It does take a lot of time and effort to prove a criminal guilty in India. Assa Ram’s conviction at Jodhpur is just a case in point. From the preliminary investigation to the verdict, it is such a long drawn process. The twist in the story comes in when very reputed and senior lawyers get sucked in. Voluntarily or otherwise, pro-bono or not, the cat and mouse game begins. To pick holes and to plug them becomes an interesting contest of oratory skills. In all this we have a referee who interprets the law as a judge, who waits for the cats to finish fighting over a piece of bread and finally hit his mallet to declare which side wins.
Since I have visited Jodhpur court, I was fascinated by the scene of the numerous “Munshi’s” (typist)” there. If you want to see how a typewriter looks like then either go to a museum or go to a court. Computers have replaced those machines now but the charm of listening to the keys striking the paper with multiple layers of carbon used to be music to the ears, the rat-a-tat, the quick adjustments of the roller, the winding of the ribbon spool, separating the stuck keys were a treat to watch.
Today it is the keyboard. I noticed that on most of them the alphabets, numbers and special characters are all invisible. The keyboards have been so overused that even the space bar shines like silver.
I am awestruck at the speed with which these guys type. They have a speed of more than 150 words per minute. You need that electrifying speed to key in cases. There is rarely any spelling or grammatical mistake. This I am talking of the English typing. Vernacular typing may be a word or two slower. A dot matrix printer would take longer to print than would take a Munshi to type. They are the nerve centre of any court and a force multiplier for any lawyer.
As you enter the court premises’ you will find people with black cloaks and black suits all over. I don’t understand if there are so many lawyers why cases dangle so long. They have specialisations like divorce lawyers, land & property specialists, criminal lawyers etc etc. There I found a lot of these tout kind of people hanging around. Moment you enter he will ask you your issue and take you to the perfect place. A typical Munshi with a typewriter on a “takhat”, sitting on chair, a make shift cupboard to his side, a wooden bench for you to sit, papers strewn all over are a common sight. You would be lucky if they have a tin roof on top otherwise it would be under a tree. I have never understood why they can’t have proper offices.
The record of stamp papers he issues is kept meticulously. Your name and your father’s name is the only thing that matters. Some things are done on a hundred rupees one, the price varies from state to state. Even the court rooms are dingy. Most of the times the judge refuses to see your face but sometimes he does. He summons you, looks at you and asks you your name and date of birth, turns that bunch of papers up and down, glances back at you with piercing eyes and signs the documents. You breathe a sigh of relief that thank God you have not been put in jail for registering your own house.
Be that as it may, court cases linger on far too long. Fast track courts can beat normal courts. The long list of witnesses is never ending. Some die, some are killed, some evaporate from the scenes and some backtrack from their words. The easiest thing is to say that they said so under duress and were made to forcefully confess. The investigative agencies do a shoddy job which gives a chance to these black coats to twist the case. The result is even if one judge pronounces a person guilty; the higher court judge finds no evidence worthwhile to prosecute the criminal.
If this is how the “mandi of the judicial process”, the law, the lawyer, his typist & his typewriter are going to churn out tons of “raddi” then God help us. From the commitment of crime to an affidavit on a stamp paper, from an FIR to summons, from a hearing to a judgement, from one court to another court we go around in circles. The laws keep becoming stricter but the crime and the criminal are there to stay. The speed of the typist doesn’t matter after all cases are decided on the skills of a lawyer. The judge keeps waiting to deliver justice & to finally make his kill. How can we reduce justice delivery time? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!
[ninja_form id=1]The name “A” does not strike a chord with me but as I read and see news coverage; I feel a sense of belongingness towards her as if she was my daughter. Today, my guts churn when I hear her name because people of this nation have turned into “Darinda’s”. I feel helpless that I could do nothing to save her. I clench my teeth in disgust to see the culprits roam alive. I wish they would have thought about their own daughters before drugging and hurting this angel, all of eight years. Definitely, morality has died in them; humanity has no value for them. Insanity has made way into their psyche. Well, heaven and hell is here only, the little one is in heaven but these B’s need to be in hell today.
Nirbahya’s (N) case is still fresh. The scars and wounds are yet to heal. Those culprits too roam free. Today I heard, another girl has been raped & destroyed mentally and physically in Surat? Rape cases are just figures to be rattled out as a statistic in the parliament. All “Kotwali’s” maintain a crime chart. They maintain a rape case graph displayed on their notice board. The reality is that the numbers of reported rape cases are on the decline, as the mental rape done by the police to the girl and her family dissuades them to report. Rapes can be done in police stations by “wardi wala goondas” too.
The PM can’t do justice. He says there are enough laws. The CM can’t do justice, the DC and SP can’t do justice. The beat constable can’t do justice. Courts delay justice and take their own sweet time. They want a witness for a rape! My foot! CM says that he has suspended a few people. The DC says that his district is too big to handle, the SP says he doesn’t have enough man power. The beat constable says that no one has reported any incident, after all someone needs to lodge an FIR. My second foot! When the citizen is asked what should be done, they say hang the rapist in public but when asked to co-operate, everyone slams their door as if nothing happened. The whole cycle then keeps repeating itself. Asifa’s keep perishing.
I will avoid politicians and politics; however, ministers do discuss what the previous governments did not do and what they have done in the limited time they had. Nehru and Gandhi are always going to be the ones responsible for the condition of the nation that exists today. No one will talk about the deteriorating moral systems. No one will talk about intolerance & hate crimes. No one will talk about citizen safety. No one will talk about how to make our policing strong. Every politician has his own agenda, get elected, make some noise, become a minister, perks and privileges’ galore, make big money, dharna, bandhs and when it comes to brass-tacks they hide behind the petticoat of our justice system.
Rape has raised its head to such an extent that it is becoming more of a prestige issue for some. What do the dastards want to prove by doing this heinous crime should be the focus? As it is the common citizen is afraid of mafias & goondaism. I as a citizen am happy if nothing happens to me and my family. If it happens in my neighbourhood I will definitely go and pay my respects and condolences. If it happens in some other city or state, the first thing which comes to the tongue is “bach gaye” but I will not do anything to help the state machinery or my fellow citizen.
I am saddened to my very inside for all the A’s. I shiver at the very thought of it. I pray for her soul and her parents. I also pray that at least once we should have quick justice like in Saudi Arabia. One man court, verdict-guilty, criminal taken to the city square, firing squad prepares the place, order given to fire, criminal shot in the head and finished, he is hanged on a boom till evening for all to witness. Period!
Issue here is that the criminal will be finished but the crime will still remain. When will be able to control that criminal instinct of future rapists? I wonder!!!!!!!!!!!