Beyond reasonable doubt

In an article titled Dance of the Wolves in Tehelka (weekly magazine; Vol. 5, Issue 17), the box declares:

Many of the accused were given anticipatory bail even before they were arrested. The result: accused are roaming free.

Well, for the sake of clarification, anticipatory bail can only, and only, be granted ‘before the arrest’. After the arrest, it’s regular bail. And ‘accused’ are ‘roaming free’ precisely because they are ‘accused’. And if the above statement is to insinuate failure of criminal justice system, the facts underlined within the statement do the opposite. It is not the failure but the success of the criminal justice system that all accused are treated alike so long as they are not convicted.

The law is being followed in letter and spirit and ‘presumption of innocence’ is being accorded due importance. An ‘accused’ cannot be treated as ‘convict’ unless his offence is established ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ unless it could be shown that there is a probability of the accused trying to run away, or he is influential enough to retard the process of justice if released on bail.

Yes, some really dangerous elements can very well take the advantage of the law. But then it is the price we pay to ensure that no innocent is punished.

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Quiet chisel

Possibly, most of the writers would not like to return to the pre-computer age, just like the writers before them did not want to return to pre-typewriter age and the ones before them did not want anything to do with pre-paper and pre-ink days and so on.

The fact is that the tools that we use to shape things shape us back. And if we exercise some control over them, they too have certain influence on us. The relation between the creator and created is established through a means and the means informs both of them in equal measure. And both of them are equally oblivious to the subtle influence of the quite chisel.

Let cheerleaders lead and leaders follow

Our leaders – who, of course, can’t cheer us – are turning the heat onto the cheerleaders, who are apparently doing a better job. So, is it jealousy or plain insecurity? What if one the more popular cheerleaders contested elections? Someone could – and perhaps would – lose. Legitimate threat, I would say. And if it is a defence against possible competition, let our poor leaders not lose their plush jobs to politically illiterate, young girls. But, on second thought, wouldn’t they just be as good as any of our politicians — only younger and certainly better looking.

After all, our bundles of political wisdom do little more than indulge in petty politicking. The cheerleaders wouldn’t do that, and could be more entertaining than a certain Minister heading the state-owned mode of transport. If we could tolerate that buffoonery, we can tolerate almost anything.

So, why not give one of the young cheerleaders a chance. They can’t fare any worse.