In one of my previous articles’ A Huge Blunder On Part Of Supreme Court To Grant Bail To Binayak Sen‘, I had expressed my deep frustration over the leniency exhibited by the Supreme court in granting bail to Binayak Sen. I had then clearly stated that this would not be seen as a good precedent in history of criminal justice system. It would not only be demoralizing for the investigative agencies involved in trapping hard-core criminals but also leave a very bad impact on lower courts, which do a tough task of arriving at proper conclusions in light of evidences and arguments.
I am not going to discuss once again whether Supreme court was right or wrong in granting the bail. I am, at present, really taken aback by the recent strange move of the Central government. It has given a place to Binayak Sen in Planning Commission’s Steering Committee on Health as a member. Binayak Sen as one of the representatives belonging to civil society will advise the panel on the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). Interestingly, the move to make him part of the Planning Commission came very soon. He had got bail just couple of days back.
I am really surprised that though all the major newspapers mentioned the appointment of Binayak Sen, they avoided placing the appropriateness of this decision under the lens. That in my eyes is highly baffling. The media which raises hue and cry over seemingly insignificant gestures of celebrities, belonging to various fields, remained silent over this stunning development. It never bothered to raise this question in a prominent way as to why Binayak Sen was granted a place in Planning Commission despite being convicted of committing a serious crime?
Can convicts be allowed to become part of reputed institutions even as the matter is being heard in Court? I mean the Indian media which loves to get involved in ridiculous sting operations, not leaving even chaddhi-baniyan (private life) of the celebrities, chose to treat it as insignificant development. Why did it fail to make it an issue? Doesn’t this prove one thing that media is, in actuality, hand in glove with its favourite bashing boy-the government? That it loves to criticize and praise with some vested interests in mind?
There is also a peculiar aspect involved in this shady development. This aspect is quite disturbing for all souls, who love to see two plus two as four quite often in life. Now just have a look at this pretty intriguing connection. The way Binayak Sen was granted bail by the Supreme court was not praised in many legal circles. However, the protests remained within limits of decency as the decision maker was Supreme court! Anyway, many dared to believe that there was more than meets the eye! For instance, the role of power centres in getting a desired judgment became a subject matter in private conversations. The government’s move to have him in the Planning Commission gives strength to such wild assumptions. After all, what was the urgency to have him as a member within weeks of getting bail? It’s really appears so strange that a person convicted under such serious charges is fit enough to be part of such a reputed government body and that too when matter the matter is sub judice.
Are the laws interpreted as per stature of person? The influential people manage to find thousand ways to have a bail in serious charges but an ordinary citizen spends many days in jail as under-trial even in a case, wherein it’s certain that person involved had no connection with the crime at all. I wish to know what message are we conveying to people of this nation via appointment of such dubious people in prominent institutions? Are we aware of the repercussions of such disastrous gestures?
Should the people remain silent merely because important bodies are involved in making of such decisions? The answer is emphatic no. It’s time that all thinking souls become vocal about such shady activities taking place with help of hi profile people and big institutions. Let’s not remain silent. Let’s learn to act as a watch-dog, which has the capacity not only to bark loudly but bite as well.