Reality Check India

Four women get 3 months jail for contempt of court

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on October 22, 2009

This is deeply disturbing,

Four women employees of Mumbai’s Boss music school were on Wednesday sentenced to three months in jail by the Supreme Court for hurling a slipper at an apex court judge on March 20. The court also slapped a fine of Rs1 lakh on each of them.

The four had hurled a slipper at former justice Arijit Pasayat, who was then heading the bench hearing a petition alleging contempt of chief justice KG Balakrishnan. Justice Pasayat now heads the newly-formed Competition Commission.

A bench of justices Altmas Kabir, GS Singhvi and HL Dattu found school principal Leila David, 75, its audio engineer Annette Kotian, 23, music teacher Pavitra Murali and psychologist Savita Parekh guilty of contempt of court and sentenced them to a three-month prison term.

In its judgment, the court said, “Throwing footwear on judges amounts to scandalising the institution of the Supreme Court.”

While Kotian and Parekh were taken into custody in the courtroom itself, the court ordered the arrest of David and Murali from their residences in Mumbai. They will be brought to Delhi’s Tihar jail.

Source : DNA India

Emphasis mine : One of the jailed women is 75 years old !

They could have forgiven the ladies in a gesture of magnanimity given that they had just been through the “legal process” in a wild witchcraft case earlier.

In its judgment, the court said, “Throwing footwear on judges amounts to scandalising the institution of the Supreme Court.”

Speaking of scandalized, how the court deals with its own corruption accused, how it checks the social justice encroachments (which is the foundation of the modern Indian state) with deep scrutiny, how it deals with the political corrupt and looting of national wealth, how it brings the arduous process of appeal to the poor – these are the things that will make people respect it.

The judges are human beings just like you and me. Unlike gods, respect for humans comes from we do and not who we are. Forgiving these women would have compensated in a little way for the beating the judiciary has taken in recent weeks.

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5 Responses

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  1. AG said, on October 22, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Not sure i agree with the viewpoint here.
    The slipper was thrown not so much at an individual but at an institution.
    there has to be a consequence for doing that.

    Just as there is consequence for killing policemen.
    Unless your name is Kasab, in whose case there is biryani and free wi fi.

  2. rc said, on October 22, 2009 at 11:42 am

    AG,

    I would agree with you if the court exhibited the same ‘tightness’ it all its dealings. It does not, so it is better served by exhibiting magnanimity in this case.

    The ladies were completely absolved of the primary case (witchcraft) after a battle. Then they were dragged into a contempt case during the hearing of which the shoe was thrown.

    There needs to be renewed debate on these archaic contempt laws.

  3. AG said, on October 22, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    RC
    weak reasoning, don’t you think. I cannot catch all criminals (or be tight all the time), so lets just be loose at all times. Doesn’t make sense.

    It is a different matter re: when the court is tight. In this case, given the names, its good to know they remained tight!

    But i agree that contempt laws need to be more rational. However contempt is still a big deal even in US courts. And it plays an important role, for courts are not negotiable.

  4. rc said, on October 22, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    >> I cannot catch all criminals (or be tight all the time), so lets just be loose at all times. Doesn’t make sense.

    You are correct of course, AG. But only be in normal times 🙂

    When to be loosen up and when to tighten up must be unpredictable.

    If not, we will be split up into ‘will get loose treatment group’ or ‘likely to get tight treatment group’.

    If the powerful classes got caught once in a while for contempt, then we can paper over this one.

  5. ZAREMA said, on March 19, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks the author for article. The main thing do not forget about users, and continue in the same spirit.


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