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"Why is he still alive?"

"16 crores? Give me 16 crores instead of him"

"We have no security but he has the best security in the country"

"It has been THREE YEARS!! Justice delayed is justice denied"

Now that the third anniversary of the horrendous 26/11 attacks has dawned, many of today's conversations, be it at the watercooler, while hanging in a Bombay local, while drinking chai or in a classroom will have the sentences mentioned above. Almost everyone shall vent out their frustration about their tax rupees (those which they absolutely had to pay after exhausting 9999 methods of avoiding tax) being used keep Kasab alive and secure three years after he was caught. In such cases, the legal community should be pointing out how following the due process of law is the righteous way of doing justice (as opposed to Guantanamo Bay). Sadly however, many within the legal community shall be baying for Kasab's blood too. Here is my little attempt to counter the situation in order to show why following the due process of law with Kasab is in the common man's own interest.

The possibility of police complacency
If the principle is laid down that in terrorism cases such as Kasab's, the trial shall be a summary trial with relaxed rules of evidence and no appeal, the police might get complacent. Here is how - If a terrorist attack takes place again, the police will be under enormous pressure to make some arrests. In order to show that they weren't caught with their pants down, the police maybe very tempted to randomly arrest some poor guy and claim they caught a terrorist. With a summary trial, this shall become really easy and therefore tempting. Even when there is scope for thorough investigation the police maybe tempted to just make someone a scape goat if they know that they wont have to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt.

All other Indians apart from those who were the victims have only seen Kasab on TV. They are convinced of his guilt merely because all news stories about him tally. If there were to be no thorough trials for the terrorism accused, he police would just need a good PR team to tell the country that any guy they catch is the real terrorist and their job would be done. WHAT IF THAT SCAPEGOAT IS YOU?

Present : You say - Who cares if Kasab gets a fair trial? He is guilty as hell!
Future : Will you say - I dont want a trial even though I have been falsely implicated?

Even today there are alleged cases of shoddy investigation in terror related cases (and many more in naxal related cases). I am not saying that all police will definitely turn complacent but why create the possibility?

The progress isn't really slow
The special court proceedings are over and Kasab has been sentenced to death. His appeal has been turned down by the Bombay High Court. The matter is now before the SC. The pace with which the case is moving is not actually slow by Indian standards. Indira Gandhi's assassin was also hung only after about five years.

The Money
Well, 16 crores might be a big deal for you and me but it is not for the Union of India or the State of Maharashtra. It is a miniscule part of the budget. The government spends far far more on just paying interests on its loans to foreign banks which is also a head of spending where your tax ruppees go without benefiting you. The money is not being handed over to him. It is being spent on housing him, feeding him and for his security. You may say even one rupee is too many, but then it is the cost of doing justice. Just be secure in the knowledge that if you or I are ever undertrials, the state will still feed us and try to keep us secure as far as possible too.

In conclusion, the due process is being followed and justice shall be done. There is no point in hollering for Kasab to be hung instantly. When due process is followed with him, it prevents complacency and is thus in our own interest. Furthermore, we can show the world that even terrorism can be dealt with in a humane and a fair manner without resorting to unconstitutional prisons and murders.


  • Guest
    Impatient Wednesday, 30 Nov 11

    The examples you cited says a lot about how slow the justice system is. I want Kasab's Chapter to end as soon as possible so that the families of those affected could feel a sense of closure.

  • Guest
    Omkar Joshi Thursday, 1 Dec 11

    Your opinion is noteworthy. If only every Indian would see every situation from a logical point of view, would there be a change considerable. But that's what the problem is. The topic of India trying to be a better, more reasonable country is subject to terms and conditions involving lots of ifs and buts. And as of now, that's all there is. Kasab's death has been announced and shall be executed. People who say "Give me those 16 Crore" should be given a condition. "I'll give you 16 Crore for your safety, but also with an assurity that you will be hanged sooner or later."

  • Guest
    cha Sunday, 4 Dec 11

    i am o.k with it. 3 years passed, but nothing has been happened with kasab. everyone has seen he is accountable for all thing. i hope we will get better result about kasab. we have to destroy root of terrorism. many innocent people has been killed during attack. and our legal system is poor.

  • Guest
    parul Monday, 5 Dec 11

    It's a well written article and I.agree that rhetorics are not a solution. The law cannot follow a course which is not prescribed in the statutes. Having said that I believe that we shud have laws to expedite disposal of such cases where we have a tangible evidence to prove the guilt of the accused like the cc camera video in Kasabs case

  • Guest
    Sanchita Tuesday, 6 Dec 11

    its definitely a rational take on the kasab situation. The ideas presented are unintuitive yet make sense on a second thought. its commendable how you have chosen to write against the general public sentiment and yet managed to make a convincing case
    good job!

  • therationalone
    therationalone Saturday, 17 Dec 11

    @Parul : Thanks. I see that you call for 'expedite disposal' but like I said before it is already taking place. Remember it is a huge case. According to some newsreports, the chargesheet is more than 10000 pages long. Expediting it any further shall erode the fairness of the trial. It is logical that anybody accused of 160 murders and faced with a 10000 page long chargesheet is going to take time to prepare his defense, denying him that time would be denying him a fair trial in my opinion.

    @Sanchita: Thanks for your kind words. :D I was upset by the general sentiment (as reflected on FB) on 26 Nov. That is the reason I decide to write this to show people, that if they put their emotions aside for a minute and think logically, the progress in the case does not seem too preposterous after all. Glad to know that I succeeded, atleast a little... :)

  • Guest
    akshay Thursday, 22 Dec 11

    i do not agree wd the last lines of the above written article.You say the system needs to consider humane and reasonable systems to punish such people.Humane treatments shall be given only to those commiting non criminal offences.terrorism goes beyond humane principles and logic...
    also,a fair trial has already taken place..we as a nation have tolerated far beyond fair means..kasab should be hanged without any further dilly dallying.the limit of inaction of the government and tolerance of the people has been reached.

  • therationalone
    therationalone Friday, 23 Dec 11

    Hello Akshay!
    What exactly do you mean by "non-criminal offences"?? I agree with you that the criminals need to be punished. However, the only way to ascertain if someone is a criminal is by giving him a fair trial and appellate process. That is all that I am asking for. Let us give everyone a fair trial...

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