Consumer Issues
Conceal, Mislead, Convict; That’s No Victory
A lawyer died 
His wake was big, 
The cortege long. 
Seems that he had 
Done no wrong. 
He lay in state, 
Seemed free of sin,
But in hand, each mourner, 
Had a pin. 
Each pricked the corpse, 
No word was said,
They just made sure, 
The man was dead.
 
Readers are free to decide on the veracity. Lawyers get a bad name because our system of litigation is adversarial. One person has to lose and, therefore, the other’s advocate becomes the villain. No one faults the adversary himself. Always the lawyer. 
 
Sometimes, however, the lawyer deserves to be vilified. Courts decide matters on proof. Documentary proof is best. Followed by verbal testimony and cross-examination. Almost every time proof exists; yet, often, the courts are unaware of its existence. A decision by a court, in such a case, may be flawed. Who, then, is to be blamed?
 
Our laws require that all proof must be put on the table; even if is adverse to one’s interest. This follows from the belief that the primary duty of a court of law is to find the truth. Orders, judgements, convictions, acquittals, awards, fines, dismissals—all flow from that. 
 
What is stated above must be news, or anathema, to our readers. The standard reaction of most litigants is: ‘Why should I produce this as evidence?’, when asked to present the inconvenient truths. But the law demands it. Hide-and-seek is not a game that courts play. They can come down heavily on those who conceal vital evidence. The same is also true with concocted proof and perjury.
 
Public prosecutors are appointed by the State—meaning the government—to conduct criminal trials. Their results are showcased for all to see, especially in high publicity issues. Often, they become superstars. But what if they fail? That is not palatable to most lawyers. They will die a thousand deaths for a conviction. It is this pressure that leads some astray, and the police is often there to help with manufactured proof. You be the judge in these trials.
 
a) Mr X knows that his opponent, Mr B, has some vital documents that will prove X right. B wants to hide them. X asks the judge to force B to produce the important proof. What can the judge do?
b) X says that he needs some documents to prove his case but does not have them. B has them. What should B do?
c) A man is convicted because the prosecutor did not reveal all he knew about the man’s innocence. Later on, the proof is out; but, by then, the man has spent 18 years in prison. Can the prosecutor be punished?
 
In the first case, if the judge demands the papers from B, B will have to produce them. Otherwise, B can lose his case. He may also be held in contempt, obstruction of justice and wrongful harassment of X, beside a host of other crimes.
 
In the second case, it is the duty of B to inform the court that B has the documents with him and will produce them, not to help the opponent, but to ‘assist the court’. We did exactly that a few days ago, in a civil case.
 
The third is an example of many such trials culminating in wrongful imprisonment. After a recent American study, 20% of those convicted were set free; all victims of malicious prosecution. Many of the affected sued the government agencies and were compensated. Unfortunately, only ONE prosecutor was punished. A low-level functionary, he lost his licence to practise. That’s all! Faced with similar situations, what can litigants do? They must ask their lawyers to apply to the court for documents withheld by the other side. The law permits this and it is codified in Order 11, Rule 21 of The Code of Civil Procedure. It can save months of delay.
 
It’s a law just waiting to be used.

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COMMENTS

Vaibhav Dhoka

9 months ago

Proper procedures are never adhered to in lower courts,litigants are badly treated by lawyers and judges,lets not speak of corruption.

GLN Prasad

9 months ago

Every party involved like advocates of both the parties and including some judges are hand in glove. The recent Bail sanction of Karnataka MLA and the CBI string operations are enough evidence that many of the so called judges are also not clean, and they can stoop any levels. Individual instances are many.

Wonobo: City in Your Hands
Wonobo is just the city in your hands. It covers all major Indian cities with street views. Wonobo can help you find directions across several cities, search for places, even look inside thousands of businesses and interesting places. It saves you time and money. Simply click to rediscover your neighbourhood. Use it to revisit your school, share your favourite restaurant, or find out what people have to say about the places they call home. The street views are a treat and, sometimes, better than Google Maps’ street views, which, unfortunately are not so good for India. Search using the address bar or simply browse through. You can even search tourist spots and visit the Taj Mahal when you are online or get the best of local tips to browse through. An interesting feature is that you can share places of importance with your family and friends easily. It is a collaborative effort. So, if you find any errors or inaccuracies, you can point them out and they will be rectified. You also have the freedom to create content for others. 
 

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Cabinet nod to enable public sector units to hire talent
The union cabinet under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave ex post facto approval to a proposal to enable central public sector enterprises to hire talented and experienced persons from states and private sector.
 
The decision essentially confers ex post factor approval to the 3 March 1987, proposal for amendments to the resolutions of the Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB).
 
According to the proposed amendments, candidates can be selected from the public enterprises and private sector as non-internal candidates for five years for appointment in Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs).
 
Another amendment pertains to holding of office by the PESB chairperson and members for three years from the date of assumption of charge or until they attain the age of 65 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
 
"The amendments will continue to provide a wider pool of professionals for selection by allowing the candidates from state public sector enterprises (SPSEs) and private sector to be considered for senior positions in the CPSEs," an official statement said.
 
It added: "CPSEs will also benefit by the skill-sets and domain expertise of those coming from the SPSEs as well the private sector. It will also ensure that the CPSE senior management gets the benefit of the perspective gained both within and outside."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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