The laws of the Indian land, inherited from the colonial powers, are there to protect the citizens, safeguard the nation, settle disputes and provide remedies to the affected thereby administering justice. Providing a common law system to a diverse country such as ours are different tiered courts in a pyramidal form with the Supreme Court at the apex.
A so called accused or a person falsely implicated or with stacks of allegations against him passes through the labyrinths of the complex and slow judicial process that includes filing of case, legal proceedings and trials, innumerable court hearings, never ending adjournments, petitioning, providing evidences that are circumstantial, appeals and counter appeals, among scores of other series of actions. The length of the trials extends beyond the imagination of the poor fish before he is eventually let scot free or condemned and damned for life! The painful attempts to prove one’s innocence takes a lifetime and inflict a hefty blow on the psyche of the individual. Allegations are fabricated, false evidences are provided and the defendant is denied to present his or her part of the story in a fair and meaningful exchange of arguments. The judge, prosecutor, lawyers are all hand in glove in this quagmire of deceit and fatten their wallets at the expense of the hexed victim. The poor middle class who barely get to meet their ends have a further can of worms in the form of exorbitant legal fees, hefty sums that are given as grants to prove one’s innocence.
In this bleak context, the individual loses his moorings and his life, which was meant to be cheerfully spent with his family, is wasted in doing the court room rounds periodically, only to hear a fresh date for further hearing. It is therefore natural that any honest Indian citizen is outraged and frustrated at how the legal order works ridden with flaws, quirks and oddities. But my father, a victim of fallacious and baseless charges, keeps his chin up, looks at the bright side of the scourge that has been haunting him for more than a decade, blows away the cobwebs by presenting a guest post titled “humour in court”, which is a ludicrous tale on our judicial system! So dear readers, read on..
Humour in court
In the face of adversity, it requires a lot of equanimity to see the humorous side of happenings and to appreciate it
Today (23rd July 2016), in the court as a defendant in a CBI criminal case, going on for the past 10 years, I had to wait for my turn for the roll call for attendance by entering the special enclosure. Before our case was taken up, two NIA (National Investigation Agency) cases were scheduled. The first one was postponed to a later date and the second case was about to meet the same fate. Among the eight under trial detainees, three were present (let us call them Abdul (with a luxurious beard), Ahmed (clean shaven except for a mustache) and Basheer (with an unshaven chin)). Basheer, when the judge was about to mention a fresh date for the postponed hearing, wanted to make a submission. He requested the judge’s permission to grow a beard ! The judge was gracious enough to dictate an order directing the jailer to consider his request, if it is not against the jail manual! (I was left wondering how another cell mate can sport a conspicuous beard – he was also carrying a cell phone)
Then our case was taken up and after the roll call, the junior advocate of the main defendant ( even though their Senior advocate, who was playing truant for the past 3 or 4 postings, was present and was standing in the veranda) sought more time to present their arguments . The judge (who was nursing a fractured shoulder with his right arm in a sling!) fixed the date as 24th August 2016. The junior advocate wanted some more time and the judge fixed 3rd September 2016. The Junior advocate accepted that date and sat down and within couple of minutes was on his feet again and requested a still later date. When the judge demanded to know the reason, he blurted out that he is getting married on that date and he had forgotten about it! The whole court including me burst out in laughter. The other advocates preset commented that the junior advocate did not mention about his good tidings and the Public prosecutor said that he has not been invited for the wedding!. The judge then fixed the date of next hearing as 24th September 2016 saying that it gives him enough time for the wedding and the honey moon thereafter. He also said that he is inviting the public prosecutor and the other advocates on behalf of the junior advocate on the assumption that he has his authority to do so !!!
I met the junior advocate later in the veranda and wished him all the best but cautioned him not to forget marriage anniversaries in future, as he can no longer afford to.