Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Poor man under State's boots

This is what happens to innocent, honest but poor people in India's justice system. If a poor person falls down even by mistake of another or state, the state keeps him under its boots simply because he is poor.

Wrongly jailed for 10 yrs, man gets Rs 1L

Malegoan resident Bapu Mali was in jail for five years as an undertrial battling rape and murder charges. Even after the trial court acquitted him, Mali spent five more years in prison as he didn't pay the bail amount when his case went into appeal.

"This is a sorry state of affairs," a division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice A R Joshi said, while upholding the trial court order acquitting Mali. "Not only the prosecuting agency but also the courts are involved (for Mali languishing in jail). This is a reflection on our own system which needs to be corrected."

The court, in its order, also framed guidelines for the trial courts in such cases and said that the sessions judge who didn't comply with the rules will be liable for departmental inquiry and even contempt of court. "A person who is acquitted should not remain in jail even for an (extra) day," said the judges.

The last para is really about accountability of judiciary to the people. What will the judge pay for by this kind of mistake in terms of career prospects? The state pays the 1 lakh compenstation from taxpayer money so the judge does not bother about that. In effect without having accountability of judiciary it has become an 'accomplice' to the corruptions in executive branch of the state. Read here on what the Chief Justice of India has said in an official conference on incompetence (and clear corruption) of some in judiciary.

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