Daily Post 1423
WHY DO WE UNDERSTAND LAW DIFFERENTLY?
The difference in understating of the law emanates from the fact that we try our level best to keep as much as possible away from the law. The general trend for a long long time has been of invoking the law when every other system of reconciliation, bargaining and negotiations fail for nearly every type of offence and for civil and other lapses as well. The concept is not of being legally correct or maintain the rule of law but is used with a vested interest to gain whatever they haven’t with other means, through the legal recourse. As soon as the personal interest or gain in achieved, the so called fully law abiding person can vanish into the blue in no time. This is proved by the fact that nobody pleads guilty in India and hence large number of cases have to through the tedious process of trial.
Given this scenario, everybody / every group has a different perception of law, the way you have seen and experienced and to what extent you can go, to prove your understanding right. There is also a general perception that with good lawyers on your side, lots can be managed. When judicial trial is generally called a legal battle, the practitioners who are best in the battle would come out successful. The general perception of justice as is demanded in every case coming to the public domain cannot be considered synonymous to truth. Even the law accepts that not only justice should be done, it should also seem to be done.
There is serious danger in this thought process as in the present vitiated atmosphere justice would seem to be done only if the judgement is their favour. By law we don’t mean only what is dispensed in the court of law. It is our day to day interaction with the govt and it’s agencies for variety of needs. The experience people carry of delay, bad behaviour to outright harassment and corruption gives different people a very different understanding of law. When you are the receiving end of law, what good opinion of law and it’s agencies would you carry. How can the strings be pulled is also known to people and that is what they keep doing from morning to evening. This adds a very real dimension to law in this country. There might be a tacit cost involved, who knows!
If we get whatever we are entitled to and what we legally deserve under the given circumstances over and over again, our faith in law would rise exponentially. Conversely, people on the other side of the law are treated in the manner they deserve and punishment is predictable. Given the variety in implementing the law and creative ways of leaving it unimplemented, people have developed different perceptions of law and understandably so. As long as people feel that they are being treated differently for the same legal predicament they are in, the change of heart and mind regarding the ultimate objectivity of law is not going to happen. Time go get into a desperate mode to eliminate differential understating of law based out of differential treatment.
SAME PERCEPTION OF LAW IS A DEMOCRATIC NECESSITY.