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High Court acquits Jayalalithaa, grants bail to Salman Khan: Shouldn't there be a Judicial accountability also?
Former Tamil Nadu CM J. Jayalaithaa along with her three aids are acquitted by Karnataka High Court in Disproportionate Assets (DA) case. A lower court had held Jayalalithaa and three others guilty and awarded them 4-year jail term along with a Rs 100 crore fine.
Before this verdict in this high profile case, Mumbai High Court had also suspended the 5 years sentence awarded to Bollywood actor Salman Khan in 13 year old hit and run case in which one person was killed and few got injured. The bail verdict in favour of Salman Khan came within 48 hours of the lower court's decision in which the actor was given the jail punishment.

I don't contest against the acquittal or sentencing as judicial procedure should observe the path of natural justice. But there is confusion. Although both High Courts' verdict are yet to be challenged in the Supreme Court, but for a common understanding it's always complicated.

Let me give you an example. Salman Khan is either guilty or innocent as his case is pending in court. Jayalalithaa was guilty before today's verdict. But now she is innocent as per Karnataka's High Court's verdict. And doesn't this High Court verdict also mean that the lower court did injustice to Jayalalithaa by putting her behind the bars, taking away her political carrier and seriously damaging her reputation.

Will the Judge of lower court be held responsible and accountable for this? Will the error by lower court Judge be challenged? No judge has a right to victimise an innocent because of his wrong interpretation.

Now what if Jayalalitha is again held guilty by the Supreme Court if prosecution challenges the High Court verdict? Will the High Court judge who acquitted her be made accountable? Has the lower court Judge has a right to sue the HC judge who came to the conclusion that lower court Judge was wrong in his judgement, putting serious question mark on the capability of the Judge's judging sense.

There are many such cases where some are sentenced by both lower courts and High Courts but acquitted by the Supreme Court. Many cases went ahead like this: lower court sentenced, High Court acquitted, Supreme Court re-sentenced.

Well I am neither a judicial expert, nor aware of the procedures adopted in this three-tier judicial system. But as a common man and a stake holder in this democracy, I would definitely seek transparency and accountability in all judicial activities. Judicial accountability is required to bring fairness in the judiciary in this democracy.

Free is alright but fair judiciary can only be achieved if the judicial accountability is enforced and maintained.

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Sankara Narayanan
Our heart bleeds only when people like Salman & Jaya are caught in the cobweb of judicial anarchy. These two had the least problem while spending a brief spell in jail. They have the entire wherewithal to engage the topmost lawyers of this country to defend them for more than a decade. All avenues/loopholes available in the legal system were exhausted. Many innocents were rounded up as terrorists/terror supporters, tortured beyond words to explain, forced to spend decade plus in jails and ultimately released by courts rubbishing all the charges. In the Akshardham attack case, a person was arrested as a suspect when he was 33. Now he, a 43 yr old dejected, is exonerated of all charges by the court. Who is to compensate the social and financial losses incurred by this man and his family? Just imagine the plight of his children in the school and the locality. Tribals are caught relentlessly in between the state and Maoists. When apprehended by the police as terrorists or terror supporters, we are incapable of understanding the situation faced by them and their families. Torturing, maiming and even killing are very easy for law enforcers, as their victims being adivasis. Forget about engaging lawyers, their families cannot even spend money to reach the court on the required dates. A recent article in Hindustan Times (Ap 26, New Delhi - ‘’The curse of Bastar: Tribals caught in the war against Red terror’’) reveals their pain and frustration. Mind you, even the anti-nationals and terrorists are to be treated by the due process of law. Tribals are not one among us; they are expendable. Hence our heart bleeds only for Salman and Jaya.
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