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JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED

“Justice delayed is justice denied” is a well-known adage. We, Indians, have evolved ingenious ways of delaying justice. The commonest is to appoint commissions to go into crimes of magnitude and report back to the government. Another way is to have lawyers who specialize in getting adjournments and long dates. Commissions take their own sweet time to submit reports. Some, like the Liberhan commission appointed over the destruction of the Babri Masjid, took 17 years to tell us what we already knew. Perhaps the most scandalous delay occurred in bringing to justice the perpetrators of mass killings of innocent Sikhs and the destruction of their property worth hundreds of crores following the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984.

Half-a-dozen commissions were appointed to go into the details of crimes committed. Nothing came out of them, and the men involved continued to roam free. Finally, the Nanavati commission suggested that some cases needed fresh investigation. H.K.L. Bhagat and Jagdish Tytler, who were even included in the Central cabinet, and Sajjan Kumar were among those who were named. But for the dogged attempts to get justice made by some Sikh organizations led by the lawyer, H.S. Phoolka, nothing would have come out and the entire tragic episode would have been swept under the carpet of oblivion. But, at long last, a Delhi court summoned Sajjan Kumar, a former member of parliament, to face trial for his role in the sordid affair. He did what many politicians generally do: go underground for a while till warrants of arrest were issued against him. Finally, when he appeared to ask for bail, he had a huge crowd of supporters shouting slogans to overawe the court. This has also become an established practice resorted to by politicians when they are in trouble. Sajjan Kumar has dodged justice for 18 years. Some witnesses are dead, others have fled abroad or are reluctant to risk their lives. No better example of delaying justice can be found in our recent history.

Then we had pogroms against Muslims in Gujarat, following the burning of a rail coach along with some passengers at Godhra railway station in 2002. Over 2,000 innocent Muslims, including a Muslim member of parliament, were killed. Goondas took the law in their hands and went on a killing spree. No action was taken against the chief minister, Narendra Modi, who had a stout protector in L.K. Advani, who depended on the former to return him to Parliament. Instead, Modi was praised for his good administration and as a promoter of industry. Ratan Tata shifted his Nano-manufacturing plant from West Bengal to Gujarat. Other industrialists lauded him for containing trade unions. Gujarat undoubtedly made good progress in industry but accusations that the chief minister had a role in depriving thousands of people of their lives were conveniently forgotten. No one has the right to judge crimes except the judiciary. Instead of bad-mouthing his critics, let Modi manfully stand for trial to prove his innocence or take the verdict passed on him by a court as other citizens of the country have to do.

Stingy offspring

A couple were celebrating 50 years of being together. Their three kids, all very successful, agreed to a Sunday dinner in their honour. “Happy anniversary Mom and Dad,” gushed son number one. “Sorry I’m running late. I had an emergency at the hospital with a patient, you know how it is, and I didn’t have time to get you a gift.”

“Not to worry,” said the father. “The important thing is that we’re all together today.”

Son number two arrived and announced, “You and Mom look great, Dad. I just flew in from Los Angeles between depositions and didn’t have time to shop for you.” “It’s nothing,” said the father. “We are glad you were able to come.”

Just then the daughter arrived. “Hello and happy anniversary! I’m sorry, but my boss is sending me out of town and I was really busy packing so I didn’t have time to get you anything.”

After they had finished dessert, the father said, “There’s something your mother and I have wanted to tell you for a long time. You see, we are very poor. Despite this, we were able to send each of you to college. Throughout the years your mother and I knew that we loved each other very much, but we just never found the time to get married.”

The three children gasped and all said, “You mean we’re b*******?”

“Yep,” said the father, “And cheap ones too.”

Long abbreviation

You must have heard of ABCD... American Bred Confused Desi!

But how about an ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ?

American Bred Confused Desi Emigrated From Gujarat, Housed in Jersey, Keeping Lots of Motels, Named Omkarnath Patel, Quickly Reached Success Through Underhand Vicious Ways, Xenophobic Yet Zestful.

(Contributed by Vipin Buckshey, Delhi)

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