S.O.S e – Voice For Justice - e-news weekly
Spreading the light of humanity & freedom
Editor: Nagaraja.M.R.. Vol.08..Issue.12….….23/03/2012
Editorial : Shame SHAME JUDGES & POLICE of Double Standards – charge sanjay dutt with TADA
- An appeal to honourable supreme court of india
hereby, HRW appeals to the honourable supreme court of India to review the sentence given to cine actor mr.sanjay dutt. He is charged under illegal possession of arms , the stand of prosecution is biased . the culprit cine actor kept the arms knowing fully well for what purpose it is being kept , he had had regular contacts with anti-national underworld elements. Still he is not charged under either TADA or MOCA WHY ? WHERE AS ORDINARY people who are WHO are alleged to HAVE DONE LESSER QUANTUM OF CRIME THAN HIM ARE CHARGED WITH TADA & PUNISHED SEVERALLY. WHY THIS DOUBLE STANDARDS BY THE JUDICIARY ? HEREBY , hrw also appeals to honourable supreme court of india to make public the transcript of underworld don abu salem’s polygraph test , did sanjay dutt had any links with abu salem or other anti national elements ? how many film stars , sportspersons & politicians have regular contacts with underworld elements more specifically dawood ibrahim & chota rajan and how many of them have attended parties hosted by them in gulf countries ?
In cases involving rich & mighty , celebrities , some of the judges & police take favourable positions , file B – Reports to close the prosecution cases is it for any personal gains to themselves ? The answer lies in luxurious life styles , promotions , post retirement postings of these judges , police and sudden riches coming to their family members. Inspite of all these nexus it is due to few honest judges & police these cases are coming to light & becoming public. Sadly , these honest people are overpowered by corrupt within the system and Indians are made to suffer injustices. SHAME SHAME to such Judges & Police of Double Standards.
Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.
Why pardon just Sanjay Dutt: Daughter of another convict
Mumbai: As film stars and politicians join the chorus for actor Sanjay Dutt’s pardon, daughter of Zaibunisa Kazi, who is facing similar charges as the actor, questions why her mother should not also get the same support?
Daughter of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict, Zaibunisa said, “I wish I was a celebrity or my mother was a celebrity or a sister of an MP. Even my mother would have got the kind of support Sanjay Dutt is getting. If it is on humanitarian grounds then why only Sanjay Dutt, why not Zaibunisa. Isn’t she a human? Isn’t she a citizen of this country?
The daughter of 70-year-old reacting to the clamour over pardon for Dutt after the debate was ignited by a comment by retired Justice Markandey Katju and which was followed by the political class seconding his opinion.
Zaibunisa’s 40 year-old daughter, who didn’t marry so that she can fight her mother’s battle, is hopeful that a review potion will reduce the sentence.
Both Dutt and Zaibunisa Kazi were charged for possessing illegal arms and ammunition and also under the stringent TADA Act. While Zaibunisa got convicted under TADA, Sanjay Dutt not only got an acquital under TADA but despite substantial evidence the CBI did not challenge his acquittal in the Supreme Court.
Zaibunisa’s lawyer Sushil Kumar said, “She was not found in possession of any weapons, no recovery was made from her, she did not give any confession. It was only on the basis of a confession of a co-accused that she was convicted, it is unfortunate.”
Zaibunisa daughter added, “It is not easy living with five daughters, being a single woman and going through this. It is not easy and 20 years is a very long time.” While for the judicial system, 1993 Mumbai Blasts case is a closed chapter, for many the ordeal isn’t over yet.
Not Sanjay Dutt, real issue is to probe Bollywood-dons links
While the TRP-hungry media and elitist audience are busy shedding tears for Sanjay Dutt after the Supreme Court sent him to jail for illegally possessing deadly weapons, but is anybody feeling concerned about how the links with the underworld has seriously affected our favourite Bollywood? Instead of focusing on the humanitarian-non-humanitarian debate, isn’t it more prudent if we raise a voice to back the Indian legal system in cleaning up the tinsel town from the grey shadow of the evil underworld which threatens the national security today?
