faith in the judiciary!: Mahtab Alam

January 10, 2011

Guest post by MAHTAB ALAM

Ilina Sen, wife of the human rights’ activist and people’s doctor, Binayak Sen, reacting over the judgment, which gave life imprisonment to Dr. Sen said, “My faith in the judiciary has been shattered”. “I am in a state of complete shock…in our stupidity we believed the judicial process would be fair,” she told media persons at a press conference in Delhi.

In a somewhat similar tone, Nivedita Menon, reacting over the Ayodhya verdict said she was shattered by the judgment and called it the second demolition of the mosque. “A shameful and shocking judgment, I am shattered by what it does, by its implications for democracy, and by the statement it makes about what we can expect for the future,” she wrote.

Within a month and half after the Ayodhya verdict and, a month and half before Binayak’s verdict, Supreme Court Judge Justice R V Raveendran, expressing deep concern over inconsistency in judgments said in Lucknow on November 13th 2010, that the common man had lost their faith in the judicial system. “The common man is often bewildered why he loses a case with identical facts, when another litigant gets relief,” he said while delivering the tenth Justice J K Mathur Memorial Lecture at the Ram Manohar Lohia Law University on ‘Anomalies in Law’, at Lucknow.

So, who has faith in the judicial systems, if not the common people? Who are the other litigants, who can easily get relief or profess hope to get so?

“I have full faith in judiciary, the entire thing is put on judiciary,” A Raja, the tainted former minister of Telecom told reporters on the sidelines of a national e-governance meeting in New Delhi on 12th November, a day before Justice Raveendran’s remarks.

And why shouldn’t he have, when he knows the consequences of the perpetrators of the Bhopal gas disaster, the anti-Sikh massacre, the Gujarat genocide and hundreds of criminals. After all, he is not Binayak Sen , neither a common man.

The simple fact is that as Arundhati Roy had once said, in our country, ‘while communal killers, mass murderers, corporate scamsters, looters, rapists, and those who preyed on the poorest of the poor roamed free’, the jail was the destination of those who fought for justice and establishment of real democracy.

(Mahtab Alam is a civil rights’ activist and journalist based in Ranchi. activist dot journalist at gmail dot com.)


5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2011 9:50 AM

    I am in the midst of a court case. I was involved in an accident. Early in the morning and no one was there on the road when the accident took place. I was surprised when i was offered a proxy i.e., the police constable said he could organise another driver to sign in as the one who had the accident at a fee!! I am an upright citizen, so i was righteous and said i am clearly in the right, i will not fall for this corruption. He had a wry smile on his face. It is now about 5 years! totally false statements are given in court. My lawyer explained that this is so that insurance can be claimed. No real case has been built. I just go to court one a month or so for the case to be posted on another day! I trusted the judicial system too!! I am still not sure if justice will be done, but enough harassment has happened, and this is a simple accident case.

  2. January 12, 2011 4:37 PM

    “Faith” itself is an antiquity, kept like statues of our national Heroes. They could be worshiped like gods but their ideals and moral standards can never influence our collective characters.

  3. Clynt Keelan permalink
    January 15, 2011 11:34 AM

    I am very sorry for the people who have become victims of corruption and cronyism by the police and judiciary.

    Historically, the best remedy has always been exposure. Throughout the world, corruption in public officials can only thrive when it is secret.

    The trouble is the anti-sedition laws can be used to maintain and even strengthen the secrecy that corrupt public officials need to conduct their repulsive affairs. It is therefore very important that the anti-sedition laws be changed so that it becomes much harder to use them to stifle political debate, and much costlier to the accuser who tries to misuse them.

    It is also important not to treat traditional hierarchies or ways of doing things as though they are sacrosanct merely because they have persisted over time. Reverence and piety are too often found to support and perpetuate corruption and injustice.

    Also – a Freedom of Information Act is a really helpful thing when you want to expose gangster politicians!

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