DailyPost 2247

The constitutionality of crime should not seem to be a travesty of justice on public display. Constitutionality means the sacred document itself and all laws, procedures, trials, incarceration process etc that emanate out it. It also means the lack of discrepancy in the law, legal requirements and administrative systems created on the said constitutionality, and certainly not with lots of visibly missing parts. Undeniably, citations, precedents and judgements are of critical value in the evolution of law and every interpretation has a lasting value and creates legal history. The legal fraternity would keep using it to the best of its advantage case after case. But is that all that can be provided to a struggling system, panting for breath.

Has in this legal maze, in which we struggle day in day out, the real legal issues, the simplest ones, can ever be sorted out. It gives a skewed look to the society at large, which we can ill afford. The parity of law and rules pertaining to the same nature of job, the entry modes might be different, the terms and conditions and duration of service might be different, but the nature of job remains exactly the same, might be more critical. This backdrop has a distinct example of that of the public servants, which they both are. Anyone coming through bureaucratic appointment process, will never gain entry into government service, if he has a criminal case pending against him. This is for the lesser mortals, what about the political executive, they can continue with FIRs, judicial trials and judgements trailing them endlessly.

The Prevention of Corruption Act and various other laws and rules in the country treat them same, given that situation, is this legal discrepancy not an eyesore of magnitude and eating into our system, till it makes it hollow. What has the constitution to say, when a serving minister becomes an accused / alleged accused and is an undertrial? Has he to be treated in a manner has nothing has happened. The person can continue in jail endlessly while being a minister. Think of this crazy situation, a law maker simultaneously being a serving minister, being accused / suspect whatever you call, in the given scheme of things seems, can perform the duties of a minister. How does he attend the cabinet meetings?

Same video virtual presence, that is used in a variety of court hearings. To add to the fun and frolic, which actually is an eternal tragedy, are the favours being provided in Indian jails, the well-known instances give a fair idea of it and make incarceration a mockery. Jails should fall under judicial administration as it is judicial custody. Not to talk of parole, furloughs and remission. Is this the way we want to treat the accused, the sentenced, after fair trial, with kid gloves. In and out of jail of even ministers is slowly becoming the norm. Given that reality, they are making the de-facto system dance to their tunes. When de-jure has come this, our politicians know how to get their pound of flesh, without a drop of blood. Some political pronouncements or even legislation may happen in duress, but heart of heart they have been able to create a system, they love, like and relish and would do anything to make it robust. It gives the cloak of legality.

Sanjay Sahay

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