Bollywood is not only a dream which attracts young talents but also an opportunity for the mafia to make make money by alluring unsuspecting filmmakers into a whirlpool from where there is no easy escape. Those who dare to defy the mafia pays for it dearly. The link between the two world rocked the popular imagination after the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts when the names of Dutt and film producers lika Samir Hingora and Hanif Kadawala came to the fore, it was in the 1970s and 1980s when the nexus had surfaced although not as alarmingly. The kidnapping of the producer of a hit Amitabh Bachchan-starrer of the early 1980s was a big blow to the film industry in those times. Bollywood-underworld connection was symbiotic in the initial years… In the initial years, the link between the two world was more symbiotic. The underworld dons were easy sources of finance while the film industry lent the glamour factor to add spark to occasions organised by the dons and their aides. The latter also dictated film plots and promoted the actors of their choice but the change in financial fortunes as a result of the slump in the market started bringing the dons closer to the film industry with desperate interests. Investing in good films became a priority for the cash-strapped underworld men and once they made an entry into the industry, non-monetary interests also gained prominence. As a result, successful filmmakers and actors started to fall prey to the underworld’s evil designs. The intimacy of Mandakini or Heena Kausar with underworld dons or presence of filmstars and dons in cricket stadium were once matters of gossip and attraction for the common Indian but soon the consequence of the nexus spilled over into the real life when 267 people were killed in devastating serial blasts in Mumbai in 1993. …but it turned violent gradually The nexus turned more and more blood-stained with the gruesome killing of popular filmmaker Gulshan Kumar in broad daylight in August 1997 for defying Abu Salem’s monetary demands. Producer Mukesh Duggal was also killed that year. Attacks were also attempted on producer Rajiv Rai and senior filmmaker Subhash Ghai over overseas rights of films, a few days before Kumar’s murder. Three years later, actor-turned-director Rakesh Roshan had a close shave after he was shot at in Mumbai after he turned down demands to share profits accrued from the overseas sale of Hindi blockbuster Kaho Na… Pyaar Hain. These, among many other similar incidents, rewrote a new chapter in the underworld-Bollywood link story and this fresh chapter said that the Bollywood wasn’t relieved anymore. The individual enmity between dons and filmmakers is a concern but the much bigger concern is when the underworld is being used to threaten the country’s national security. Today, people like Dawood Ibrahim are not just dons looking to make money but also instruments in the hand of Pakistan to carry out massive destruction in our country. Are there more links between Bollywood and underworld? We need to find out By adding elements of drama to Sanjay Dutt’s punishment, we are actually trivialising the bigger threat that the underworld can pose to India’s integrity through the soft target called Bollywood. Just ensuring protection to one or two actor or debating whether Dutt should be exonerated are not the needs of the hour. The actual task is to look for more links between the glamour world and the underworld which have the potential to harm our cause. The film and TV business have undergone a sea change in the last 20 years and the underworld hasn’t surely not sat back all these days. The professionals attached to the film and TV industries are more vulnerable to be manipulated today because of factors like globalisation and liberalisation and it makes it equally challenging for the Indian state to tighten the national security. Are we upto the mark to stop the emergence of more Sanjay Dutts? Film professionals need to be more alert Delinking the Bollywood and the underworld might not be completely possible for this matter involves human relations. But while the protectors of the nation need to continuously monitor these relations, it is also a big responsibility for the film professionals to ensure that they do not let themselves and the country down by falling into the trap laid by the underworld. Sanjay Dutt might have been an immature youth who made a mistake by taking possession of an arm but the youngsters of this age should learn from Dutt’s mistake by heart. Filmstars are the nation’s role models and they can not afford to indulge in any kind of activity, even unsuspectingly, that might lead to a major harm to their followers. It is thus not a time to cry for Sanjay Dutt’s punishment. If he has perished because of his own error, let him but by displaying a soft corner for his stardom and seek his pardon, we will send across dangerous signals. An entire nation can not be put in peril just for one individual.
