Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Nanavati Commission Report and the UPA Government by Sandip Kumar Dasverma

A massacre is a massacre and the perpetrators should be punished,
irrespective of who they are. I believe the perpetrators are cowards and
opportunists, who believe they can get away with no punishment, even for
murder. This encourages them to repeat and others to follow suit. If 1984
criminals had have been punished swiftly, the 1993 Bombay pogroms would not have happened, northe 2002 genocide in Gujarat, because the criminals in 2002
would have known that there were noose and gallows for murder, at the end of the day. On all fairness, there must be exemplary punishment for both the politicians and the policemen (including those retired) to signify that no person gets away
putting another's life in jeopardy, by his acts of omission or commission.
The politicians like Sajjan Kumar, Jagdish Tytler, Kamal Nath, Vasant Sathe,
H. K. L. Bhagat and others should be punished both by prohibiting their
participation in elections (their source of power) and prosecuting them for
their criminal acts. After all there are nearly 2800 dead bodies even per the
Govt. report, though the unofficial count is more than 4000. Following the
great traditions established by the British Raj, citizens even today can't
get a correct figure from their own government. Be it as it may, if there
are 2800 dead bodies, as per Government's own admission, and not even 28
going to gallows or even getting life sentences, there is something
seriously wrong with the government. People will be aghast at this mockery
of justice and lack of Rule of Law.

It is outrageous to advance the argument that H. K. L. Bhagat should not be
bothered as he is old and sick. I think this exculpatory nonsense must stop.
The international standards are now being set by the prosecution of 90-
year old Pinochet in Chile. Why so much compassion for a low life who did
not have the same consideration for others? I remember he was given the
benefit of doubt by a previous commission, while a widow and her husband's
dead body were given no credence! Such is the bias of the Indian judicial
system in favor of the rich and powerful. What the commissions, nine of
them over 20 years, have done is to spend public money, enormous amounts of
it to chip away, from the list of the accused, one at a time. And always
some pliable judges have been rewarded remunerative appointments, be it in
the Congress or BJP regime.

This culture of crime and its condonment must change once and for all, if
India is to get anywhere. We can't remain in the list of most corrupt
nations, i.e., the list of least transparent nations, and continue clamoring
for acceptance as a world leader by others. Unless we cleanse the
institutional rot, like the compromised judiciary, the powerful will
continue buying their way out, as has happened in the Dabhol case.

This brings us to the very vital point of "speed problem", in the judicial
trials of India. If criminal cases linger long as they do(by bribing the
accused do always engineer delay), then everyone will grow old and on
"compassionate grounds" the criminals would be let go, even if they don't
die naturally.
The government's performance in 1st world is judged by how efficiently it can deliver justice and how soon. Everyone in today's world understands, time value of justice, except the Indian Judiciary and it's cohort the bureaucracy.
We must have fast track courts which should conclude such cases within two years. Yes, well before the next election, at most, so we can judge the UPA government by its actions whether it is truly secular or just expediently so? Then people in India can decide whether they commend or condemn such acts.

There is need for a law that stipulates that those whose names are recurring
in nine reports should be asked to prove that they are not guilty. And this
should be done expeditiously so that the affected and wronged families feel
that justice was done. That way people be sure that there is a fair chance
of grievances of the Tom, Dick or Harry, being addressed.

Having a Sikh P.M. does not mitigate the crimes or absolve the state of its
failure to punish the criminals. If tomorrow the BJP in its turn appoints a
Muslim as the CM of their next Government in Gujarat, for example, it will
not be absolved of the crimes of Narendra Modi government, not even if they
install a Muslim as the PM of India.
There should be a parallel process, another fast track court, to try and
convict all the police officials and administrative staff, including those
either retired or preparing to retire soon.

Again, enough resources should be put on the table for the whole process to
be finished in just two years or before. This is equally important, nay
more important, because it will set the standards for the present and future
police against colluding with the politicians in power. Punishment even
after retirement, amended laws, and removal of procedural bottlenecks along
the way, will firmly ensure that justice prevails, and the vestiges of
colonial rule disappear. Sycophancy will have to be made risky and
punishment for crime and rule of law, inescapably established.

May I request Dr. Manmohan Singh, the head of the Congress-led UPA
Government, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, the head of the Congress party, their left
allies, and the bureaucracy et al for this once to rise above cronyism and
let the law take its own course with exemplary swiftness characteristic of
modern societies of the world, that India aspires to become a leading light