The Mumbai High Court on Friday suspended Bollywood superstar Salman Khan's conviction and gave him bail in the 2002 hit-and-run case. The decision came as a big surprise for many legal luminaries.
People raised eyebrows and asked why the legal system favours mighty and influential people of the society.
Experts believe that there are some loopholes in our legal system and high heeled society people know how to get out of this vortex. That is what exactly Salman and his team of lawyers also did in the case.
Salman getting two bails within 48 hours of his conviction has raised many questions about our current legal process. Here are few of the questions which needs to be answered.
Has justice been delivered in the case?
This case is a perfect example of ‘Justice delayed is justice denied'. Just imagine that the court took 13 years to convict the accused -- Salman Khan, and his lawyer managed to get him out on bail within hours. Same day bail and that too when the accused is convicted for five years, is rarest of rare case in our country. But Salman Khan was lucky that despite his conviction in culpaple homicide case he got bail.
Not all are lucky like Salman Khan
Reportedly, there are 2.78 lakh undertrails in the country (Maharashtra alone has 20000 prisioners), languishing in the jails just because they failed to procure bail. Many of them are innocent or accused of petty crimes. But despite that they are in jail. Many of them have already served more years than the court will sentence them for.
Are rules/laws equal for all?
Compare this with Salman Khan's case. It is being said that till the time a crime is not proved the culprit is not guilty. So why all these lakhs of prisoners are serving jail term despite not being proved guilty while a man like Salman Khan is allowed to roam free despite being convicted in the case by a sessions court. It proves that law is not equal for all and only high and mighty people know how to play with it.
Mighty politicians also had to cool their heels
Many political stalwarts like Jayalalithaa and Lalu Prasad Yadav were not so lucky like Salman Khan whose sentence was suspended and given bail within hours. RJD chief who was convicted in fodder scam took 80 days to get the bail. In 2014, AIADMK chief and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu was convicted for 4 years in disproportionate assets case. She got bail in 21 days after the conviction.
Lawyers are battling to get an answer
Though lawyers are divided over the High Court judgment, majority of them find the verdict perplexing. The Firstpost quoted Rebecca Mammen John who is a Supreme Court lawyer as saying, "I know nothing about the Salman Khan case except that it was a hit-and-run case and that a poor citizen of this country died. I also know that Salman Khan was convicted and handed out a five-year sentence. When a person is sentenced to three years or below, the CrPc allows the trial court to suspend the sentence to enable the accused to file an appeal in the higher court.
"But where a five-year sentence is handed out, that rule does not apply and the accused is taken into custody forthwith .The High Court's order on Wednesday allowing him to go home the same day and it's order today suspending his sentence pending final disposal of his appeal, without his having served any time, is very unusual. Processes must be respected and the law must apply equally to everyone".
It is high time that the whole judicial process needs to be reviewed and should be made equal for all. The poor, deprived people have high hopes from the judiciary and they mustn't be disappointed.