Let us make the space we share better and bring the change we desire. Author is Indian Muslim, a Public Figure, Social Activist, Blogger and Media Personality. On mission to build a givers world rather than takers.
The Karnataka High Court’s decision to set aside the conviction of Jayalalita in the disproportionate assets case is bound to raise serious questions about the fairness of the Judicial System and its ability or lack of it to withstand the pressures and influence of powerful people. Consider the facts:
Using her influence Jayalalita managed to delay the trial for 17 years, even though charges were framed against her by the Special Court in 1997. Supreme Court had to step in 2003 to shift the trial from Tamil Nadu to Karnataka. Finally the verdict came in 2014 and she was convicted by a detailed judgment of the trial court, which found that there is ample proof that she amassed huge assets and wealth disproportionate to her sources of income while she was the Chief Minister.
However, the Supreme Court granted her bail despite the serious conviction against her and despite the fact that she had used her influence to delay the trial and was still in a position to influence the appeal proceedings. In another objectionable order, Supreme Court while holding that the appointment of public prosecutor for her appeal in High Court was bad in law, it still did not order a rehearing of the appeal, despite the fact that the public prosecutor had hardly prosecuted the appeal. This led to a situation where the prosecution case was not fairly presented before the High Court.
It is unfortunate that the judiciary gives all kinds of indulgence to powerful individuals and grants them bails and acquittals, while thousands of undertrials languish in jail, a large number of whom are found to be innocent. Powerful persons like Jayalalita or Salman Khan manage to get bail despite convictions for serious offences, and also manage to get acquittals sometimes after farcical appeal proceedings. This is a scathing indictment of the judiciary and the criminal justice system. Successive governments and even the judiciary have failed to be serious about judicial reforms. It is time for the citizens to mount a massive movement to make the judiciary more accessible, quick, fair, transparent and accountable
Swaraj Abhiyan Media