ByÂ Shobhit Agarwal:
Justice Markandey Katju, Chairman Press Council of India and Former Judge Supreme Court of India, has let me down. His opinions, though eccentric at times, always have some amount of logic attached to them. But his current stance on the Sanjay Dutt verdict and his reasons for asking the Governor of Maharashtra to grant pardon to Sanjay Dutt are nothing sort of absurd and ludicrous.
His reasons –
1. ‘The event is 20 years old and Sanjay Dutt has suffered a lot, having to make periodic court appearances, asking for permissions to go to foreign shoots’ —
What about the suffering of those 257 families who had to bear the loss of their dear ones? What about the sufferings of those 700 odd people for 20 long years, who, because of the blast, faced some kind of physical handicap or the other.
2. ‘He has already undergone 18 months in jail’ –
So is that the new punishment to be given to every individual who conspires against the security of our nation?
3. ‘He got married and has two children’ –
So the next time any person intends on undertaking a terror activity, he should get a family first and have kids, so that once he is sentenced, he can plead for mercy on the pretext of being a family man.
4. ‘He has not been held to be a terrorist, and had no hand in bomb blast’ –
Justice Katju, me and every Indian knows how laws and evidences in our country are manipulated to protect people who exercise any kind of power. The trial itself is rigged with controversies and false-doings given the fact that, despite evidence suggesting otherwise, Sanjay Dutt wasn’t charged under the more serious TADA act instead of the ARMS act. So any more form of clemency would only justify the phrase ‘andha kanoon’
5. ‘His parents worked for the good of the society and nation’ –
His parent’s goodwill doesn’t give him the permission to aid and abet people having ulterior motives against the country. Moreover, by that theory, will a terrorist’s son be treated as a terrorist; no matter howsoever good he does for the benefit of the society?
6. ‘Through his films, he revived the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation’ –
(Discarding the lameness of the argument) Most of the high-profile celebrities linked to terrorist are producers. So all they need to do is to put in their money on a film based on Gandhi, or some other spiritual leader, and on its credentials, have a free hand in going about bombing the various cities of India.
It is such kind of mindset which is a cause of worry. For way too long, those with any kind of power have exercised their resources to get away with the most appalling of actions while the ordinary Indian, is left to rot in the jail for years on end, for crimes as minor as theft and trespassing.
The law of the land should be the same for everyone, irrespective of their social and financial stature.