Bollywood actor Salman Khan will appear before a Sessions Court on March 25, Monday, in the 2002 hit-and-run case.
The case came up before the Sessions Court after a magistrate transferred the matter to that court by charging the actor with a more serious charge of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’.
One person was killed and four injured when a Land Cruiser, allegedly driven by Salman, ran over people sleeping on pavement in Bandra in the wee hours of September 28, 2002.
Meanwhile, a Jodhpur court read out fresh charges against Salman, Saif Ali Khan, Tabu, Neelam and Sonali Bendre for hunting blackbucks, a protected species, in Rajasthan 14 years ago. Salman was charged under the Wildlife Protection Act. Charges against him under the Arms Act have been dropped. If convicted, the actors face up to six years in jail.
Black Buck Murder & Hit Run Case of Salman Khan
Bollywood films are known to promote the theory of good prevailing over evil. Now, it is the turn of “real” to imitate the “reel”. After actor Sanjay Dutt, it the turn of Salman Khan to prepare himself to face the law for “crimes” committed by him. The Supreme Court on Thursday, March 21 upheld actor Dutt’s conviction under the Arms Act, but reduced his sentence from six to five years in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case.
On Saturday, March 23 a Jodhpur court framed fresh charges against four of the accused and Salman’s film industry colleagues in the 14-year-old-long Blackbuck poaching case. The court of chief judicial magistrate, Jodhpur, Saturday read out charges against four Bollywood stars — Tabu, Sonali Bendre, Neelam and Saif Ali Khan. However, the court stopped itself from reading the charges against Salman, the main accused of the case, as he was not present in the court. Earlier, Salman got exemption from appearing in the court on the ground that he had to be out of the country for medical treatment. “Salman Khan was not present in the court today (Saturday) as he in not in the country and has gone overseas for treatment,” Hastimal Saraswat, Salman Khan’s counsel, said. The next court hearing on charges against Salman will be held on April 27. The charges against the accused have been framed under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 relating to hunting and inciting to poach blackbucks, an endangered species. The actors are likely to face imprisonment of up to six years if they are sentenced guilty by the court. Moreoevr, Salman will appear in person before a Sessions Court in Mumbai in the 2002 hit-and-run case on March 25. The 47-year-old actor will return from the USA on Saturday (March 23) night to appear before the Court on Monday (March 25). On the fateful night of September 28, 2002, the actor allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol had run over his Toyota Land Cruiser on homeless people who were sleeping on the pavement. In the accident one person was killed and four were injured.
Hit & Run
Falgun Shroff, the owner of a Mercedes car involved in a hit-and-run case in Versova, surrendered before the police on Tuesday.
The police arrested him and produced him before the Bandra holiday magistrate court, which later released him on bail.
The speeding car had mowed down five pedestrians and two of them were critically injured early on Monday.
The Versova police had registered case of rash and negligent driving against an unidentified person. When the police traced Shroff’s residence on Monday, they found that he was not there and his phone was switched off. After a few hours, Shroff’s driver surrendered before the police along with the car and claimed responsiblity for the accident. But the police were not convinced with his version and did not arrest him. They verified CCTV footage in the area and inquired with witnesses, after which Shroff admitted to his crime.
Shroff told the police that he was returning after meeting friends when he lost control of his vehicle. The police stated that they doubted Shroff’s driver’s claims as there were many loopholes in his narration of the sequence of events.
The driver claimed that he tried to avoid a member of a group of five who suddenly came in his way, but ended up losing control of the vehicle and hitting all. The five, who included students and script- writers, share a flat in Versova and had gone for a walk after dinner around 1.30 am.
Shroff fled from the spot after the accident and passersby and the police took the injured to hospital. The injured, however, provided the car licence plate number to the police.
The police approached a showroom inquiring about the car and were led to Shroff, who lives at Lokhandwala, and has a furniture business in Juhu.
