A trail of licentiousness

The case exposes the working of the judiciary, especially in giving protection to the Governor.

A trail of licentiousness

 A university teacher who accessed the original in the possession of a police officer friend confessed that he had troubled sleep that night, so disturbing was the video. No punishment is enough for such brazen exploitation and abuse of obviously poverty-stricken young girls, he said. Yet the 86-year old N D Tiwari has been allowed to go scot-free, the only punishment for his crime being losing his position as Governor of one of the biggest states of India.

Rape, a cognizable offence
“N D Tiwari should be charged with rape, no less,” said Madabhushi Sridhar, a professor at the NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad. Rape being a cognizable offence, the police station in Hyderabad under whose jurisdiction the Raj Bhavan falls, should follow up, pursuing the culprit wherever he is. Should the police, for obvious reasons, not follow up then the ordinary citizen should, or pressurise the government to bring the culprit to book, prosecute him and he should be made to pay for his crime, he said. Also, the MPs and other officials who were named by the wronged girls too should be named and punished, he said.

The case exposed the working of the judiciary, especially in giving protection to the Governor. Andhra Jyoti newspaper on Christmas day carried an announcement urging its readers to watch its sister channel ABN news channel for a sensational expose of dubious goings-on in Raj Bhavan. Alerted by this announcement, the Raj Bhavan officials rushed to the residence of Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh, Justice A R Dave, seeking to move a House Motion although it was holiday. The CJ admitted the letter of the Officer on Special Duty to the Governor as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) and constituted within hours, a Division Bench with himself and another Justice C V Nagarjuna Reddy.

Course of law
The Division Bench passed an interim order restraining the news channel from telecasting the video as the Bench felt it would be a “highly objectionable programme which is likely to demean and denigrate the gubernatorial office and cause immense harm to the public interest and that the damage is likely irretrievable”.
Sridhar agreed that the Bench would not have acted with such alacrity if it involved an ordinary citizen. Besides, the grounds for the restraint did not hold water since the issue was not just a question of damage to a Constitutional office but involved an act of crime, of a serious violation of law.

But it is anybody’s guess that the law will NOT follow its course. Removal from office seems to be punishment enough for committing a crime against women and for violating the law by the very person who is supposed to uphold it. A majority of cases end with interim orders of high courts. They are kept pending for decades and then thrown out without taking the case to its logical end. Considering the unwillingness of the system to punish powerful people, we can rest assured that the trail of shame left by N D Tiwari will not lead to a prison.

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