After 17 years of long wait, the case of one of India's most infamous Rs. 950-crore fodders scam, finally came to a conclusion on 3rd October'2013, with a Ranchi based special CBI convicting prime accused Rashtriya Janata Dal(RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav along with 45 others, while sentencing Lalu a jail term of 5 years and a fine of Rs.25-lakh. Another nail in the coffin was, in regards to a recent ruling by the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India, it disqualifies Lalu's MP candidature and further renders him ineligible from contesting elections for 11 years. As a result the decision can certainly be considered as one of another momentous judgement that points towards a changing political arena.
Speaking particularly in the context of Lalu Prasad Yadav
, keeping in mind the present political scenario and considering the manipulative nature of the politicians, the landmark ruling certainly will be successful in breaking away the myth of the common people that, mighty politicians and those with a political patronage are never brought under the scrutiny of the law. Further, the judgment will to a great extent, perhaps restore the citizens’ lost faith in the Indian judiciary. Also, the judgment coming after 17 years speaks for itself as, justice delayed is not always justice denied.
However, prior to extolling, one must also read between the lines. Firstly, the judgment was pronounced after 17 long years and this is not yet the end, since it came from a lower court the option to pursue it to the higher and the apex court still remains open for Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav. And as confirmed by his son while briefing the media, Lalu will certainly appeal, which will further drag the timeline of the case to many more years. Now, this assuredly raises question over the most respected judiciary system and paves a way for its reform, as prior to this particular case, India
had records of the court cases running for unexpectedly long period. Moreover, there have also been instances where, on many occasions when the time for delivering the judgment arrives, the accused had already taken his last breathe.
The second flaw is in the law itself. According to the Prevention of Corruption of Act 1988, there’s no provision for the recovery of the money that one procures through mal practices. In this case too one section under which Lalu was convicted is this particular act. The law of our land has might have very well rewarded Lalu for his deeds, but what about the loss of Rs. 950-crore that the country has incurred and how will it be recovered, is still a million dollar question.
Even after being imprisoned for 5 years with a minimal fine of Rs. 25-lakh, for a scam that of Rs. 950-crore, it leaves a healthy platform for Lalu Prasad Yadav to enjoy his remaining life after being released, further securing his upcoming generations too. So, with utmost respect to the judgment of the Hon’ble court, the answer to the question, can the judgment really be considered as a punishment, is still blur. Admist all will the decision create a fear or can it mark a degree of deterrence in the pace of scams, still remains unanswered.
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