Crimes of Sanjiv Nanda
Sanjeev Nanda (born 1978) is a businessman and the son of Suresh Nanda, an Indian arms dealer, head of the firm Crown Corporation and an ex-naval officer, implicated in a Tehelka expose. He is also the grandson of an ex-Chief of Naval Staff-turned businessman, S. M. Nanda from New Delhi. Sanjeev has been convicted for running over and killing six people, including three policemen. The case attracted enormous media attention, and was viewed by many as “a test of the judicial system’s ability to take on the powerful”. Nanda is also one of the principals in the weapon trading firm Crown Corporation started by his father, Lt. Commander Suresh Nanda (ex-Indian Navy). He also owns several hotels.
Sanjeev Nanda, a management graduate from INSEAD and Wharton, was allegedly in a drunken state when he drove his BMW car at high speed through a police checkpoint at 4:50 AM early morning of January 10, 1999. After running through the policemen, he allegedly stopped the car to check the damage, saw people under the car, and according to the prosecution, at this point co-passenger Manik Kapoor said: ‘‘Let’s go,’’ and they quickly drove away. The car was later cleaned up by servants at a friend’s house.
In the initial court case, Sanjeev and five others were acquitted after many years because the court did not find any of the witnesses reliable and the defense was able to make the case that it was perhaps a truck and not the BMW that had caused the deaths. All the accused were released, resulting in a sharp drop in public confidence in the legal system, since it was widely believed that the witnesses had been bought off. Following the media hue and cry, another court in September 2008 sentenced him to five years in jail.
Also, in March 2008, Sanjeev Nanda and his father were also arrested in Mumbai in connection with the Barak Missile Scandal, in which Crown Corporation allegedly paid large bribes to politicians and defence officials. He is also a British national.
The BMW incident appears to have unfolded as follows:
The incident occurred at 4:50 AM early morning of January 10, 1999. Sanjeev Nanda was returning from a late night party in Gurgaon with friends Manik Kapoor & Siddharth Gupta. Both were in their early twenties and came from influential business families – Manik’s father Sudhir Kapoor runs a thriving export business was one of the closest to the Nanda Family. Sanjeev had apparently been instructed by his parents not to drive that night, but was at the wheel anyway. There was a police checkpoint on Lodhi Road and it appears that the constable may have challenged the car, though it is also possible that the car was going so fast that it was out of control. In any event, it is alleged that Sanjeev’s BMW crashed through all the people at the police checkpoint, immediately killing two constables – Rajan Kumar (25) (of 86th Battalion of the CRPF), Ram Raj (38) of Delhi Home Guard, and two others – Abdul Nasir (30) and Gulab (32), who were apparently being interrogated. Another policeman, Peru Lal (40) of the Delhi Home Guard, along with Mehendi Hassan, died later in hospital. The seventh victim, Manoj (32), survived, but is untraceable today.
After running through the policemen, he allegedly stopped the car to check the damage, saw people under the car, and according to the prosecution, at this point co-passenger Manik Kapoor said: ‘‘Let’s go,’’ and they quickly drove away. The car was then driven to Siddharth Gupta’s house in Golf Links, where Siddharth’s father Rajiv Gupta, who heads the finance firm Motor General Finance, instructed watchman Bhola Nath and driver Shyam Singh Rana to clean the bumpers and bonnet of the car of the blood and vestiges of the victims. Subsequently the police charged these three with destroying evidence. A few days later, a witness Sunil Kulkarni, came forward to describe the scene. At the time of the crash, he was on his way to the railway station. He deposed as follows on Jan 16, 1999:
“They were driving very fast. The car went to the side, crushing two people. A few others were thrown away. The driver got out and looked at the damage done to the car. Then the other person in the car came out and looked behind the car. Then they quickly drove off. I came to the police on the 15th because of my guilty conscience.”
NDTV sting operation
The prominent criminal lawyers involved in the case were R.K. Anand and I.U. Khan. NDTV carried out a sting operation in which they were caught on camera offering money to Sunil Kulkarni. Later the Delhi High Court barred the advocates from practising for four months.
