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.)