Friday, October 4, 2013

Roll back Ordinance

Rahul Gandhi, the vice-president of the Congress party walked into the Press club meeting that was in progress with the congress spokesperson Mr. Ajay Makken, and threw a bomb shell to unexpected press, saying the recent cabinet ordinance to protect convicted leaders was a "nonsense" and it deserves to be torn and thrown out. The press was caught off-guard. The Prime minister was out of the country and had to release a press statement that the matter would be discussed when he is back in the capital.

Recently Supreme court of India ruled, that any person who is convicted of punishment that exceeds two or more years of imprisonment stands to lose his legislative representation as an MP or an MLA immediately. This is welcome step as part of cleaning up Indian politics.  It is hard to disapprove with the Supreme court ruling because, Indian politics has recently seen a rapid rise of leaders with criminal backgrounds and pending legal cases against them including murder and multi-crore corruption scandals. The civil society welcomed this decision overall. Just when you thought something was going to change positively the UPA government stepped in. The plan was to pass an ordinance that will over rule the Supreme Court ruling where by it allows convicted law maker to hold on to their MLA/MP seats, until the legal case is decided by the highest court - Supreme court. Shockingly most parties except very few like Biju Janatha Dal, CPI, Aam Aadmi Party  didn't utter a word against it.

In India legal cases run for decades not years. The probability of a neta being convicted UNTIL the Supreme court are very less. You have to be really (really) unlucky for this eventuality to happen. If the convicted leader can hold of to be a representative of the people even after conviction in lower court - he might rewrite laws to suit his immunity. Isn't it a bad precedent for the younger politicians ? If a verdict of the lower court is not that important why do we even need a lower court. Can all legal cases be dealt by the Supreme court directly which has the final say? Recent scams that have happened in UPA - every time a major fraud is unearthed, say its 2G, coal gate, housing for fallen soldiers, Railway recruitment scam - there is a ritual that happens. You can loot as long as you get caught. As soon as you are exposed - you just have to "resign" as a minister. Just that. Media shames you for a day or two. This is publicity too. At least your name is uttered across the nation across newspapers and TVs. If smart, you can always make a comeback when the dust settles. How may times have we seen that? Then you can continue living your normal life as a MLA or a MP. Of course a FIR will be filed but you don't have to worry about it - the legal petition wouldn't see the day of light. Some ministers went to Jail recently which is true - it gives a illusion the system is working - But where are they now? Out there having fun from the money they stashed out during their hey days. There would be no legal recourse. I don't believe they will even be punished one day. Even if they did - it will be too little too late.

After Rahul's nonsense comment (which was nonsense since day one when it got introduced) - the Cabinet met and rolled back the ordinance. BJP - which is main opposition didn't jump at the opportunity and was inline with the government on the motive of ordinance since day one. what a shame?  Even though the social networking sites / media / public opinion was against the ordinance - BJP was dumb enough not to have picked up this issue. Finally Rahul Gandhi emerged the sole winner with all of UPAs allies finally decided to tore and throw the ordinance out. Rahul Gandhi looks "Prime minister" ready now for some.

Lallu yadav, the RJD supremo became the first victim of the roll back. He was convicted by a lower court and was handed down 5 years imprisonment and will lose his MP seat. Kapil Sibal's effort to save Lallu with the ordinance didn't work out this time. finally at least we see a neta go to jail for a corruption case. That was after 17 years. Wonder what you did for your birth day 17  years before? that should have been the important day of the year..think.. you don't remember?? no one remembers. 17 years is really lot of time. Cannot believe it took 17 years for a court to come to a conclusion. Hard to convince the people of the country to trust in the judiciary.

Only punishment will clean up Indian Politics. All people who break the law must be punished without sympathy. Speedy justice within accepted time line. People would trust the government and judiciary only then. Until now - it wasn't working. Lets see in future - if the Supreme court decision will refine out the bad neta's and make only genuine and honest politicians rise in stature and power.

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