The vehicle’s broken registration plate was found on the scene the next morning. A 100-yard stretch near the police checkpoint was strewn with body parts and severed limbs amid pools of blood. Preliminary investigations revealed that the car would have been going at 140 km/h when it hit the victims.
Within a few hours of the incident, Inspector Jagdish Pandey of the Police Control Room of Delhi Police was able to trace the BMW by trailing the oil leak from the accident-spot to Rajiv Gupta’s garage. They found the one-month old car, purchased in his sister Sonali Nanda’s name, with foreign number plates, which had not been registered in India. Attempts to clean it were still in progress. Sanjeev and his friends were arrested, but his clothes, and those of the others who helped clean the car, were never found. When Sanjeev and his friends were first charged withCulpable homicide in court, a gaggle of Delhi’s elite descended on Patiala House courts, including ex-Admiral Nanda himself.
· Manoj Malik
· Sunil Kulkarni : initially volunteered to have witnessed the accident, later vacillated.
During the initial trial, the only survivor, Manoj, said that it might have been a truck that hit them. Since the other six witnesses were dead, Manoj was the only voice. It is widely believed that he had been paid off, and has mysteriously disappeared thereafter. Another witness, Sunil Kulkarni had volunteered to have seen the incident, but the elite defence team was able to discredit him and he was portrayed as having been “put up” by the Delhi Police.
In Sanjeev Nanda’s testimony (in 92 questions over 14 pages), he told Judge S.L. Bayana that he was not driving the car and was not the car’s owner. He said it was his sister’s car and he had nothing to do with the accident.
Sanjeev Nanda spent a few months in jail but was released on bail in May 1999. He was set a surety of a Rs 45 crore (USD 9 million), subsequently reduced to Rs. 15 crore (USD 3 million).
The case went up for re-trial. Under intense media pressure, the case was tried on a fast-track basis, and on 2 September 2008, Sanjeev Nanda was convicted by a Delhi court for mowing down six persons in the nine-year-old BMW hit-and-run case and can face a ten-year prison term. Nanda, convicted in the BMW hit-and-run case, on 3 August 2012 got a reprieve as the Supreme Court refused to enhance the quantum of punishment of two years already undergone by him and directed him to do community service for two years. 
· 10 January, A speeding BMW drives through a police check-point in Delhi and kills 6 people.
· 18 May, key witness Sunil Kulkarni says Sanjeev Nanda was 1 of the 3 people in the BMW
· March, Sanjeev and his father Suresh Nanda was arrested from a Mumbai hotel for allegedly bribing an income tax official. Suresh nanda was also once accused by CBI for purchasing barak missiles from Israel 8 years ago. Both were bailed out in that case.
· 2 September, Sanjeev Nanda was convicted by a Delhi court for mowing down six persons in the nine-year-old BMW hit-and-run case and can face a ten-year prison term.
· 5 September, Sanjeev Nanda gets five year jail term for mowing down six persons in the nine-year-old BMW hit-and-run case
· The Delhi High Court on January 9 rejected a plea of BMW-hit-and-run case convict Sanjeev Nanda to extend in his interim bail which expires on Saturday. Justice Kailash Gambhir dismissed the petition of Nanda which means he had to surrender himself 10 January. Nanda, undergoing five years jail term in the BMW hit-and-run case, was earlier on December 19 granted three-week interim bail to meet his ailing grandfather and former Naval Chief S M Nanda.
· 22 August, Sanjeev Nanda was freed from jail three months before his two-year jail term ended due to his good conduct. Nanda walked free from Tihar Jail No 4, where he was lodged. According to rules, a convict can earn three months of remission every year if he conducts himself in a positive manner.
· 8 March, Sanjeev Nanda weds his girlfriend Medha Bhatnagar amidst extravagant floral décor by designer Tarun Tahiliani, lavish multi-cuisine spread from Hotel Claridges and a guest list that boasted the rich and famous of India.
