Tag: Law and Order in India

Bangalore lawyers and law

Bangalore lawyers had called for a day-long boycott of courts on 9/11/2009 in protest against Karnataka Chief Justice P. D. Dinakaran and disrupted court proceedings on that day. In Court Hall No. 1 of the High Court Justice Dinakaran and other Justices were hearing cases. Over 200 advocated barged in and ordered all lawyers to leave the hall. Dinakaran pleaded with the lawyers to allow him to do his work but was shouted down. The advocates attacked media persons who were present. Most of the judges quickly agreed to the demands of the lawyers. In Court Hall No. 2 Justice V. Gopal Gowda and Justice B. V. Nagarathna refused to leave. The lawyers shouted slogans, threw pens and paper, banged bookcases and raised chairs. They locked all four doors of the room. Gopal Gowda and Nagarathna were not allowed to leave for lunch. At 2.15 p.m. Dinakaran pleaded with the lawyers to allow the two judges to go. The judges were allowed to go. Some months back lawyers of Madras High Court had created a similar situation. The police went to restore order. The High Court delivered a judgment punishing the police. Lawyers have no right to disrupt court proceedings. Dinakaran should have been ordering them instead of pleading with them. Too bad most of the judges stopped hearings. If ordinary people had done this they would have been punished for contempt of law. Law must take its courts and lawyers who disrupted the proceedings must be punished. Those who locked Gopal Gowda and Nagarathna must be punished for illegal confinement. Corruption cases against Dinakaran have led to this stage. He would have been promoted to Supreme Court. Supreme Court should quickly decide on accusations against him. Article 124 of the constitution of India say that every judge of the Supreme Court, other than the Chief Justice, shall be appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice of India. Supreme Court judges through their judgment turned consultation into consent and talked of a collegium of five judges to appoint judges. This was an amendment of constitution through interpretation. Even when the President found a judge recommended by the collegium unsuitable the judges insisted on the appointment. Lawyers many times go on strike for days. That causes delays and inconvenience. Misbehaviour with judges should not be tolerated. The country should think of judicial system without lawyers. Judges can hear two sides and deliver judgments

Mercy Petitions

Pratibha Patil, for almost two years after becoming the President of India, did nothing about pending mercy petitions. Now she will take up one mercy petition per month. There are about 26 mercy petitions pending. Most of them were legacy of her predecessors.

K. R. Narayanan did not decide on or reject any mercy petition. APJ Abdul Kalam rejected one mercy petition and I understand he commuted one death sentence to life imprisonment. Presidents should be made accountable for their acts of omission.

Death penalty is given in only rarest of rare cases. The murderers have lived for many years after the death of their victims. The trials take many years till the Supreme Court gives verdict. Perpetrators of Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazar bombings in August 2003 were sentenced to death on 6/8/2009 by a Special POTA court. It will take many years when High Court and Supreme Court give their verdict.

Government of India must pass legislation that allows death penalty in all cases of murder, attempted murder, abduction, kidnapping and acid throwing. It must be made obligatory for the President to decide on mercy petition within 30 days from the days of its filing. The petition should go directly to the President and no need to consult Union or State government. If no decision is taken within 30 days the petition shall be deemed to be rejected and the convict shall be hanged within seven days.