Law and Justice with Many Manifestations
The last week was witness to two new and different manifestations of law and justice.
The Supreme Court of India restrained the Gujarat Police from arresting till February 19 the controversial human rights activists Ms Teesta Setalvad and her husband against whom cases of embezzlement and cheating have been registered. Earlier, the Gujarat High Court had rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Teesta and her husband Javed Anand, observing that "they cannot be armoured with full-fledged anticipatory bail when the applicant did not cooperate with the investigation". The court referred to "shocking facts" about the misuse of funds for "personal" benefit.
Some human rights activists are taking the plea that the case against Ms Setalvad is motivated by the Gujarat Police for her active involvement in helping the Gujarat riot victims to seek justice. It is true that she had filed many cases against the government.
In fact, just as there is a motive behind every murder and other crimes, there is also a motive behind a case against any individual or party. While the impulse for a crime can be the desire to seek revenge or financial and property benefit, the desire for filing a case against a person or group can be to seek justice. So no case can be wished away or thrown out just because the accuser has some enmity or grouse against the person complained against. Murders take place because of some enmity. Even in the case of a rape, the accused can take the plea that the complainant had some grouse against him. But that cannot prevent either the police from investigating the case or the trial court from hearing it. The investigating agency and the trial court have to go by the record, evidence and arguments against the person accused and declare its verdict.
The Teesta case has also raised a very vital question of equality of every citizen before law. Can we say that our courts are similarly condescending towards all the persons who are facing similar charges as does Teesta?
Those interested to go further into Teesta Setalvad case can read "The Truth About Teesta" published by Prabhat Prakashan, New Delhi. Its e-book edition has been published by Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Google.
Deccan Chronicle chief arrested
On February 14 the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested T Venkattram Reddy, chairman of Deccan Chronicle Holdings Ltd (DCHL), on charges of loan fraud.
Subrata Roy (Sahara) case
It is not out of context to recall that the Supreme Court of India has put Sahara group chairman Subrata Roy in Delhi's Tihar Jail for failing to return the hundreds of crores of money he raised from investors. All his pleas for being released on bail have been rejected. He is now struggling to sell his properties to raise money so that he can refund investors' money and get out of jail. He is in jail for the last about one year.
These are the three manifestations of the stark reality our law and justice. Let readers draw their own judgement. ***