Friday, October 12, 2007

More Questions...

I was told by a few regular readers of my rants said that the last post seemed like one of the Tamizh mega serials- where at the end of an episode, at a critical juncture- it says thodarum (to be continued) and then had disappeared for a while. So, here goes.

As Gow has pointed out in the previous post, the 2nd day was quite interesting and so were the 3rd and the 4th for that matter. As listing out the topics we addressed seems rather repetitive, I’ll just list out a few questions and general comments.

One of the things that hit me the most was the kind of questions. They were testimony to the fact that they thought about the law- in ways very different from how many of us did. All these questions were asked in earnest and from a very practical standpoint. I am translating some of them from Tamizh and hope it conveys atleast half as much in English.

  1. Sometimes we have heard that 3 or 5 judges decide a case and one of them writes against what the other 4 write. What’s the point of this dissent? Is there any value at all?
  2. Can a lower court judge be punished for deciding a case wrongly if his decision is reversed on appeal?
  3. Isn’t it a fact that a lawyer’s job is to establish the truth? If so when a criminal comes to him and confesses about a crime, shouldn’t he report the matter immediately?
  4. Why is it that we hear no instance of a lawyer being made to pay compensation for wrong advice?
  5. Can I send a FIR through registered post in case they refuse to give me an acknowledgement?
  6. Are Panchayat decisions banned? Why does the court discourage it?
  7. Isn’t it ridiculous that if someone is taken into custody and not produced in front of a Magistrate within 24 hours, I have to go all the way to Madras to the HC to secure the writ of habeas corpus? Why do I have to spend money to do something that must happen as a matter of right? How does it matter if my costs are ordered later on? I might not have money even then and you think I can be running around to get legal aid at that moment? Talk some sense!
  8. The police DO NOT register my FIR…unless I use all possible presurre. You live in an Utopian world if you tell me it’s my right. Its not.
  9. Some employers don’t recruit people against whom an FIR is filed. So anyone can use this to give me trouble? Again, how can I run around to court fighting for my right to equality when my immediate job is important? Maybe they must think before they register it?
  10. It all depends on which political party you belong to at the end of the day- for anything to happen in this state.

I leave it at this for now. I hope some of you would tell me what answers you would have given. Meanwhile, I will continue with more on why this trip proved that law in the abstract is not interesting at al, but associating law with real people to whom it makes a difference is what makes it real :)


gouthiii said... in the abstract has never ethused has not enthused me u said the trip is a testimony to that :)

gouthiii said...

for all those of u who dont knw "law in the abstract has never enthused me" is the poplular dialogue by Ms. poonkhulali balasubramanian on the radio indigo show, unsung heroes when the lady was asked, why have u taken up lsc activities even when its not compulsory?

Thriyambak J. said...

It appears that most of the questions that have been posed by the farmers involve two aspects, access to justice and more importantly justice itself (false FIR et. al). While there is much that the justice department can do as well, these are irksome questions that could be posed to the Executive as well. While most of the questions have slightly difficult answers, the one that can instantly come to my mind is that fact that a lawyer can be made liable for compensation for negligent advice, but that would require action through the justice system as well.

shwetha said...

One thing that made me happy after reading khulali's post and attending the meeting when this was discussed is that more people are not only aware of the law but are actually applying it as well. The sad part is that after reading the kind of questions put forth by the farmers, it seems kind of disheartening that people who actually go ahead and try to exercise their rights are slowly losing faith in the legal system when these rights are just too difficult to achieve either due to paucity of time or fault in the justice system. This i feel goes against what we as part of the legal society try to uphold and promote which is done in lsc with the help of our llps. There seems to be a need for an immediate response from the legal society to revamp our justice system and to do it fast before more people lose faith in it and resort to other means of achieving justice.

チャチャリー said...