Custom Search

Monday, December 15, 2008

No Lawyer For Kasab - Wrong Again

The good or the bad news, as you like it, is that the Shiv Sainiks after a long hiatus have found the courage to come out in the open again. Painfully missing for such a long time after the Mumbai attacks, I had begun to wonder if they had been terrorised for life and will stop their own terror tactics for good. Unfortunately that was not to be.

After the decision of the Mumbai Lawyers Association not to defend Kasab, the courts had nominated Lawyer Dinesh Mota to defend Ajmal Kasab, the lone terrorist captured alive. Mota refused, apparently because of his conscience and moral values, though I suspect it had more to do with the internal extremists. Lawyer Ashok Sarogi then came forward and volunteered to defend Kasab, his logic being, if Indira Gandhi's assassins could get advocates, why not Kasab? Bravo Mr Ashok Sarogi. That is what woke the Shiv Sainiks from their post 26/11 deep slumber and they came out in large numbers to protest the good man's decision.

The Chief Justice of India had also observed that and I quote from Times of India, "The collective decision by the Bombay Association of Lawyers affects natural justice and free trial." Holy Cow! Two men who understand what is good for the country. Make it three, because I also fully understand the implications of a trial of a defenceless person, even if he is a terrorist, more so if he is a terrorist. This is where eminent lawyers of Mumbai and most of the concerned and understandably agitated citizens of Mumbai have got it wrong.

Tha act of terrorism or any other crime for that matter is a result of failure of the society and/or state organisations meant to tackle these crimes. Hanging a terrorist or a criminal with or without a fair trial is not going to bring out the weaknesses in the system meant to stop these mishaps. It will definitely send out a strong signal to the future perpetrators but someone who has lost the fear of death is hardly going to bother about repercussions. More than the need to convict and punish Kasab for the heinous act, we need to understand the genesis and the entire process of the act to find out the how's and why's of the process. We need to find out our systemic weeknesses and failures.

Kasab is a foreigner and in the safe hands of the police. He does not pose any further danger to the society. But who does, are the people whose complicity, negligence and incompetence led to the success of the Mumbai attack. These people are still at large and if allowed to go scot-free, will definitely end up compromising our security again.

Another point which comes to my mind is that for 60 hours no one in the Government, bureaucracy or the Police stopped the media cameras from whirring and allowed the whole world to see and hear the goings on in the three sites, but now when the danger and the action is over, the media is being given filtered information on the entire proceedings. It has been more than 15 days since the situation was brought under control. How long does it take to present irrefutable and damning evidence to the public and to the world in what is supposedly an open and shut case? Why is it not happening?

Back to the matter of Kasab getting a lawyer. In my opinion the best lawyers of this country should get together and form a defence team to fight the case of the terrorist. Kasab is guilty, was caught red-handed and any prosecution team worth it's salt can have him given the maximum punishment. However this kind of prosecution will not bring out the systemic failures on our side. Having a good defence team for Kasab will ensure that the failure of the various personnel and the state agencies are brought to the fore and the real culprits on the Indian side are exposed, who then can be handled in accordance with the laws of the land.

Thieves, dacoits and killers are being arrested and punished since time immemorial. That has not stopped robberies and murders and it never will. Hanging Kasab is not going to stop the terrorist activities. What will, is an honest and fail proof security or defence mechanism. We should all work towards that rather than taking accolades and seeking 15 minutes of fame or satisfaction on a single case. Remember it is the immunity of the body which prevents sickness and not the absence of germs.

No comments:

Popular Posts