Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
The Legal System Is Like Evidence-based Medicine
“Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.” — Christopher Hitchens 
 
I  was talking with the judges in service at the Karnataka Legal Academy. There were more than 200 of them. One of their own High Court colleagues had spoken to them just before my talk and they were all very keen to listen to some outsider who did not study jurisprudence! When I said that I am going to talk with them (not to them) about my concept of Humanism, some of them showed signs of unrest. From my understanding of the word, almost from the time of Comte, the French philosopher, it was meant to signify that anything that man does on this planet, ultimately, helps mankind. Comte did not invent the word as a neologism; he popularised it. Our understanding was that the talk would be interactive. The first question I asked them was if, in their opinion, the present adversarial system of justice, which we have blindly inherited from the British, serves the truth?  
 
We then went on to dissect the word truth into The Truth and A Truth at a given time. As Khalil Gibran had so beautifully described, ‘The Truth’ is something that is final and unchangeable; while ‘A Truth’ is what we all think is the truth, to the best of our ability, which, of course, changes from time to time. In the adversarial system, the judge is ONLY an umpire and has no freedom for her/his free will to act on his information even to the contrary. 
 
What then happens is that the so-called great lawyers charge exorbitant fees to distort the truth even when they know the truth from the culprit whom they represent willingly, under the protection of the infamous saying that any person is innocent until he is proven guilty. 
 
Now, see the catch in that statement! For argument’s sake, let us say that the judge knows, for sure, that the culprit is guilty of the offence. The judge will not be able to take a definite stand. He only has to weigh the EVIDENCE provided by both the sides. The judiciary, the cunning lawyers, the investigating officers and, in fact, the whole system banks on that clause, to the detriment of truth. 
 
That is exactly the reason why the rich and the powerful have one kind of justice and the hapless poor another kind. Even the man-on-the-street knows the crime that is perpetrated on the innocent people who today do not have a voice in our country, while the powerful perpetrators go scot-free.
 
This reminds me of evidence-based medicine. No one ever questions the basis, and the quality, of the evidence. The statistical evidence that we use in medicine is not ‘The Truth’. Statistics, thus, used in evidence-based medicine are also dangerous. A senior professor of epidemiology in Washington calls this ‘science without sense’ in his book by that title. He shows how statistical evidence could be collected to favour the industry, using the so-called randomised controlled studies, where they just show that one treatment would be better than either a placebo or better than another drug of their rivals.
 
The total immunity that the judges enjoy is also against the normal cannons of justice and is not in tune with the truth. Therefore, we must have tighter control in selection of judges. Let the collegium continue; but once the government gets the list from the collegiums, the list must be widely publicised so that the common man has a voice in their selection. If anyone has valid unimpeachable evidence against any one of them, that must be brought to the notice and thoroughly investigated before the final selection, so that the black sheep do not make a backdoor entry. A periodic review of the working of judges will also keep them alert all the time. The job they are entrusted with is a very serious one and they have to be completely authentic and trustworthy to command people’s respect—exactly what the doctors ought to be doing.

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COMMENTS

sriram

12 months ago

Crpc makes Complainant and accused to take of Witnesses so that False Persons do not come in place of actual Witness, Forcing Accused to be Present on all Adjournments days. More Sec. 205 Exemption gets defeated if Neither Police nor Judiciary shelves Responsibility of getting Actual Witness Persons Statements Recorded .Both are Paid from Publi Taxes only , but do not Bother to Comfort Public . As Aadhar card is Standardised for all Schemes Suppport , Courts and Police may also Collect Copy of Each Witness Aadhar card , so False Persons Witness Menace can be Curbed.

How logical thinking can give you an advantage in life (The Funny Side)
Parents who can't control their kids in public are just not using the right vocabulary. I find that the line "Stop that or Dad will dance" instantly turns my children into angels. It's simple logic, a quality sadly missing in today's society. No one thinks any more.
 
Case in point from last week: a phone company provided a broken, unusable payphone on a street corner for two years, and then told residents that it would remove the call box entirely "because no one uses it". See? No logic.
 
"I can't decide whether this is incredibly stupid, or a genius way to withdraw an unprofitable service," said reader Alun Evans, who sent me the link to that UK story, recorded in the South Wales Evening Post.
 
I think you're being too kind, Alun. Organisations these days no longer allow logical thought. In France earlier this month, a tax bill was sent to a dead woman. That sort of thing is common enough, but in this case the sender had managed to get the right address for the graveyard in the Brittany region: "Grave 24, Row E, Cemetery Road".
 
