|Talk of the nation
|Shekhar Gupta / 03 01, 2021
Do not think that there is a typo by reading the title. There is also no mention of such a non-vegetarian food that someone likes or dislikes. This bad-looking title is intentionally given. This has been done to bring out an important point in such times. That is, the basic motto of our judicial system – the bail rule, the jail exception – has now reversed.
Ask any crime correspondent who is aware of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) what police officers adopt or prioritize methods of crime control in their states or districts in private conversations. It is called ‘hiding the silence’. This is because the process of old-fashioned policing, investigation and prosecution etc. is painful and its results are quite uncertain. In such a situation, it is sensible that at least cases should be registered. It is the safest and surest method of crime control. In such a situation, your performance looks very good and in the annual privacy report, it is also said to be the best.
Similarly, if the primary responsibility of our judiciary is to ensure our independence. If a citizen is arrested, he can only rely on the Habeas Corpus i.e. habeas corpus for justice. Denying it is the same as the police reducing the number of crimes by not registering them.
It is difficult to decide which of the police and judiciary institutions has lost more in recent decades. But in the circumstances today, you can easily find that police officers prosecute people in serious sections of IPC without any concrete evidence.
You might think that any person who is produced before a magistrate can easily see that the police does not have any specific evidence. Once the magistrate sees it, his order is governed by that immortal dictate of the late Justice VR Krishna Iyer: bail is the rule, not the jail. But contrary to our belief, Krishna Iyer’s quote was not immortal. This quote is being repeatedly murdered. It has happened at least three times in recent times. Apart from Munavvar Farooqui, the cases of Naudip Kaur and Disha Ravi are its hallmark.
One was accused of ‘going to narrate’ the objectionable jokes. He was sent to prison for only intending to commit a crime. That is, crimes did not happen without it. The second case is of Naudip, who has been charged with murder, and has been charged with Section 307 of the IPC. The third case is worse, treason.
In every case, the first magistrate, to whom citizens go in the hope of justice and protection, behaved as if the basic rule was to be sent to jail and bail was out of their capacity.
Naudip Kaur was granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court as he could not find any evidence to impose Section 307. Courts Kaur had visited earlier did not think so. He had to spend 45 days in jail without any reason. Obviously, even the High Court will not hold those judges accountable.
Farukhi was denied bail thrice. Even the Madhya Pradesh High Court preached him and sent him back to jail. He got relief from the Supreme Court but by then he had spent 36 days in jail. The snatching of your freedom or even a day’s jail affects you deeply. Prakhar Vyas and Edwin Anthony, who were arrested along with Farukhi, were also granted interim bail to give justice similar to Farukhi but two others Nalin Yadav and Sadaqat were denied bail several times. However, after being denied several times, the High Court finally granted bail to both of them.
Disha Ravi was arrested by the Delhi Police on Saturday in Bangalore. He was immediately brought to Delhi by flight and produced before a magistrate who gave him five days and then two days of police custody. The magistrate did not find the evidence of treason against him incomplete and inadequate as later found by the Additional Sessions Judge. We appreciated the persuasive lines written by Judge Dharmendra Rana in the bail order and should also do so. But the truth is that a citizen was denied freedom for 10 days. Seven days in police custody and three days in Tihar.
Whatever you think of his politics, but he is an Indian citizen who enjoys the same protection of law and constitution that we all enjoy. Delhi Police says that it has followed all the procedures in the arrest and is correct. He enlisted the help of the local police and produced Ravi in front of a magistrate within 24 hours who is legally legal.
Now look at the situation from the perspective of direction. She was airlifted without a lawyer and produced in court where she could not even advocate for the lawyer of her choice. They were then put into lockup. As if he were some Dawood Ibrahim. Now think what would have happened if the said magistrate had also given the same decision which was given by Judge Rana after 10 days? How would the direction brought from another city arrange for bail so soon? How would you arrange for a return to Bangalore on the same day? No one will ask this question to the Delhi Police or Magistrate.
The week the aforesaid trio got bail, the news came from the Allahabad High Court that Aparna Purohit, the head of the content and content head (India) of Amazon Prime Video and the production team of webseries starring Saif Ali Khan, was insulted by Hindu gods. Several FIRs were filed. Rejecting his anticipatory bail plea, the High Court judge said in a shocking remark that his acts are against the fundamental rights of the majority of the citizens of the country and the court cannot defend their fundamental right to life and liberty by granting anticipatory bail. All this is being taught to us in a democratic, constitutional republic where the basic principle is that the rights of an individual are uppermost. In democracy, strength comes from strength. If justice also starts with the force of numbers, then we will turn into a mob system.
It is possible that Aparna Purohit gets bail from the Supreme Court. Because in 2014, in the case of Arnesh Kumar, the Supreme Court had set strict standards for arrest in those cases which have sentences of less than seven years.
Arnesh Kumar was charged with Section 498-A (dowry harassment) of IPC and feared arrest. He reached the Supreme Court after being denied anticipatory bail. From there he was relieved and the court said that if a person is charged with a sentence of less than seven years, for the arrest, the police will have to be satisfied that another crime is going to happen, the evidence can be destroyed. Or the witness may be threatened.
A list will have to be made for the arrest in which it will have to be clearly presented to the magistrate. In the cases I mentioned, this was clearly violated in Munawar’s case. It would be considered a mockery because not every person has the ability to go to the upper court. Even if they did, they would have to spend the first several weeks in jail. Even if the court approves the Arnesh Kumar case, the nexus between police and politics can hardly be ignored. If they want to send someone to jail, their favorite weapon is treason for which life sentence is fixed.