Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Harsh Punishment

The long due verdict on BMW case has made a dent in the spirit of the youth and the millions of parrents of grown - up youths. Ten years down the lane, one aspiring youth inadvertently mowed down six people lying on the sidewalk of a Delhi street. Normally unconcerned, the Delhi poice in the case, cleverly arrested Sanjeev Nanda, the only grandson of a retired naval chief, and his acomplices and produced them before the Court with all possible evidences. The damaged, ill - fated BMW 740i was brought back by the police after the accident from the Golf Link house, and the fate of Sanjeev was locked. The harrowing task of judiciary kept moving at a snail's pace and finally justice came after a decade.

Being a high profile personality, Suresh Nanda, the father of Sanjeev, did everything what any father would do for his son under the circumstances. He had helped Sanjeev in evading arrest, hired eminent lawyers, and bought all the eyewitnesses towards his own. Not only these, he had spent an exorbitant amount of money in compensation for the bereaved families. Yet he could not save his beloved son from the country's judicial system. Abundant tears had flown down from the cheeks of the Nandas when the junior Nanda was taken over by the authority and pushed him behind the wall.

The countrymen felt relieved that justice had been meted out. The media who had a prominent role in the case were jubilant as and when the verdict had appeared. No one felt pity for the Nandas, as they are rich and eminent. People forget that the Nandas are also father, mother, grandmother, and sister. They also forget that do have a son, grandson, brother who move around the road on the wheel, and they do drink frequently. If a young boy of 19- 20 years old makes a mistake, would he be liable for a punishment which would turn- around his life for the worst forever? Can anyone claim that their son or grandson or brother are totally in their control? It's not a question of a person belonging to a rich or eminent family, it's more of an age factor that matters more. All youth are susceptible to the mistakes and crimes. We cannot send them to the gallows. It's time we must think and analyse.

Sanjeev looked ten years older than what he is today. He was studying in USA when he committed the ill- fated accident. Ten years have passed. Another five years he would have to spend in jail. Some more period would be spent in between running around in the corridors of the apex courts. By the time Sanjeev would be free, he would be a middle- aged man of 40 who had failed to nourish his ambitions, his pleasures.

Sanjeev was 19 and under alcoholic influence when he killed six persons. He was not having any criminal background. How come, then, our court can exonerate itself from murdering a youth, emotions of his father, mother, grandmother, and a sister by proclaiming justice for the bereaved families? What could have been a better judgement then? It's true that the poor families who had lost their own must be compensated. But one must not forget, that it was an accident, not a cold- blooded murder by a criminal. Fighting in a law court by a father is no less pain than spending a jail term.

There are so many other ways to punish a person for his mistakes. In this modern era of 21st century, mistakes are to be seperated from crime. The world is changing and so is India. The nineteenth century laws cannot be used on the people of twenty first century. The punishment given in this case by the IPC Act 304A which was enacted in 1870 for any unintentional killing, seems fake. Of course, the families of the deceased needed public sympathy ten years ago and they indeed had managed to obtain it. Now, it's turn for the Nandas. How can we wipe the tears of a father who at this age, limps at the alleys of Tihar Jail, once in a week, to take a glimpse of his darling son? As committing crime is easier than undergoing a sentence, is it not cruel to punish someone vigourously for which the offending family had repented for long?


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