Clearly, someone had correctly updated the woman's address but then failed to do the logical thinking which should have followed: "Should we be posting bills to corpses in graves in cemeteries? Is there a good record of them paying up?"
 
A colleague, noticing that I was writing a column about logical thinking, told me that there had been loads of science articles recently about the astonishing feats of thinking among birds. She showed me a video of a pigeon flying along an expressway in the Netherlands. The bird stayed in the slipstream (a sort of air-pocket) behind speeding trucks, which enabled it to fly at 100km an hour for more than 20 kilometres.
 
"This is an impressive feat of logic for a creature with a brain the size of a peanut," she said. This got me thinking that it would be wise to open up the US election so that birds (they could call them "avian-Americans") could vote, and this would ensure a wiser result.
 
I emailed a nature photographer friend who told me that that clever pigeon's speed was equal to that of the rare white-throated needle-tail, one of the fastest birds on earth. Scores of birdwatchers travelled to an island off the coast of Scotland in 2013 when a rare example flew to that country, he said.
"They arrived just in time to see the bird fly into a wind turbine which killed it instantly." It was fast but not brainy.
 
Logical thinkers see opportunities where others only see problems. For example, the Internet connection at our home was lost for a day last week when we were late paying the bill. My wife saw the need to race out and pay it. I saw the stricken looks on my children's faces and saw an opportunity to encourage them to move out one of these days.
 
"In the near future, we'll need to lower the household bills by cutting something off the list of necessities. Hmm, food or internet?" "Food! Food! Drop the food! Please DAAAD!"
 
You see? Good parenting is all about choosing the right words.
 
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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50% rise in diabetes deaths across India over 11 years
With a genetic predisposition brought to the fore by changing lifestyles, deaths due to diabetes increased 50 per cent in India between 2005 and 2015, and is now the seventh-most common cause of death in the country, up from 11th rank in 2005, according to data published by the Global Burden of Disease (GBD).
 
Ischemic heart disease continues to be the highest cause of death, followed by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cerebrovascular disease, lower respiratory infection, diarrhoeal diseases and tuberculosis.
 
In 2015, 346,000 people died of diabetes, which caused 3.3 per cent of all deaths that year, with an annual increase of 2.7 per cent from 1990, according to the GBD study.
 
Nearly 26 people die of diabetes per 100,000 population; diabetes is also one of the top causes of disability and accounts for 2.4 per cent of the disability-adjusted life-years lost (sum of years lost due to disability or premature death due to the disease).
 
There are 69.1 million people with diabetes in India, the second-highest number in the world after China, which has 109 million people with diabetes. Of these, 36 million cases remain undiagnosed, according to a 2015 Diabetes Atlas released by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). Nearly nine per cent in the age group of 20-79 have diabetes.
 
The figures are alarming since diabetes is a chronic disease that not just affects the pancreas' ability to produce insulin but impacts the entire body. Complications caused due to diabetes include heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, vision loss and neuropathy or nerve damage leading to leg amputation.
 
Unlike other countries, where a majority of people with diabetes are over 60 years old, the prevalence in India is among the 40-59 years age group, affecting productivity of the population.
 
"Diabetes strikes Indians a decade earlier than the world," Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology, New Delhi, told IndiaSpend. "This causes reduced productivity, increased absenteeism in working population and gives more time for complications to arise."
 
Indians are especially predisposed to diabetes due to social and genetic reasons. Peculiar genetic composition of Indians known as "Asian Indian Phenotype" makes them appear thin but with fat depositions around their internal organs.
 
It makes them prone to greater abdominal fat, insulin resistance, higher levels of bad fat and increased chances of suffering from diabetes and coronary artery disease.
 
Lifestyle changes with reduced physical activity and carbohydrate-rich diets, along with environmental factors, are increasing India's diabetes burden, IndiaSpend reported in June 2015.
 
It is estimated that diabetes patients in urban areas spend Rs 10,000 and patients in rural areas spend Rs 6,260 every year on treatment, according to a 2013 study published by The Association of Physicians of India.
 
Since most of the healthcare cost is borne out of pocket in India, those in lower economic groups have to bear the greatest burden. Urban poor spend as much as 34 per cent while rural poor spend 27 per cent of their income on diabetes treatment, the study found.
 
India is predicted to have 123 million diabetes cases aged between 20 and 79 by 2040, according to estimates by IDF. "We need a national campaign on the level of pulse polio to tackle diabetes, it is soon going to be a problem bigger than TB, HIV and malaria together," Misra said.
 
Even though diabetes features in the National Health Mission's National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke for district-level intervention to prevent non-communicable diseases, it needs to do more to screen, create awareness and monitor and treat the disease to stem the tide.
 
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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