Basant’s remarks on criminal justice system draw flak
By Sucheth P R | ENS - THALAASSERY
11th February 2013 11:48 AM
Protest is brewing among the legal fraternity associated with the District Civil and Criminal Courts here against the criticism made by Justice R Basant about the criminal judicial system in the country during the seminar ‘Delhi Debacle: Whither Now?’ held here on Saturday.
P Rajan, a leading criminal lawyer said that Basant’s speech had reflected the growing public opinion against the judicial system in India. “He would not have said such things considering his long experience in the legal field,” he added.
K K Ramesh, another prominent lawyer, said that Basant’s remarks revealed his unhappiness in the directive of the Supreme Court in the Suryanelli gang-rape case. “His entire speech was baseless, sub-standard and absurd. A man who enjoyed higher privileges in the judicial system should not have made such a speech. The comment against the victim he made at Tirur should be severely condemned. The girl was a minor and the assault on her is undoubtedly a rape,” he said.
“It is only after clearing all doubts that a verdict is pronounced usually. Hence by calling judiciary a ‘doubt-producing industry’ the justice is making it clear that he pronounced the verdict without clearing doubts,” Ramesh said. “The government should stop giving higher positions in public service to retired judges. Otherwise, after retirement many of them would say anything to appease powerful politicians,” he added.
Saturday’s speech was a blot on many people-friendly verdicts made by Basant earlier, he added.
P Omana, a leading woman lawyer and state committee member of All-India Lawyers Union, said that the Justice had insulted judiciary by calling it an ‘industry’. People depend on judiciary when their rights are denied. “Rape is an attack on freedom of life. And a judge’s duty is to protect such rights. But the comment of Basant that judiciary is an industry revealed that he has lost his senses owing to the influence of moneyed people, she said.
“Once a judgment is made there is no need to make a comment on it. By saying that the Supreme Court did not read the verdict he has insulted the apex court of the country and that is definitely case of a contempt of court,” Omana said. She added that the women lawyers of the Kannur District Civil and Criminal Courts has formed an organisation named ‘Guide’ to intervene in rape cases for the effective and speedy trial in all rape cases as it is becoming a recurring phenomenon in the state that rapists escape with political interference and victims are tortured and insulted. Basant has no right to speak against the journalist who exposed his fraud.
B P Saseendran, district secretary of All-India Lawyers Union said that Justice Basant has challenged the Constitution and all constitutional bodies in India, including the President and the Supreme Court. “By saying that the Supreme Court judges did not read the judgment of the High Court, Basant has created suspicion among people that he himself produced verdicts in the Kerala High Court without reading the verdicts of lower courts. It is matter of contempt of court. And his remarks on the minor victims made it clear that he is ignorant of the law.”
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