Thursday, May 31, 2007

TV sting shows unholy nexus between prosecution and defense

Maybe the media can do good in this country. There has always been talk of a lot of nefarious things happening in the justice system in the country, and yet, the courts have been seen as the one working system in this country (even with the backlog that is extreme). And now the media has blown the lid of a going-on that seems to pervert the justice system. The facts of the case are simple, Sanjiv Nandan was accused of running down 6 people in his big car in 1999, and ever since then, the case has been moving on and off. He is of a rich lineage, so you can expect realistically that he will eventually be found non-guilty because of hostile witnesses, and not enough police effort.
However, inspite of this cynicism, sometimes things do tend to shock, as for example happened, when one reads of the sting operation carried out by NDTV, where the public prosecutor and the defense lawyer seem to be collaborating in weaving away a witness. If such a thing happened in the US, both the lawyers would be facing serious charges of perversion of justice as well as taking away of their right to practice law. Here, there will be much more debate about whether the sting operation was valid, whether the tapes are genuine, and the crime committed by these 2 lawyers will be forgotten. In fact, the crime committed by the public prosecutor is incredible, given that he is supposed to be fully dedicated to getting the accused sentenced, and yet.. Refer to this article about what is happening now:

A Delhi court on Thursday ordered a probe into the sting operation by a television news channel that alleged collusion between the prosecution and defence counsels to help Sanjeev Nanda, accused of killing six people with a BMW car in a 1999 hit-and-run case.
Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar summoned south Delhi's Deputy Commissioner of Police Anil Shukla to his court at 5 pm on Thursday to discuss the modalities and details of the court-monitored probe.
Khan, who has withdrawn himself as public prosecutor following the sting operation, also sought to substantiate his allegations by submitting several pieces of documentary evidence to the court.
Judge Kumar ordered the TV channel to submit to the court by Friday afternoon all the visuals and audiotapes recorded by it for the sting operation, apart from the names of all the reporters and journalists involved in the sting operation.

It is actually now very easy to believe that such a thing happened, because almost everyone believes that anybody can be bought, no matter how high. The only way to restore some sense of belief into the judicial system is to investigate the matter fast, and if these lawyers are guilty, to give them exemplary punishment. And since the defense lawyer belongs to the Congress party, it needs to be even more careful that he is not misusing this connection.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 11:12 AM