Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Bharat Ratna for judges and lawyers

Judges and lawyers have great influence. Some do good work. Some do bad work. A few judges have given judgments that are great. Some lawyers as prosecutors have fought important cases. Such judges and lawyers should get Bharat Ratna.
Bombay City Civil Sessions Court Principal Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi should get Bharat Ratna for her landmark judgment that sentenced Vijay Jadhav (18), Mohammad Qasim Shaikh (20) and Salim Ansari to death under Section 376E of Indian Penal Code for the rape of a photojournalist for being repeat offenders in rape cases.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam should get Bharat Ratna for his work in Shakti Mills cases, 26/11 case and many other cases.
Justices G. S. Singhvi, S. J. Mukhyopadhaya should get Bharat Ratna for upholding IPC 377 and striking down Delhi High Court judgment that it violated the principles of equality and non-discrimination contained in Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution and another judge H. L. Dattu who was part of the bench that rejected review petition should get Bharat Ratna.
Justice Santosh Hegde and two other Supreme Court judges should get Bharat Ratna for increasing punishment of four Veerappan gang members from life sentence to death sentence. Veerappan gang had committed 122 murders. It was involved in sandalwood smuggling and elephant poaching. When it abducted Rajkumar, Karnataka government agreed meet all conditions of Veerappan. One of them was release of some criminals in jail. A police officer Abdul Kareem who had lost his son Shakeel Ahmed in the fight against Veerappan went to court and stopped the release. Justices S. P. Bharucha and Y. K. Sabharwal told Karnataka government that criminals should not be release in exchange for Rajkumar and if they cannot control law and order they should quit. As per Dinakaran’s book Veerappan was paid 20 crore rupees as ransom which was not made public.
S. P. Bharucha and Y. K. Sabharwal did well by not allowing the release of criminals in exchange for Rajkumar. However there are controversies regarding some of their judgments and actions.
Judges who were soft on criminals and acquitted them or reduced their sentences should not get Bharat Ratna. Judges who reduced death sentence to life sentence should not get Bharat Ratna. Lawyers who defended criminals should not get Bharat Ratna. Lawyers who represented criminals whose mercy petitions were rejected by President should not get Bharat Ratna. Judges who admitted such appeals and set aside President’s rejection and reduced the sentences from death to life should not get Bharat Ratna. Judges who restricted death penalty to rarest of rare cases should not get Bharat Ratna. Judges who allowed Navjot Singh Sidhu to contest Lok Sabha election after he resigned following conviction in a homicide case should not get Bharat Ratna.
The fury of many women who call themselves activists against Mulayam Singh Yadav’s statement is hollow. They say the same thing in a different way. Mulayam Singh Yadav opposes death penalty for rape. These women oppose death penalty for rape. Mulayam Singh Yadav said boys commit mistakes and they should not be punished with death. He said it in an election meeting close to a village of a repeat rapist. Perhaps he hoped to get votes of villages. He talked about boys and girls living together and when the relationship goes sour they complain of rape. These women say rape is a crime but say they are against death penalty. The net result is the same.

Updated: April 12, 2014 — 8:09 am

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