Lalu Prasad Yadav in jail
The pending cases are pending for political reasons?
How many courts and how long years wait for trying political, economic offences?
We are a democracy and other countries like Russia and China are not so openly democracies. But see the sort of political opponents in jail there. Bo Xilai in China is a powerful politician, a former member of the powerful Polit Bureau of 9 members. Yet, he is now in jail serving a life-term for political and economic and corruption offences.
This in China, an avowedly a Communist system of government.
So too in Russia. Just now read a long interview conducted by a London-based Financial Times writer October 26/27,32013 with Mikhail Khodorvsky, one time Russia’s richest man and a helper of Bor’s Yeltsin’s rise to power. Now, Khodorkovsky languished in jail, he was interviewed as he was standing in the defendant cage in a Russian special court!
This is both gsadening and ironical and even cruel for any justice system. As cruel top as Bo Xilai faced. The Russian case and also the Chinese case, we mean the court cases are very much a contrast and also the changing times.
These court cases are not ordinary cases, as we can find in any other more sedate and old-fashioned democracies.
In contrast, what do we find in India?
Now, India too is not an old-fashioned democracy, though here we find there is so much uprightness in public, our leaders talk endlessly and yet what we find here?
The rich and the powerful, those in power and those outside and yet well-connected in a network of deep corruption and much hypocrisy, we find the latest string of court cases, starting from some of the long pending cases like the ones involving some of the leading allies of the UPA government from the 2G to other telecom cases involving other names from the allies, their families and relatives and also the very many pending CBI cases.
The latest of course, making headlines is the Coalgate and now the very latest is the Nira Radia tapes. Now the question is: it took 17 long years, almost half a generation period, before Lalu was caught up with his case and had to undergo now the ignominy of serving his sentence in jail.
Lalu is no ordinary politician. Let us give him the credit. He is the most popular politician from a very politically sensitive state. Very much like Tamil Nadu, another state that had created history lately for the Dravidian parties aligning with the Central parties and enjoying power for very long uninterreruppted periods.
The DMK is very much like the RJD, both are powerful at the mass level and yet both so corrupt, caught in big corruption cases.
No less are the other equally powerful popular and populist parties.
The AIDMK leader is also facing trial in a disproportionate assets case.
The special court has now got a new judge. May be this is one of the long-pending cases to see any chance of speedy conclusion.
Now comes the news about the West Bengal based corruption case of alleged Sharadha chitfund scandal that had now been entrusted to another special court!
The moot point is whether this is the only way in which to render justice. The experience of the last many years in India is that the judiciary is becoming burdened or overburdened by the accumulated court cases that never see the light of the day.
In India ordinary citizens dot get justice easily. Much more recently, owing to a series of popular agitations, Anna Hazare is the latest trigger ,we find that there are so many corruption cases are unearthed, more public interest litigation(PIL) are filed in the courts and so too the other acts like RTI and even Lok Ayukta wherever it exists and whatever work is being done, have brought out to the public domain the daily occurrences of large scale corruption, officials really engaged in making money through illegal means, also the politicians, the political class, MLAs, MPs and ministers are also getting caught in the anti corruption drives, through various means.
It is the most difficult part of the working of democracy in India that we are not able to check corruption of the large scale.
How many state ministers, for instance, were caught in the big scale land grab cases in TN, you know?
How long it will take for these court trials to come to any conclusion?
Very unlikely these cases would see an end in our lifetime!
Now, the very latest is the Supreme Court judgement that ruled that the bureaucrats must be given fixed tenures. This might also help but won’t really do the job we are dealing with here.
The growth of corruption is linked in India owing to the way we practice democracy. We run the political parties. The way, our parties treat the members, the district, to state and central level organs and their party cadre.
The Indian National Congress was the role model for other parties for its historical role as a freedom fighter party. Now, the very Congress had also changed in a negative way. The party leader is not even elected or nominated through any national or party consensus.
This is again very much in contrast to party system in China and even in Russia. So, we in India have to do much more hard work.
We have to do a lot of large scale change in the political system in India. There must be party reforms. The Election Commission has proposed some reforms.
The political parties, led by the Congress and the BJP, two large parties, have refused to bring themselves under the RTI Act.
This has to change.
We have to bring about electoral reforms, Constitutional reforms and we have to enact the Lokpal, we have to make Lok Ayukta in every state to function. Unless we do this, we can’t also render justice to the citizens through the existing system of the courts, the judiciary also can’t do much.
The basic structure of the Constitution itself needs some actual working experience!
The highest court can’t take on the executive; the PM-PMO vs. the very many scams is a good example in the current status of the separation of powers. Of course, the leaders can help. The PM and the party president in the Indian system can help. Otherwise, why Lalu alone has to endure the agony.
Others too, even those from the corporate world, may have to live with so much injustice and the allegation of unproved charges and alleged criminal acts and actions in our otherwise, much admired democratic system!