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.


Arun Meethale Chirakkal 24 December 2008 at 2:40 pm  

Yes, Kasab needs to be represented by a lawyer and must be ensured a trial. "Our criminal justice system is founded on the British Common Law principle. If an accused is not represented in a trial, and if he refuses to defend himself, he can be released and walk scot-free." Though in this case he doesn't seem to refuse defending himself since he urged for legal help, a democratic set up can't afford a verdict without trial. It may set some dangerous precedents. The quote is from Amrutha Upendran's 'A Space of One's Own'. Happy Christmas.

Bindhu Unny 24 December 2008 at 9:38 pm  

Is that so, Arun? Can one walk away like that? I am not sure about that.

Wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :-)

Dhanya 24 December 2008 at 10:23 pm  

But the problem is by the time we debate about democracy and convicts right,some eminent personalities or some unfortunate airplane passengers will be taken on hostage and India will have to see it's most prized catch going free without even a trial !!!

poor-me/പാവം-ഞാന്‍ 31 December 2008 at 6:10 pm  

As the profile foto shows u r leaving 2008. Wish you a haappy new year.Let your hubby be sweeter this year...

The one who has loved and lost 1 January 2009 at 9:26 am  

Good post chechi :)
Wonder whether sentencing him, not sentencing him will make any difference..
Kasab is only a projection of an idea.. a catastrophic idea called terrorism...
As long as the idea exists, proponents and perpetuators of the idea will exist..
Whatever sentence he gets.. however cruel.. will not change anything to the root cause problem..
Maybe it will re affirm the faith of some in democracy!

On second thoughts that's not such a bad thing during these grave times, is it :)

Happy new year.. to you and family :)

Bindhu Unny 2 January 2009 at 9:39 am  

Dhanya: Isn't that again a failure of our system? The solution, I think, is not conviction without trial, but a speedy trial and conviction.

poor-me/പാവം-ഞാന്‍: Profiel foto and leaving 2008? What's the connection?
Anyways, thanks for the wishes and wish you the same. :-)

Deepu: Yes, sentencing people like Kasab won't make any difference as they were ready to die when took to terrorism. And there's no clear-cut solution to terrorism.

Happy new year to you too :-)

ജെ പി വെട്ടിയാട്ടില്‍ 8 January 2009 at 5:01 pm  

i need some songs to be uploaded.
can u ask yr friend kaatharikkutty to teach me that.
i hv told her several occasions, but no help so far.
kindly recommend for me
thanks and regards
jp uncle @ trichur

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