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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

legal loopholes

The legal profession is, we are given to understand, one where only the sharpest of individuals can survive. To be a success in this very specialized field, one has to cultivate friends at all levels – one does not know when who may prove useful!

Ours is a country where it is terribly easy to get marked for life. All it needs is lodging of an FIR in the police station, a couple of persons to file an affidavit that whatever is being reported is true and - you have the law knocking at your door. Depending on your standing in the local neighborhood and the clout you possess, the police may drag you out by your collar or force you to accompany them to the police station for investigations. It is a different thing that recording of FIRs depend on the whims and fancies of the policemen on duty but, once recorded, you have a lot of explaining to do. This is one of the many reasons why the Election Commission is unable to implement the provision that those who have criminal records cannot contest elections. As we have seen, it is so easy to throw a mantle of doubt over any individual – and that is just what politicians insist happens. None of those who we feel have criminal records are really guilty. The opposition has framed them. They are in fact innocent citizens who never step on the wrong side of the law but, the law enforcement machinery being what it is, the poor leaders have to tread cautiously. When the police say that there are so many criminal cases against an individual, they mean the sum total of all the false allegations that have been made against them from the time they came to the limelight – until any of them is proved beyond a shadow of doubt, the individual will remain free. And, conviction seldom comes because the witnesses are threatened with dire consequences or are eliminated – giving an effect of accidental death to an intentional murder is but child’s play to these so called innocent citizens.

The magician who performs these miracles is one who dons the black robe and can prove at the drop of a hat that the moon shines in the day – he is gifted with oratory powers that would put many a politician to shame.

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