11 Hail, Indian Judiciary! - Fr Cedric Prakash sj

posted Sep 7, 2017, 1:49 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Sep 7, 2017, 1:49 AM ]
The Indian Judiciary (at least, a good section of it) seems to have come of age: objective, faithful to the letter and spirit of the law, and unmindful of the consequences, the threats and intimidations of their political bosses or the violent mobs! The recent period in India has been a vibrant one in the history of India – with several landmark judgments being delivered. These judgments have come as a shot in the arm for democracy in India, for the pluralistic and secular fabric of the country, and above all, they augur well for the future of India.

On August 25, CBI special court judge Jagdeep Singh held Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Chief of the Dera Sacha Sauda, guilty of rape and criminal intimidation of two female disciples in 2002. On August 28, Gurmeet Singh was sentenced to twenty years in prison (many, including his victims, feel that he should have been given a life term) by the same judge. Given his mass following, and the fact that Gurmeet Singh has the support of the ruling BJP, both in Haryana and at the Centre, the judge has been brave enough to transcend political privileges. The fact that there was mob violence (in which 36 people were killed and with widespread destruction) on August 25, with complete approval of the Government, was another pointer in an attempt to intimidate the law and order mechanism of the country.

On August 28, the Supreme Court slammed the Gujarat Government for dragging its feet on the trial of another godman, Asaram Bapu, in spite of being arrested for sexual misconduct. It is common knowledge that Asaram Bapu enjoys the full patronage of the Gujarat Government. Several other fraud godmen have been guilty of all kinds of criminal activity all across the country. Many of them have tremendous political patronage, and with their mob, muscle and money clout, they literally get away with murder. The landmark conviction and sentencing of Gurmeet Singh will certainly go a long way in upholding justice, and sending a message that no one is above the law!

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