Editorial : CRIMES COMMITTED BY LAW COURTS IN INDIA
– An appeal to honourable supreme court of india
Indian prisons are meant to be reforming schools for the prisoners. By the corrupt practices of the officials , the prisons have become factories turning out hardened criminals.
Say , a person was caught by police on suspicion of pick-pocketing. The police produce the accussed before the magistrate , in turn he remands him for judicial custody. Let us consider , The punishment for this offence pick-pocketing as per law is 6 months imprisonment. However the case drags on for 3 years , finally the court finds him guilty of offence & orders for 6 months imprisonment. Totally, the offender serves 42 months imprisonment sentence in practice. In some cases , the courts consider the time already spent by the accussed behind the bars while giving judgement. In this example , even if the offender is let free taking 6 months imprisonment sentence, the offender has been given excess sentence of 36-6=30 months.
Taking the same example further, say the court finds the accused as innocent, not guilty of crime & lets him free. However , the poor chap has suffered 36 months imprisonment for no fault of his.
As per law, no body not even the courts of law are legally empowered to punish anybody beyond the legal procedures , rules established. In this way, due to delay in our legal system , faulty bail procedures , thousands of under-trials are suffering in various prisons throught India. Arew not the courts which remanded those accused to judicial custody responsible for this illegal act of excessive punishment ? what punishment should be given to those judges ?
The bail procedure in India , is also faulty without considering quantum of offence & financial status of the accused. A person accused of stealing rs.100 has to provide bail surety bond of rs.5000 or personal surety by a wealthy person / government servant. The poor person having personal contacts , friendship with rich persons / government servants is quite remote , so he can’nt secure bail on personal bond. The poor chaps family is not rich enough to spend rs.5000 surety amount. As a result, unable to secure bail the poor chap suffers in jail for years.
Say, a rich industrialist is accused of rs.20 crores tax evasion, he is let free on a personal bond of rs.1 lakh. Stamp paper scam kingpin karim lala telgi has swindled government to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees, only few cases are registered against him. That too in one out of those cases involving rs.45 lakh worth stamp sale , judge has given him rigorous imprisonment plus a fine of rs.50000.
Considering the above examples it is quite clear the bail amount, fine amount are peanuts for the rich just a fraction of quantum of their crime , while for the poor it is huge many times more than the quantum of their crime.. it is biased towards rich & mighty criminals. As a result poor always suffers in jail, while rich are out on bail.
Even within prisons , the number of prisoners per sq.ft area , no of doctors , hospital beds , medicines available, weight of food per day given to prisoners , are all less & much below the statuotary limits. The food , health care , living conditions of prisoners , under-trials are worse than pigs. The prison authorities are utterly corrupt, which has been brought into light again & again by the media. If a poor prisoner questions the illegal acts of the officials , he is subjected to 3rd degree torture , roughed up by rowdy prisoners on the instigation of the officials themselves. Many poor prisoners are suffering from health problems , many are dying due to lack of proper health care & food in the prisons.
Whereas , the rich & mighty prisoners , by payting bribe get non-veg , alchoholic drinks from outside restaurants daily. They even secure drugs . they get spacious VIP rooms , television , mobile phones. They easily get parole & easily gets admitted in outside hospitals & roam free , while on record they are in-patients in hospitals.
The law of limitation which stipulates time limits for filing various cases is also biased towards the government as a party & rich , mighty. For the purposes of evidences , filing of cases one needs various government records. The concerned officials don’t provide those records for years unless bribed & sit over the files for years. Some times by making absurd , illogical file notings , rejects it back. There is no time limit for the performance of duties by public servants. When a commoner donï؟½t get relevant records , files , evidences in time , how can he file cases in time without those records , evidences ?
Nowadays , numerous cases of irregularities , charges of corruption against judges are coming to light. However , in such cases judges are asked to resign from service but no criminal prosecution against them is instituted , only in cases involving lower court judges it is done. When a case of irregularity by a judge in a specific present case comes , there are every possibility that in the past also he has committed the same in cases handled by him which has not come to light. In such instances , all the cases handled by that particular judge throught his career must be reviewed , but is not done why ? does not it amount to cover-ups ?
In many cases the higher courts have turned down the verdicts of the lower courts , let free the innocents , absolved innocents of charges & annulled death sentences when appeals came before them. However , in all such cases , the lower court judges must be punished for giving out wrong judgements, meating out injustice to innocents. Here a fact must be noted , only a fraction of cases goes in appeal to higher courts, as in majority of cases the poor people lack the financial might to make the appeal. The so-called free legal services authority pre-judges the cases before giving legal aid. As a result , many innocents poor people resign to their fates suffer injustice in courts of law , undergo imprisonment punishment , some times even death sentence. So , the urgent need of the hour is to incorporate jury system or some outside monitoring system to review cases as & when decided.
In many cases involving the rich & mighty like telgi , case proceedings are conducted in-camera in judge’s chambers or proceedings are conducted through video conferencing . outside from public gaze. The tapes are not made public and the public cann’t even ascertain the validity of tapes , whether it is edited , doctored .
One of the basic reasons for delayed justice & worse prison conditions in India , is low number of judges , police personnel , higher rate of case adjournments and finally low amount of financial grants made by the government to judicial department / police department. The government states that it doesn’t have enough money to provide for judiciary & police. As a result, fundamental / human rights of innocent commoners are thwarted. The state governments & GOI , is one of either parties in 75% of cases before various courts in India, it is the biggest litigant & is influencing the judiciary by controlling the grants , recruitment to judiciary & by enticing some with post-retirement postings.
The government has got money to spend on lavish parties of VVIPs , IAS officers serving non-veg foods , alchoholic drinks . their foreign jaunts , 5-star bungalows , limousines , interior decorations of their bungalows, etc. which is of higher priority , importance , whether the luxury of VVIPs or the fundamental / human rights of commoners ? the courts should answer. The courts have the legal powers to order governments to provide enough financial grants to it , however it is keeping mum , turning blinds eye to crimes of VVIPï؟½s. the government rewards such judges with salary hikes , promotions , luxury cars , bungalows , perks and post-retirement postings , sites at judicial lay-out , yelahanka , Bangalore , etc.
We at HRW has utmost respect for the judiciary , but hereby humbly bringing the crimes of judiciary before the honest few judges seeking justice to the common folk. JAI HIND. VANDE MATARAM.