Disclaimer: this article is intended to have a satirical tone.
A man, victimised by the system in place and prevailing rogues therein, petitions the court of law, seeking justice in his favour.
Prompted by the complaint petition, the court issues a notice to the respondent, who, however, turns a deaf ear on several occasions. Irritated by the irresponsible behaviour of the respondent, the court issues a final warning and orders the presence of the respondent in order to dispense with the case.
The respondent finally appears before the court and submits that the complaint filed by the petitioner is fake and the petitioner himself is not alive any longer. Hence, the case must be dismissed.
However, the petitioner taking his turn says, “the petition is bona fide and there is not even an iota of doubt about any fact and figures presented. I am the petitioner and I am all alive and standing before you in person.”
On the contrary, the respondent refutes his presence and argues that there is a mere resemblance of the name but the fact of the matter is the actual petitioner is dead and hence he requests the court to ask the petitioner to produce a life certificate to prove his claim.
“Why do I produce a life certificate when I am alive and stand before you with all wits, my lord?” the depressed petitioner questions the court with all modesty.
“The petitioner cannot have such temerity to question your lordship, particularly when the justice is delivered on the basis of documents of proofs and shreds of evidence as per Section XYZ of the Indian Law,” says the respondent.
The petitioner must prove himself if his claim is genuine. He cannot shy away from the judicial process in practice. The court orders him to produce a life certificate in three weeks of time. Thus instructs His Lordship on the case.
The petitioner reaches the doctor and narrates the story of his ordeal at the court of law and seeks his help for a copy of a certificate in his favour as soon as possible.
At the doctor’s, for a death certificate, one needs to pay ₹1000 only. After all, it is after the date of expiry. The expired certificate does not cost much. For a life certificate, you will have to pay a bigger amount. The minimum would be ₹100000.
The man says, “It is too expensive for me. I cannot afford to shell out that much. Moreover, when I am alive why do I need to cough up such an exorbitant amount of money?”
Hearing this argument of the needy man, the doctor shouts, “Go away! You say that you are alive, why don’t you issue a certificate for yourself, then? Are you a doctor? Mind you, I am a doctor, not you. I have earned a degree for the purpose. You know how? Do you know how much have I spent on it?”
To ward him off, the doctor orders his security personnel to drive him away. Acting upon the doctor’s instruction, the security staff begins to follow suit. However, the said petitioner collects himself and pleads with the doctor again to accept ₹50000 for now, and the rest of the amount once he is proved alive. The doctor is convinced with this idea of workable business.
Now a little elated, the petitioner produces the hard-earned certificate before the court for consideration and adjudication of the matter finally. But, a new twist in the case comes up. The shrewd respondent now questions the genuineness of the certificate, calling it fake and self-manufactured. This must be sent to the forensic lab for verification and examination. The court admits the argument and orders the certificate be examined at a forensic lab, summoning the doctor.
The petitioner is shaky about the forensic lab as it is the part of the same government machinery he is victimised by. He reaches the lab and requests the chair in place that he should be acknowledged alive as he stands in person. The forensic expert says he smells a rat in the case. If you expect a favour, you should do something special, he suggests. The obligation is fulfilled. All verified and a favourable certificate is issued.
The certificate reaches the court but it is too late, as the summer vacation begins. The court is on holiday for almost two months. The next date of hearing is fixed. The matter is postponed. Post the vacation, the court reopens on a different note. The retirement of the judge is declared on that date and hence a new bench will assume the chair that will hear the case and adjudicate the matter.
Accordingly, yet another date after a gap of six months is announced. The petitioner begins to lose his confidence and reaches an all-time low. He remains in extreme anxiety and depression due to the travesty of the justice delivery system.
He meets an accident on the road while returning to his home from his workplace. He is declared brought dead at the hospital and issued a death certificate to meet the formalities. The new bench sits and hears the case and the death certificate is placed on record by the respondent before the Hon’ble Court with a note that the lone petitioner is no longer in existence.
The case is dismissed and disposed of. In other cases too, decisions are announced after 10 years or more at the minimum, and the compensation awarded does not materialise for various technical legal reasons. What would one call it? The irony of life, the tragedy of the social system or the farce of the world’s second-largest country’s obsolete litigation processes? You decide.
The respondent manipulating the situation addresses the media that he has won the case as his contention is proved correct that the petitioner is dead. He thanks the judicial system and invites everyone to repose their faith in the judiciary.
But then, the real story of his accidental death which was orchestrated and how the case proceeded, all of it is leaked. The media goes wild and the case becomes a subject matter for discussions and debates in the parliament and every nook and cranny in the country. And so is presented the story before you, to contemplate upon.
Travesty! Travesty! Travesty!
Note: this article was first published here.