People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 25, 2004
FROM BEST BAKERY JUDGEMENT
IN a country like us with heterogeneous religions and multiracial and multilingual society which necessitates protection against discrimination on the ground of caste or religion taking lives of persons belonging to one or the other religion is bound to have dangerous repercussions and reactive effect on the society at large and may tend to encourage fissiparous elements to undermine the unity and security of the nation on account of internal disturbances. It strikes at the very root of an orderly society, which the founding fathers of our Constitution dreamt of.
When the ghastly killings take place in the land of Mahatama Gandhi it raised a very pertinent question as to whether some people have become so bankrupt in their ideology that they have deviated from everything which was so dear to him. When large number of people including innocent and helpless children and women are killed in a diabolic manner it brings disgrace to the entire society. Criminals have no religion. No religion teaches violence and cruelty-based religion is no religion at all, but a mere cloak to usurp power by fanning ill feeling and playing on feelings aroused thereby. The golden thread passing through every religion is love and compassion. The fanatics who spread violence in the name of religion are worse than terrorist and more dangerous than an alien enemy.
The little drops of humanness which jointly make humanity a cherished desire of mankind had seemingly dried up when the perpetrators of the crime had burnt alive helpless women and innocent children. Was it their fault that they were born in the houses of persons belonging to a particular community ? The still, said music of humanity had become silent when it was forsaken by those who were responsible for the killings.
“Little drops of
Water, little grains of sand
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land,
Little deeds of kindness,
Little words of love
Help to make earth happy
Like the heaven above”
Said Julia A F Cabney in “Little Things”.
If one even cursorily glances through the records of the case, one gets a feeling that the justice delivery system was being taken for a ride and literally allowed to be abused, misused and mutilated by subterfuge. The investigation appears to be perfunctory and anything but impartial without any definite object of finding out the truth and bringing to book those who were responsible for the crime. The public prosecutor appears to have acted more as a defence counsel than one whose duty was to present the truth before the Court. The Court in turn appeared to be a silent spectator, mute to the manipulations and preferred to be indifferent to sacrilege being committed to justice. The role of the State Government also leaves much to be desired. One gets a feeling that there was really no seriousness in the State’s approach in assailing the Trial Court’s judgment. This is clearly indicated by the fact that the first memorandum of appeal filed was an apology for the grounds. A second amendment was done, that too after this Court expressed its unhappiness over the perfunctory manner in which the appeal was presented and challenge made. That also was not the end of the matter. There was a subsequent petition for amendment. All this sadly reflects on the quality of determination exhibited by the State and the nature of seriousness shown to pursue the appeal. Criminal trials should not be reduced to be the mock trials or shadow boxing of fixed trials. Judicial Criminal Administration System must be kept clean and beyond the reach of whimsical political wills or agendas and properly insulated from discriminatory standards or yardsticks of the type prohibited by the mandate of the Constitution.
Those who are responsible for protecting life and properties and ensuring that investigation is fair and proper seem to have shown no real anxiety. Large number of people had lost their lives. Whether the accused persons were really assailants or not could have been established by a fair and impartial investigation. The modern day “Neros” were looking elsewhere when Best Bakery and innocent children and women were burning, and were probably deliberating how the perpetrators of the crime can be saved or protected. Law and justice become flies in the hands of these “wanton boys”. When fences start to swallow the crops, no scope will be left for survival of law and order or truth and justice. Public order as well as public interest become martyrs and monuments.