Wednesday, 24 December, 2008

Kasab’s right and lawyers’ wrong!

Any accused has the right to be defended by a lawyer – so says our Constitution and everyone knows that. So Kasab the terrorist also has this right because he is an accused now and can be convicted only by a court of law, though every one knows that he’s one among those who unleashed terror on us. In that case, why are there so much discussions and arguments on if Kasab is entitled to legal help? There are those who want the law to take its due course and those who want Kasab to be punished without giving a chance to present his case. I, personally, would like to see Kasab tortured forever, to make him taste at least a part of the suffering, grief, distress, and loss he caused by his terrorist activities. Nevertheless, as a law-abiding citizen, I know Kasab should be given a proper trial and then convicted, if proven guilty.

I can understand the public outrage and they are entitled to that. But what’s with the lawyers? Bar Council of Mumbai has passed a resolution asking its members not to defend Kasab. Karan Thapar, a well-known TV journalist and newspaper columnist, in his weekly column “Sunday Sentiments” in the Hindustan Times dated 21 December, 2008, has presented in simple words why Kasab should be given a fair trial and a defense lawyer.

Ram Jethmalani, the criminal lawyer who specializes in taking up controversial defense cases, has explained the same in legal terms in his article in the Tehelka dated 27 December, 2008.

After giving relevant examples and all the necessary Articles in the Constitution in support f his argument, Jethmalani has made a point similar to the one I had in my mind all along:

“So Kasav has a right under the Constitution of India to be defended by a lawyer of his choice. If he cannot afford one, he or his High Commission may request the courts to give him one.

But the point still remains what will the lawyer do? I do not wish to discuss the merits of Kasav’s case, because normally my comments would cause him prejudice. But this is an exceptional case in which they probably would not. It does not seem to me possible for any lawyer, or even a combination of lawyers, to seriously dispute that he committed the atrocious act he is reported to have indulged in. It is a classic case of an accused being caught in flagrante delicto. The arguable question will be one of sentence, namely the choice between death and life imprisonment.”

That’s why I can understand the public outrage, but not the lawyers’. They should be able to think in the lines of Jethmalani that Kasab is entitled to legal aid, but a defense lawyer has little to defend in this case.

Then why do they behave like this? Do they ever hesitate to defend a murder/rape accused, even if he/she was caught red-handed and however brutal the crime involved was? After taking exorbitant fees, these people defend such accused and get them acquitted in many cases. Week charge sheets, distorted evidence, twisted laws, bought-out witnesses – with the aid of all these they help criminals to walk scot-free. The lawyers for sure know how our legal system works and they are worried that Kasab also could use the loopholes of the system and escape with the help of a good lawyer. That’s the reason for their irrational behaviour, nothing else.

And about the lawyers who came forward to defend Kasab, including those who backed out … Did Kasab or anyone else request their services? What prompted them to do so? Controversy and the resultant fame?

It now fails to surprise me that people find selfish opportunities in any event, and sugar-coat it as patriotism, humanity, and such virtues, which they fail to practice in day-to-day life.

Friday, 19 December, 2008

Past pleasant; Present perfect; Future ?

I am a true believer of the saying ‘Better late than never.’ That’s why I am doing this tag by The Layman, albeit it’s too late. I have many an excuse for postponing it this long – work, travel, social commitments, lack of interest in blogging, etc – but to be honest, I postponed it because it was not easy. :-)

So here’s my attempt at answering two questions each from my past, present, and future.


My oldest memories

I vividly remember …

  • Playing at my mother’s office in the evenings
  • Collecting jasmine flowers from an affectionate neighbour’s garden
  • Going to nursery school with my neighbour-friend-classmate escorted by an elder neighbour
  • The extremely nice nursery teacher taking me to her house during lunch break, and I for some reason, giving her a tough time by crying and demanding to go back. I guess I was sacred by her father who looked tough.

What was I doing 10 years ago?

On Dec 12, 1998? You expect me to remember that?

It’s true that I’ve a good memory, but this is too much ... :-)


My first thought today morning

6 O’ clock. Ding dong (calling bell)

I woke up with a start. Did Unny come so early?

(Background: Unny was to take 7.30 flight from Delhi)

I for a moment thought he wanted to give me surprise and told me a different flight time. Immediately realized he’s not that crazy to take an early morning flight from Delhi (if one’s there), that too in December. It was the newspaperboy who rang the bell. He was too busy to push the papers through the grill, instead dropped it outside and rang the bell to let me know. :-)

If you build a time capsule what would it contain?
Same things that I carry for a trek/travel …

As much as food that it would contain, first-aid kit, survival kit, clothes

Things like maps, guides will be handled by my better-half.


This year

This year is almost ‘last year’. So let me consider 2009. Hope to do what I postponed in 2008. That means 2008 New Year resolutions still remain strong as resolutions, which can be carried forward.

What do I see myself doing 14 years from now?

2022 – Farming, running a home stay, traveling

Or living in a city and doing the best I could do within the limitations

Whichever it is, I hope I’ll be enjoying life as I do now. :-)

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