Barak Missile scam
Sanjeev Nanda is also involved in the Barak missile scam, a case in which his company, the weapon trading firm Crown Corporation, was implicated for massive bribes to Indian politicians and defence officials. A Tehelka investigation in 2001 revealed possible influence Lt-Cmdr Suresh Nanda and Admiral SM Nanda may have had with the Indian Ministry of Defence in swinging deals. In these tapes, the reporter is posing as a representative of the fictional large arms supplier West End. At one point, the Samata Party national treasurer RK Jain is trying to convince Tehelka about his prowess in swinging deals. He mentions how in the first defence deal that he was involved in as the party treasurer, Suresh Nanda of Crown Corporation had paid Samata Party Rs 1 crore to swing the Rs 250-crore (USD 60 million) order for Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARV) in favour of a Slovakian company.
· Samata Party treasurer R.K. Jain: “Nanda approached me. Czechoslovakia’s price was the lowest, second Slovakian, third was the Poland.”
· Tehelka: “Haan, Haan.”
· R.K. Jain: “He said, ‘I will give you one crore rupees in advance’.”
· Tehelka: “Okay.”
· R.K. Jain: “You get disapproved the last one. Czechoslovakia because they are so lower that we cannot match their price.”
· Tehelka: “Okay.”
· R.K. Jain: “If you can push him out. Delegation is going on to the… delegation has been ordered to go to Czechoslovakia. Stop this delegation, and technically reject this company. Here are the documents.”
· Tehelka: “Hmm.”
· R.K.Jain: “By which it’s proved that this company is closed for the last two years. They will start only after getting this order.”
· Tehelka: “Yeah, yeah.”
· R.K. Jain: “I will give one crore rupees. And I will give you… if they are technically disapproved, then you are my agent.”
· Tehelka: “Yeah.”
· R.K. Jain: “For this particular… perks… and I will give you so much of commission.”
· Tehelka: “Okay.”
· R.K. Jain: “I said, ‘Fine.’ He gave me the correspondence. I took the correspondence to George.”
(the then Defence minister George Fernandes was from Samata Party)
· Tehelka: “Hmm.”
· R.K. Jain: “And he said, ‘All right, I’ll reject it.’ He is a very intelligent man.”…
· Tehelka: Okay, it is manipulated.
· R.K. Jain: He wrote straight away on the file himself. He never goes and orders to a Joint Secretary. He wrote it himself, and sent the file back. Nanda gave me one crore rupees. He called me, “Yes, Mr. Jain, the file has come down. Like you know George…”
· Tehelka: Yeah, yeah.
Jain also said that he had received another Rs 1 crore for the Samata Party from Suresh Nanda to help swing the contract for an air-to-air and surface-to-surface missile system for the Indian Navy. Nanda was an agent for the Israeli Barak 1 system.
These tapes were the result of a clandestine sting operation and are not admissible as evidence in court. However, the intense media pressure led to a separate investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation and five years later, R.K. Jain was arrested in February 2006. In October 2006, the Central Bureau of Investigation filed charges against George Fernandes, former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sushil Kumar, and others in the Barak missile case, claiming that there was reasonable basis to suspect corruption and criminal conspiracy.
Finally, seven years after the expose, in March 2008, the Nandas were arrested.
· Jessica Lall, a Delhi based model shot in a bar in front of dozens of witnesses by then-politician’s son Manu Sharma. Initially, the accused was acquitted after witnesses turned hostile in a low level court, but was subsequently incarcerated for life in the Delhi High Court, following testimony of a key witness Bina Ramani, who did not turn hostile. Hostile witnesses such as Shayan Munshi are being tried for perjury for turning hostile in court.
· Priyadarshini Mattoo Law student raped and killed by a classmate stalker who is the son of a high ranking police officer. Detectives were influenced by the policeman to go easy on the killer, and thus the case was transferred to the CBI. Murderer found guilty after dogged pursuit of justice by the media and the victim’s family, and sentenced to death, which was later converted to life imprisonment by the Supreme Court of India.
· Satyendra Dubey was a project director at the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). He was murdered in Gaya, Bihar after fighting corruption in the Golden Quadrilateral highway construction project.
