Equality Before the Law or Double Standards?

I read this amusing news from China yesterday-

BEIJING – Police officers contemplating cheating on promotion exams met their match this week in northwestern China — 18 serious-faced fifth-graders walking the beat.‘-

The local government website carried the news report.

‘The experiment, carried out by the Liangzhou Discipline Inspection Commission and Organization Department, was implemented after adult supervisors were found to allow some cheating during police exams to prevent officers’ embarrassment, according to the Web site.’

Cheating is very common in China, it seems, with the pressure to pass competitive exams being intense. Hence this novel idea of children as supervisors!

Then I thought, was this really the right way to go about curbing cheating? For one, the children would see adults cheating and some of them would perhaps think that it was acceptable.

And this idea appears to be very typical of a Communist regime– citizens informing on each other. If children think that this is alright, how much time before they start to inform against their friends and families also? And maybe not just about cheating? The mind boggles at this process of turning them into juvenile ‘spies’!

I am thankful that India is a Democracy– shortcomings notwithstanding!
And indeed Democracy is something worth preserving.

Which is why I am saddened to read about the legal drama regarding dropping the anti-terrorist provisions against the Malegaon Blasts accused.

The special court, hearing the 2008 Malegaon blast case, yesterday dropped provisions of the stringent anti-terror Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) slapped on the eleven accused.

The ATS had booked all the 11 on the grounds that Dhavade- one of the accused- was charged twice before ( a pre-requisite for invoking MCOCA). However, Dhavade was discharged in one of the cases a week ago. This leaves the ATS without a legal basis to invoke MCOCA for the eleven accused.
However, unable to digest this reality,ATS chief K.P.S. Raghuvanshi told The Hindu:

“We have obtained a stay of four weeks. We are going to challenge the order in the High Court.”

Despite resorting to methods not used on terror-accused in other cases, subjecting Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur to the controversial Narco-testing and brain-mapping tests which incidentally gave her a clean chit, the ATS does not think it worthwhile to actually solve the case.

Last November when the MCOCA was slapped on the Malegaon accused the then ATS Chief had declared that the investigation would be completed in 90 days.

Instead of bringing out evidence to prove the guilt of the accused, the ATS is just resorting to delay tactics and going to higher courts. If the High Court decides against the ATS it will no doubt approach the Supreme Court.

Our modern Munnabhai Gandhi can roam around free in spite of being convicted in the 1993 Mumbai Serial Bomb Blasts case, and is the toast of Page Three Society in Mumbai, ironically leading the Candle-march protests after the Mumbai terror attacks.

If the Malegaon Blasts accused are in fact guilty, they should be tried in a court of law, convicted and given whatever sentence the concerned court thinks fit.

Not incarcerated indefinitely without trial.

Why these double standards?

Seems that some people are more equal than others in our Great Indian Democracy!

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17 thoughts on “Equality Before the Law or Double Standards?”

  1. double standards are prevailing in all over the world..law redefines itseld(!!!!) for the politically, economically stronger and weaker section of people 😦

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  2. I agree..Police have been making too much hulla-ballu in Malegeon case..If they are not guilty,they should be let free,but if otherwise,they should be punished..How do we know if one is guilty or not? It takes time,isn't it?Any idea of how many people are in our jails waiting for their trial..For judgement,their trials haven't yet started…In such a case,these people are lucky as 'something' is happening..The proeedings seem to be draggen as this is the solo case that includes non-muslim terrorists and hence the whole country is keeping eyes on them…I just read today about the trial of a bus burning case that happenend 10-12 yrs ago…Justice delayed is justice denied,but what can be done dear 😦

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  3. I actually quite liked the idea of children supervising the exams. Most people will not be able to cheat in front of small children! As to MCOCA, I have to go back to Karkare, even though he laid down his life on 26/11. If you recall, when he was the ATS chief, there were "leaks" almost every day about the Malegaon suspects. They were blamed even for the Samjhauta train blasts falsely. The retraction came later but the necessary ammunition had been given to Pakistan. It is not possible that the ATS did not know that they were not slapping MCOCA as per law.If you see this in the context of the fact that MCOCA has not bee applied in the case of the Indian Mujahideen terrorists who were responsible for the Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad blasts, but has been used to book the killers of journalist Saumya and another IT guy, the political stink cannot be wished away.I wonder why the media is not crying foul and the human rights guys have lost their voice?

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  4. I liked the idea of children supervising adults, that too, policemen, while writing exams!! Yes, the repercussions might be good or bad, but the 'students' writing the exams might squirm in their seats while cheating, if the 'supervisor' comes near him! I wonder if this is a serious incident, Manju! Isn't it funny?!Open and shut cases are prolonged and the culprits set free – the whole world saw Kasab as a terrorist, the video cannot be wrong. But he is sitting in our jail and enjoying! He might not be enjoying life like this in Pakistan. I cannot think about 'gandhi Sunjay Dutt' or Salman Khan…hoards of money and political pressure changes the law, as they want it to be.

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  5. That was cute. children supervising exams. That interesting indeed !I am not sure about the Malegoan blasts ! I wonder what prompts the ATS to act in the way they are. I only know that there is more than what meets the eye.

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  6. double standards!!!!! we Indians should proudly flaunt this trais of ours. for every thing in life we have two sets of values and I am sure we will top the list all over the world

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  7. Our blindfolded lady dispenses highly inequal justice. And as you have so well said, "some people are more equal than others in our Great Indian Democracy". And we all know who these people are…

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  8. I find nothing wrong with kids supervising..I think it is novel idea.As far as our laws are concerned,let us accept ,like rest of the world we also have double standards.And why single out Sadhvi.If the law was to apply to all equally,half of our politicians would be rotting in jails.But,it is not so.

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  9. Kanagu– Unfortunately, that is true.Nimmy– Good to see you- it's been a long time.Certainly, it takes years to get justice in many cases. Unfortunately, that is not something unusual.However, the Malegaon accused can be prosecuted under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, as the accused in other cases are. There is no need to try to invoke MCOCA which is not applicable here.

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  10. Vinodji– At first I was amused by the China news, but then I remembered the situation in Communist Russia where children informed against their parents and had them sent to Siberia. (or so the stories go!)The media as well as Human Rights organisations are very selective!Sandhya, Kavi– Yes, the China report is cute, but you know, children can be monkeys. And we have a saying in Marathi- 'Makadachya Hatat Kolit'-giving a weapon to a monkey-

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  11. Anju Gandhi, Sucharita– Yes, the double standards are saddening.We bend over backwards to reassure Pakistan that Ajmal Kasab is being treated well and speed up his trial. However, we use provisions of an inapplicable law to incarcerate our own citizens without a trial for months.

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  12. If I take Rs 5 from someones pocket I may be beaten to death but can move freely garlanding Mahatmas if I and my followers may take away crores of public money. There is no law or punishment for organised crome

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  13. I like the idea. :)) That's one way to shame the adults. Corruption and cheating is everywhere. No form of govt. can resist it. :(Hope you are doing fine, Manju. Last time you hd mentioned a health problem.

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  14. Pradip Biswas– Welcome here!What you say is very true.Chowlaji, Radha, Anrosh– Yes, I suppose we should not be surprised that there are double standards.Solilo– My health is currently okay. Thanks for asking!

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