Off the record

Off the record

Soren’s date with justice

It seems the unexpected has virtually become a norm in Jharkhand. And even the judiciary appears no different, if the latest development is anything to go by.
If Govid, a lawyer’s character played by Sunny Deol in the Bollywood blockbuster ‘Damini’ had his way, he would probably have argued before the court of ninth additional district and session judge Md Qashim at Giridih on Sat1urday (April 17):

“Judge sahib aaj pura India ka nazar aap pe hai. Aape hai judge sahib. Nyay chahati hai. Aaj se 25 saal pahele, isi case se jude aath logo ko bari kar diya gaya, par mere client ko milta raha sirf tarikh pe tarikh. Mera client aab Jharkhand ka CM aur apane bayataka ke bawajood, court appear hota raha hai. Pad use mila hai, sirft tarikh pe tarikh. Tarikh pe tarikh… (My Lord, whole of India is looking at you for justice today itself. While the other eight accused have been acquitted 25 years ago, dates after dates are my entire client has got so far. My client is Jharkhand’s CM and has appeared before the court despite his hectic schedule, but dates after dates are my entire client has got so far).”

If the beleaguered chief minister Shibu Soren has waited long for judgment in the infamous Kudko murder case, his wait is set to linger further. Reason? The judge N N Singh hearing over three-decade old murder case and after the conclusion of the hearing reserved the judgment for April 17, finally got the case transferred to other court, citing some personal reasons. On the basis of a request, the district and session judge Sanjay Prasad transferred the case to the court of ninth additional district and session judge Md Qashim, barely 48 hours before the pronouncement of judgment.

Sandeep Bhaskar, Ranchi

Discordant note

British High Commissioner Richard Stagg’s praise of the Nitish government has not gone down well with Sharad Pawar’s NCP.

In a letter addressed to the UK envoy, party general secretary and Rajya Sabha member Tariq Anwar has said: “Bihar is the poorest in the country, according to the National Health Survey, with one-seventh of its people living below the poverty line. Per capita income of Bihar is Rs 12,643 against the national average of Rs 37,400.”

The NCP leader has noted in his missive that though Bihar ‘recorded’ a growth rate of 11.03 per cent recently, the number of BPL families in the state has increased from 65 lakh to 1.5 crore. “The state is the lowest in human development indicator at 0.367, with women literacy at 35 per cent against the national average of 55 per cent. And primary school dropout rate in Bihar is 51 per cent against the national average of 25 per cent.”
Nitish’s mandarins may cut a sorry figure after going through these figures, but nobody has so far denied the well-researched facts.

Abhay Kumar, Patna


Slamming someone on one hand and praising him on the other is not something we come across usually. But, this rarity is not improbable when you are interacting with the Bangalore City Police Chief.

Answering questions of reporters after blasts struck outside the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday, Commissioner of Police Shankar Bidari got irritated when one asked him how soon the police will nab the culprits. Although he subtly slammed the reporter for expecting the police to do a swift but thorough job, Bidari, nonetheless, tried to assuage the reporter’s ‘hurt’ feelings.

Praising the media's work culture, Bidari said: “You people (mediapersons) work at supersonic speed. I sometimes wonder how you manage that.”
The hapless reporter, however, was visibly baffled probably wondering whether to feel delighted at the compliment or be dismayed with the delicate admonishment.

Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui, Bangalore