Salman Khan and Jayalalitha – two cases in one week exemplify the problem of justice in India. I’m not commenting on whether or not their getting out was right or wrong. My big problem is the fact that while they were released, lakhs of other undertrials lie rotting in India’s jails, with no bail in sight.
It took 18 years to convict Jayalalitha, but only 20 days to get bail. Salman Khan’s trial took 13 years. And he got bail in 2 days. In the meantime, undertrials who have never even had a chance to appear in court remain in jail for years because they don’t have money.
Apparently Salman Khan’s bail trial was heard on an “expeditious basis”. What nonsense! We need a law to make jumping the queue like this illegal, and only in a very limited, very specific set of circumstances with little discretion. Moreover, everyone’s case should be evaluated for expedited bail. No cutting the queue.
Money should be able to purchase better legal representation and better legal arguments. But not the ability to move your case forward in the first place. As soon as politicians and other rich people realize that they have to wait in line before everyone else like everyone else, they will damn well make sure to fix the system to ensure quick justice for everyone!
The Supreme Court needs to step in quickly and put an end to powerful people getting out of jail ahead of everyone else. Again – this is not about whether or not Jayalalitha and Salman Khan’s bail applications had merit. They may have, they may not have. But let them spend a few years in jail while the backlog is cleared and let them wait for their turn like the rest of us.
People with money should not be allowed to jump over everyone else. Let the brilliance of their lawyers show itself when their case comes up for hearing after those of others before them have been disposed. We need a strict “First in first out” system in place. Not because I’m vengeful against rich and powerful people, but because a FIFO set up would force politicians to make justice faster for everyone else, just to save their own hides.