The jail superintendent confirmed on Friday that the Talwar couple, exonerated of having conspired to kill their daughter Aarushi in 2008, may not leave jail despite the verdict of not guilty.
Talk about being unlucky.
This delay borders on the ridiculous. If an accused can be arrested in the same minute of a legal pronouncement of guilty, then the obverse should hold true and the legally innocent must be allowed the freedom of the sun at once. Despite our love for red tape and the sending of the file from pillar to post and a few other places, this is no longer the age of the postman. An order can be sent by email and by even a tweet or a phone call demanding the key be put in the lock and both husband and wife be let out.
Even one hour extra is unfair. A whole day is absurd and cruel. But by this argument, it is now second Saturday of the month and a general day off for officialdom. The next day is Sunday. By a logical stretch of the argument, the couple should wait in their respective cells till the order is received by the jailer.
Does it make any sense to you? Whether you or I or anyone else believes in the innocence of this couple under the law, they must go home.
This is 2017, we are supposed to be on the fast track of information highway and yet, we conduct ourselves in this shabby fashion.
Shouldn’t the judges themselves be teed off that there is this inordinate delay? And where are the defence lawyers and why aren’t they waving the release papers in the jailer's face?
In 2016, the US faced 149 cases of prisoners spending an average of 15 years in jail and being found innocent. All the system could do was pay them compensation. Astronomical amounts.
In India, tort laws do allow for seeking compensation and the benchmark case is Rudhlal Sah versus the state but he got very little. If a case had been brought under Article 32 or 226, then the State and its officers are not protected by "Sovereign Immunity" and hence will have to pay compensation for their actions since it protects the weaker sections of society. Do the Talwars fit?
Do they then have the legal fiat to ask for compensation? There is no reason why the state cannot be held culpable through the messed up investigation and the path that was taken to send them to jail.
What normally happens in India, as opposed to the US and UK, two other democracies we tend to ape with enthusiasm, that the advice is to be grateful the nightmare is over, thank you very much. Go home, stop creating a fuss.
The semi-destroyed individuals, already traumatised in incarceration, now have to face the media glare and mumble all that blather about justice having prevailed and how they believe in the Indian system of justice. Isn’t that jolly? No one else has the courage to say: Hey, this is the same justice that failed you and you don’t even think of compensation.
Let it go? If the investigation was flawed, if the conclusions were cockamamie, if the period of life spent in jail was substantial, these are all basis for suing the state. For keeping them in jail an extra minute, they should throw the book at the authorities and put them to the wall.
Published Date: Oct 14, 2017 09:24 am | Updated Date: Oct 14, 2017 09:24 am