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.
- 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?
- Can a lower court judge be punished for deciding a case wrongly if his decision is reversed on appeal?
- 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?
- Why is it that we hear no instance of a lawyer being made to pay compensation for wrong advice?
- Can I send a FIR through registered post in case they refuse to give me an acknowledgement?
- Are Panchayat decisions banned? Why does the court discourage it?
- 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!
- 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.
- 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?
- 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 :)