July 24, 2007

Judicial "Independence" Indian Style

Here is an order from a High Court judge in India, Justice Uma Nath Singh of Punjab and Haryana High Court, the types who can only be removed by impeachment proceedings in both houses of the parliament.

At best, this is a judge gone wild that assumes the role of an accusation amplifier, investigator, jury and judge in a span of a few hours. At worst, an illiterate man who inhabits a blissful world untouched by carefully weighed-in legal language. Notice the underlined text (underlining added) reminiscent of the language used by banana republic dictators.

IndianExpress.com :: HC judge gets CBI to drag lawyer to Agra mental asylum
“It is also learnt from the Bar that the accused [note by your blogger: a high court lawyer Tahar Singh who was leading a campaign to discuss conduct of judges] creates nuisance and commotion wherever he goes with the help of some anti-social elements on the strength of some vested interests who finance him in doing so. In this background, to ensure the safety of life of the complainant [the lawyer's wife] and her children, I deem it expedient to direct the Superintendent of Police, Central Bureau of Investigation, Chandigarh to immediately take the accused in custody, and take him away from Chandigarh to admit him in the Mental Hospital, Agra, for proper treatment,” the order said.

Directing the CBI to take charge of the investigation, Justice Singh said: “The CBI shall use modern devices during investigation to find out the connections of Tahar with anti social elements and the vested interests who are misusing him during this spell of insanity.”

When contacted by The Indian Express, Tahar Singh’s wife, Sujata Sharma said: “I just made a complaint, I am shocked to learn that he has been arrested by the CBI. I never wrote any letter to any court. He is not at all insane.”

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July 17, 2007

Sanctimonious Indian Govt Gets Well-deserved Earful from Press

The Australian authorities are following due process in the investigation of suspect Mohammed Haneef, an Indian citizen, in connection with the London and Glasgow bombings. While there is Maoist terrorism, aka Naxalism, in large swathes of central India, there are unmistakable signs Islamic terrorism within India is now by and large home grown and now evidently exported, and that there is evidence terrorists of all denominations, including Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, exchange logistical support in the ungoverned parts of India, the only reactions to the London/Glasgow bomb plot we get from the Indian government are the sanctimonious lectures to the Australian high commissioner and to the new British Prime Minister.

India has a terrible criminal justice system, to say the least. There has been no satisfactory investigation progress in any of the seven acts of jihadi terrorism in India since the present government came to power in 2004.

IndianExpress.com :: Haneef & his country
The [Australian] immigration minister has suggested there is information on [individuals’ reckless association with terrorist organisations under a .section of Australia’s anti-terror law]. Therefore, New Delhi could perhaps have waited to see what Canberra finally produced before registering a concern over due process. ...

Plus, let’s not be sanctimonious. What is due process when it comes to India? What is the record of our police and security agencies in terms of always respecting basic constitutional principles and guilty-until-proven-innocent rules? What is our record in quickly processing terror cases? Fourteen years after the Mumbai blasts, the convicted are still being sentenced. ...

India under its present government seems to have made not netting terror suspects a policy. Whether Australia is proved to have been right or wrong in detaining Haneef, there is no mistaking the purposefulness in its efforts to go after a terror network. Pervez Musharraf, as these columns observed, had shown more purpose and guts over the Lal Masjid issue than many ruling party ministers had shown when dealing with another law and order menace in India: Naxalism.