· Shanmughan Manjunath: Indian Institute of Management Lucknow graduate and Indian Oil Corporation employee Manjunath was brutally murdered by the oil mafia in 2005 when he tried to check petrol adulteration in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh.
7. ^ “Police team rewarded for nabbing mishap suspects”. The Tribune, Chandigarh. 1999-01-11. Retrieved 2006-08-17.
9. ^ “BMW hit-and-run: Supreme Court refuses to enhance Nanda jail term”. 3 August 2012.
14. ^ “BMW case: Sanjeev Nanda’s plea rejected by Delhi High Court”. The Times Of India. Retrieved 2008-12-19.
15. ^ “BMW hit-and-run case: Sanjeev Nanda walks free from jail”. Retrieved 2009-08-22.
19. ^ PTI (2006-02-07). “R K Jain arrested five years after Tehelka expose”. Outlook. Retrieved 2006-08-16.
Privileged Prisoners of India
When the rich and the powerful get on the wrong side of the law, it’s the law that suffers the most. VIP offenders and convicts are often treated by law enforcers as VIPs and not as offenders or convicts. Security officials rolled out the red carpet for Jagir Kaur, former Minister in the Shiromani Akali Dal government in Punjab, following her conviction last week on charges of abduction and wrongful confinement of her daughter in 2000. Video footage from the Kapurthala jail captured the astonishing sight of officials rushing to touch the convict’s feet when she arrived at the prison complex ostensibly to serve out her term. Although Ms Kaur “resigned” as Minister immediately after her conviction, she appears to have lost none of the privileges that come with office. Twice president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, the powerful body responsible for the administration of gurudwaras, Ms Kaur wields considerable clout within the current government headed by Parkash Singh Badal. Opposition members have already demanded that she be shifted to a jail outside Punjab so she gets a taste of prison life as it is lived by countless other convicts.
Of course, Ms Kaur is not the first person to receive comforts and favours inside a prison cell. Industrialists and politicians convicted for fraud and violent crime have always found ways to carry over their material advantages in the vast, outside world into the confines of a prison. In many cases, they abuse the legal provisions governing incarceration to evade the full rigour of the law. It has, for example, become the done thing for celebrity undertrials and convicts to feign chest pain and seek refuge in high-end hospitals which curiously seem able to delay diagnosing the illness for as long as the patient wants. Stories of well-heeled undertrials being lavished attention in prisons — the 2G accused being a case in point — are a legion. The other trick in the book is parole; the reason for the excursion can be anything, a parent’s illness, the death of a relative, or simply the need to reconnect with the city’s social circuit. Manu Sharma, convicted in the Jessica Lal murder case, famously spent the parole period granted him (originally 30 days but extended by a month) partying, helped in no small measure by his benefactors in the Delhi government. India’s criminal justice system is lax, and many literally get away with murder. For a select few convicted by a court of law, the journey from home to prison brings no ordeal that they cannot bear. When the prison cell door clanks shut behind them, the VIP inmates manage to force open a window to freedom. That’s the sad truth.
Misuse of Parole
Facing fire over his wayward ways while out on parole, Manu Sharma – convicted for model Jessica Lall’s murder – on Tuesday returned to Tihar Jail.
Manu’s parole was to expire on November 22. Manu left a letter for his mother before voluntarily going to the jail and turning himself in.
Manu’s decision came after there was a huge uproar when he was actually found pub hopping. His parole was apparently granted to enable him to tend to his sick mother who was actually found addressing a press conference in Chandigarh last week.
The last straw came when Manu and a friend Sahil Dhingra got into an altercation at Delhi’s F Bar.
The Delhi government faced some embarrassing questions after Headlines Today and sister publication Mail Todayhighlighted the virtual misuse of the parole.
Fingers were pointed at Manu’s father Vinod Sharma who is an influential Congress MLA in Haryana. Manu even accompanied his father to a campaign trail in Ambala.
Sheila Dikshit government, after initially defending the parole, had to order a probe by the Delhi and Chandigarh police.
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