Paper Rights

via Dr Mrs Hilda Raja published on January 6, 2011

It looks like we are being overburdened with ‘RIGHTS’ which are more in paper than in reality. Take for example the right to life which means provision of food-water and other survival inputs. The same government which conferred on us this right has clearly abdicated its role as the provider. It is impossible to feed 1.15 billion people asserted our Finance Minister. Then may I ask Mr Pranab Mukherjee to withdraw that Right to life. Right to life also encompasses personal safety and security which again the GOI has failed miserably. Right to education-is another right which is observed more in its breach than  in observance–when one sees child labor rampant and children out of school then one wonders what this right is all about. This is not to fully blame the government but just to bring to focus the fact that this government is a paper government-why is it so keen on conferring paper Rights which cannot be implemented these are just two examples in the long list of Rights.

Now the latest is the statement of the Minister for Law that soon we will be burdened with another Right-that is Right to Justice.Sounds good but let’s pause to incisively look into the justice which is going to be our Right. Should Justice be a Right-is Justice not by itself a guarantee that it is for all? Should there be Convocation of the people of India in which this Right will be conferred? And will be another Right on the list of the UPA to go for vote catching. Now what is the quality of justice that is being made a right? Is it the Justice which Ruchika was given, is it the Justice that evaded Aarushi. What is the Right to Justice that Veerappa Moily has in mind? Justice varies from courts to courts. Sentences pronounced in the lower courts are quashed at the Higher courts and those of the High courts in the Supreme Courts.

If Courts really are attuned to dispense Justice then why transfer of cases from one State to another-should not Courts in all the States dispense justice. What about the justice which the Courts have already dispensed with-say the sentences which it has pronounced why are these not executed? Afzal Guru’s case is a typical example. Should this nation not have Justice? Should it be burdened by having to spend crores of its hard-earned money on keeping these criminals in the prisons?

Justice is a much bandied word but who gets justice and at what costs? So it is amazing that Veerappa Moily has embarked on conferring the Right to Justice on us the people of India . If only the government and its long arms keep out of this area there can be justice. In Quottrrochi’s case it is the GOI that thwarted justice and made a mockery of the Justice-thanks to then Law Minster Bhardwaj Quottrrochi had the last laugh. Right from the beginning Quottrrochi had to be saved was the Congress sole motive. Even now the CBI is on the save Q path. Why is the CBI bothered about the taxpayers’ money that it gives this as a reason to close Quottrrochi’s case? That nothing new has come out of the Income Tax Tribunal regarding the kickbacks-states the CBI.- which means that earlier it had known the amounts and the persons to whom the kickbacks went and the tax evasion involved. This is the kind of justice we have and which Veerappa Moily wants to offer us? Not to speak of the Bhopal gas disaster-in which till date justice has not been dispensed with for the victims.This is a special kind of vision of the Congress.A justice which is wrapped in injustice and offered now as a Right. The less the Congress leaders talk of Justice the better because they have lost the ability to discern between justice and injustice

Is Right to Justice something like Right to Information, Right to Education? Where does this Right to Justice start and where does it end. How is it operational? Will the Law minister ensure that the Judges dispense justice? If only the GOI stops interfering in the judiciary and ban post retirement benefit there can be some justice .To keep prisoners on parole for years-to stretch the period of criminal justice for years allowing the rich and the powerful to buy time and closures of cases for ‘lack of evidences’ are all mired in corruption and corrupt judges. The whole judiciary has to be cleansed. We had the ex-CJI  Balakrishnan who gave his full support to Justice Dinarakarn a corrupt judge -what was not good for Karnataka was good for Sikkim and so he was transferred there.

The people have become cynical of the justice system in our country thanks to the interference of the politicians and the rich. But still I must hasten to add that the Judicary is our only hope sans the interference of politicians. So to hear the Law minister telling us that soon we will have Right to Justice was ridiculous. I wish Veerappa Moily outlines how this Right would be implemented. Finally it must be stated that Justice has always a price-to go to courts one must have money and the capacity to wait for years. In no country does it take such a frustrating long period of wait for justice. Justice delayed is justice denied; one wonders what the Minister for Law is musing. The UPA government is creating a mirage of Rights, and a simulation of Justice.

Lets envisage a world where every person is assured of two meals a day, where every child is happily engrossed in school activities where every child is vaccinated and inoculated-where Health care is available and accessible to all-, where the communal divides fall, where there is justice at the door step for all, where there is peace and harmony-into that world- My Father let my people awake.

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