– by Parth Damodia
February 12, 2017: So how much do you think a trip to a high court with your own case is going to cost you?
Well, if you ask a person who out of the 35 years of his life on this planet has spent about 3 years of time only in visiting the same old building in the name of justice, he wouldn’t have an answer other than a face reflecting the pain and the sufferings the system has caused him/her. The Indian Constitution is the biggest of it’s kind. In such a big constitution it’s really a shame to come to
The Indian Constitution is the biggest of it’s kind. In such a big constitution it’s really a shame to come to realise that there is very little space for justice for the common people. By common people, I mean the middle-class people and the people who cannot afford the financial damage caused by the regular visits to the so-called temple of justice.
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It’s not just the system that causes the big amount burden on the helpless victims, but also the lawyers who drain the people and fill their own accounts. The case about the lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi who was accused of not being able to file the income tax return forms was charged with about 57 crore rupees worth fine from the court. His statement was that there was a termite problem which resulted in the destruction of all his files and papers related to the issue. Then he said that he had bought laptops worth about 5 crores for his associates and the people working under him, assuming that the cost of each laptop being around 40,000, it is almost about 1,250 laptops for each of his associates. Well anyone in their right mind would not give their associates over a thousand laptops. Also, the Jodhpur Tax Commissioner discovered cash withdraws from the lawyer’s account ranging from 7 to 32 crore rupees.
The constitution of India states equal justice laws for everyone in the country despite one’s caste, creed, financial status or jobs. Then why do the rich people get away so easily? It’s because they have something that everyone doesn’t: Money. In today’s situation, the crime doesn’t speak as much as the money.
The amount of money on the table makes a lot of difference. For example, if you are arrested on the charges of attempt to murder then if you are rich, the first thing your family would do (given they have this sort of mindset) is bribe the victim to drop the charges. And it’s a universal fact that not many have been able to stand their grounds when a large amount of money is dropped on their tables.
The judiciary system in our country on a large basis not controlled by the judges’ fair judgment but the people with resources and the money reserves. They get caught and they sound the judgment for themselves.
The only class of people who get affected a lot is the middle class and the lower class who cannot afford to bribe the officials in order to save themselves or their family members since they do not possess such vile intentions of breaking the moral values nor they have such money reserves as the upper class to bribe the officials.
For the middle and the lower class, the cost of justice in India is not in the money bills but in a person’s life. To get justice in India is probably harder than to survive in this country where if you do not have contacts and the money, you are not eligible to live.
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Another example of the money driven courtroom is the celebrities. The celebrities who get caught never get the judgment that they are supposed to. Taking the case of Salman Khan who got caught in the poaching of blackbuck case and the hit and run case.
Both the cases still go on while the actor is busy releasing more movies and singing new songs and the general public as dumb they can worship him like blind followers. This is the state of this country that when an actor who is involved in a hit and run case is considered to be one of the best actors in the country.
People encourage him to do new movies and literally do not care what the person has done. Innocent people have died because of him, and the public wants to see him as a superhero. And when the time comes for justice for a casual, normal, common man, it seems as if he is never going to get justice in this lifetime.
First off he cannot afford a hotshot lawyer who would charge him around 5-10 lakhs for every 10-minute hearing. Nor there are good lawyers who take cases of such people as pro bono. The judges and lawyers basically wait for you to either die of old age or run out of money to get rid of the case. Then your plea would just be some words in a file gathering dust in a file room which has no significance in reality. This is exactly the situation of our country.
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In these days the blind lady is no longer the unbiased one who was supposed to pass the judgment but even she has an eye peeked out for the money.
Centre for Social Action (CSA) is the development wing of Christ University. Set up in 1999, it believes in strengthening student community with a view to enabling positive changes in the society. Athina Ann Thomas is a volunteer at the organisation.