Friday, February 17, 2006

Just Ice

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Feb 15: The two persons who were found guilty of murdering a KSRTC conductor during the violence unleashed by the RSS activists in the city in July 2000 have been sentenced to life imprisonment and fined Rs 15,000 each. Twenty-three others, except the Hindu Aikya Vedi leader J. Sisupalan, were sentenced to up to four years of rigorous imprisonment and imposed fines for various charges, including conspiracy, unlawful assembly, destruction to public property and rioting. Thiruvananthapuram Fast Track Court judge Y. Tajudeen announced the judgment on Wednesday.

Kochi,Feb 16: The Kerala High Court today suspended the sentence of 23 accused, who were awarded imprisonment upto four years in the case relating to the murder of a KSRTC bus conductor during the violence allegedly unleashed by RSS activists in Thiruvananthapuram in July 2000.The fast track court, Thiruvananthapuram, had yesterday convicted and sentenced 25 accused in the case. While two of the accused were sentenced to life imprisonment, 23 others were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment upto 4 years.


It is interesting to see how things can change in less than 24 hours.

It took over 6 years to prosecute the guilty and for justice to prevail, and that too by the action of a "Fast Track" court. But to undo the work, the High Court for a change showed excellent merit and speed, speed quicker than any Fast Track court. Speed contrary to the usual rate at which "justice" is usually served on a platter, speeds which have given rise to Fast Track courts in the first place.

Whether the High Court has shown particular vested interest in this case to overturn the decision of a lower court is open to debate, and best not discussed here, and lack of evidence is too common a citing. But how do we depend on such a judicial system?

I absolutely and whole-heartedly believe in justice and I hope justice prevails everywhere and on everyone.

But can the judiciary keep over-turning and alternating its verdicts? Are the judges in the lower courts less qualified? Are they just there for the heck of it? Or are they proponents of injustice? Or do they take bribe? Or is it the other way round? So many questions keep popping up when you see judgements like this.

Would doctors be allowed to make decisions like this? What if a doc thought someone had brain tumor and removed a piece of his brain and tomorrow another doctor asked for it to be stitched back? What would we have? More judges? But seriously, would people tolerate it? If that would be negligence, why are judges not accountable for such merry-go-round decisions?

Anyway I did not write this post to question the judiciary, because I am not competent or knowledgeable enough. But definitely its something we all need to think about.

More painful is the state of the system of the state.

Take the verdict by the Fast Track Court - which was anyway suspended by the HC - in the backdrop of the actual incident:

The incident occurred on July 13, 2000 when the Sangh Parivar organisations turned violent during a protest march. The parivar (in the name of God, ofcourse) caused massive destruction to government and public property worth crores of rupees. (I remember the incident and scores of vehicles were destroyed, buildings rampaged and public beaten up.) Meanwhile, some of the agitators broke into the KSRTC bus depot at East Fort, Trivandrum and attacked the workers there. The deceased Mr.Rajesh, a bus conductor, who was caught unawares, was brutally beaten up using maintainence tools lying at the depot. The next day at hospital he passed away as a result of his grievious injuries.

How can we tolerate such incidents? Imagine a person, doing his duties and earning a living for his family, being beaten up by a bunch of criminals in the name of politics and religion. Put yourself in that situation. I shake my head in shame when I think that such incidents occur on a daily basis in the state of Kerala, and the rest of the Keralites like imbeciles tolerate such political and religious (of any community, and not just one) organisations.

If I was the judge I would have ordered these cold-blooded criminals to be punished with maximum penalty. Perhaps thats why I am not a judge, because my emotions overwhelm me when I hear of such heartlessness. But how else can we stop such brutality, various tones of the which seem to be instilled in the daily life of Keralites.


quills said...

I am appalled to hear the complete turnaround in the verdict issued barely 24 hrs ago. Was there some evidence pointing to the “innocence” of the accused that the fast track courts missed? Or, was it that the coffers of the high court judge who issued this senseless decree was suitably filled to prompt this sudden change of mind? I would like to hear what is being done about it and whether some action will be taken that real justice would finally prevail.

Mind Curry said...

@ quills - i really have no clue what happened in this case, but this is true for every single legal issue in india. there is a totally alternating ruling from the lower court till the supreme court. that means, for a murder case, a murderer will be deemed not guilty and guilty alternatingly for almost 10-15 years of his pulling out the petals and saying yes/no/yes/no..sad..i dont know about bribes, and even i thought about it..ten years ago i woulda still liked to believe the judiciary, atleast most of it, is clean.but not anymore.

Shinu Mathew said...

In India, nowadays, the only system that is free of corruption is our justice system, one would love to beleive. But there were a lot of cases reported where Judges taking bribe, and throwing the lower courts judgement out of the window or ignoring the all-important evidents and witnesses.
The bribe culture is slowly taking over the judiciary too. As in the parliament, where questions asked for money, this once puritan system is decaying. There are bribes for key posting and a lot more. But It's all rumors. ANd if I say anything without concrete evidence to back-up, I'll be in trouble.
But we, the people, are slowly recognizing it and what's more adapting to it!!
Thx for your comments on my blog

silverine said...

I am thinking of the poor man's family. Did the Govt. do anything for them ? :(

Mind Curry said...

@ shinu - i still try to keep believing that ultimately judiciary will keep itself clean. but its sad that increasingly we are having to go up to the supreme courts to get justice - and that too division benches.

@ silverine - yes, there was some compensation ordered..but such judgements surely will hurt them even more.

Maya Cassis said...

The judicial system needs to be slapped and shaken like salt and pepper.Its perturbing to know the state of affairs.I wonder if that would even create a stir.

ralminov said...

Recently I saw a news :A High Court verdict regarding the admissions to Engg/Medical courses.
The High Court says it is not necessary for the candidates to have even 10 marks in each subjects to be eligible for the admission.
There are around 26000 students who doesnt have 10 marks in each subjects.

If 3(three) answers are correct one will get 12 marks. So if one student attempts only 5 out 120 questions and gets 3 out of 5 attempted questions correct, he'll get 10 marks. If he attempts only 3 sure questions, he'll get 12 marks.

Do we need these kind of students in the SELF FINANCING colleges? What is the motive of the HighCourt?

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