Stories about court

Mukhtaran Mai verdict: Where the court went wrong

Human rights activists are rightfully outraged that the Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the acquittals of five of the accused in Muktar Mai’s case, except Abdul Khaliq. (The State v. Abdul Khaliq, Criminal Appeals No.163 to 171 and S.M. Case No.5/2005, hereinafter “Judgment”) The case offers an opportunity to reignite the struggle and frame ethical principles that balance the right of the criminal defendant with the rights of victims of crimes. On August 31, 2002, the Anti-terrorism Court (ATC) found the six defendants guilty of several offences under the Hudood Ordinance and the Pakistan Penal Code.  These included rape and aiding ...

Read Full Post

Time to learn from the Indian army?

The verdict is out: a court martial comprising seven lieutenant generals of the Indian Army has found Lieutenant General P K Rath, (former 33 Corps Commander) guilty of involvement in the infamous Sukna land scam. This will be the first time in the history of the Indian army that a serving lieutenant general has been court-martialled. All eyes are now on lieutenant general (retd) Avadesh Prakash’s court martial, the main accused in the scam.  Another lieutenant general and a major general are facing ‘administrative action’ in the same case. Accountability: Indian style Ever since the case came into light in 2008, I have ...

Read Full Post

Dr Binayak Sen: A prisoner of conscience

If having sympathies for a cause which I believe in is anti-national then I think I am anti-national. If thinking disagreeing with the the state is criminal then I am criminal. If trying to understand a cause, that affects the poor and deprived section of the society is sedition then I fear someday I might be meeting Binayakan Sen’s fate. Ever since Dr Binayak Sen has been convicted for sedition by a Lower Court in Raipur, the civil society and the right thinking citizens of India are living in fear of prosecution by the state which does not want to breed ...

Read Full Post

Violence against women: Where is justice when we need it?

The issue of violence against women in our country is, unfortunately, one that has existed for far too long. Many women still await justice against the brutalities that have made their lives miserable. Anwari Bibi, a resident of Ghotki and a mother of four children, was one of them. She was gang raped by her brother-in-law and his companions while pregnant. After her husband took custody of her children and divorced her, she came to Islamabad to knock at the doors of the self-proclaimed representatives of justice. She returned home not too long after, empty handed. Being a reporter, and more ...

Read Full Post

18th amendment case: ball in parliament’s court

The eagerly-awaited order of the Supreme Court regarding the petitions challenging provisions of the 18th amendment to the Constitution was announced by the Chief Justice around 11 am on October 21, 2010. A sensible decision by an independent court The order might have come as a surprise to many. However, it came as an especially rude shock to certain elements who claim to be the flag-bearers of democracy and the rule of law. They were waiting for an opportunity to unleash themselves against the Supreme Court’s encroachment on parliament’s turf if the 18th Amendment was struck down. These elements are the only ...

Read Full Post

Attention Mr Gilani: Things are bad

Dear Mr Prime Minister, I know you are a very busy man – so busy that you couldn’t find the time to write a few lines that could have averted yet another judicial crisis. I also know that you must be preparing your speech and I write to you because after two and a half years of listening to excuses I need to say my piece. Mr Prime Minister, your party is a product of a revolution. I missed the earlier revolutions of our political history. The first one I witnessed was the movement for the restoration of judges. I remember ...

Read Full Post

Ayodhya verdict: It’s not over yet

The verdict on the Ayodhya dispute is out. But what can you say about a verdict that leaves no winner and no loser, and that too on an issue that has claimed thousands of lives and is as old as independent India itself. As the decision dividing the of the site of 16th century Babri mosque between Hindus , Muslims and a Sikh sect in to equal ratios each was flashed on tv screens, voices from across the border declared that “modern day India has nothing to do with Hindu extremists.” Among them was renowned journalist Kuldip Nayar (view video here). He ...

Read Full Post