• kewal sethi

Who is to take blame?

Who is to take blame?

two news today appear in indian express which raise important questions. one is about a kashmiri youth who is an aeronautical engineer. he is supposed to have been plotting for sep 11 type act in india. rs. 4.50 lakhs were recovered from him. also lot of rdx, etc. etc.


more than four years later, additional sessions judge has acquitted him of all charges and ordered the money to be returned to him. there was absolutely no proof against him. he was, according to him, picked up from his house by special police people.


no compensation is to be paid to him for ruining his career and for his internment, he was working with star aviation but will they accept him back. five years of his life are gone.


but he has to be grateful for what has happened. he could have been eliminated for trying to escape from custody or may be in cross fire.


the second case is about false case being registered against five youth for alleged theft and extortion. they were detained and tortured. their families got them released by paying rs. 5000 each the next day. five days later they were again picked up and tortured again, two of them landing in a hospital. the four policemen and their accusers – two businessmen – were tried. the judgment has come after 13 years. all have been convicted. the irony is that all the four policemen are dead. the two businessmen have been granted bail and they are certainly going to appeal. it remains to be seen if they will also be dead when the appeal is finally decided.


in either case there is no compensation to the victims. an exemplary fine would be the least that would be required and the compensation by the state. it is an irony that if one is injured in an accident or a fire, the politicians rush in with ex gratia payment for the injured and for the families of the dead but in these cases, there is no such move.


such instances can be multiplied. the case of rape and torture in tamil nadu by the force looking for veerappan, which has been decided after eighteen years was recently in news. and that is only the first court. appeals and revisions will follow.


we need to overhaul the entire legal system. in the extreme case, may be the nationalisation of legal profession with no private lawyers with hefty fees would be a solution.

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