New Delhi, Mar 4: Justice Prathibha Rani of the Delhi High Court delivered a 23 page judgment two days back while granting bail to JNU student leader Kanaihya Kumar.
The order ( read the Delhi Hight Court Order here ) began with the judge invoking a patriotic song from the film Upkar.
While invoking the song, the judge begins the verdict by stating the song symbolises the individual characteristics representing by different colours and love for the motherland.
Spring season is a time when nature becomes green and flowers bloom in all colours. This spring, why the colours of peace is eluding the prestigious JNU situated in the heart of Delhi needs to be answered by its students, faculty members and those managing the affairs of this national university.
Meet Justice Prathiba Rani:
Born on 25th August, 1956 she Graduated from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University in 1975. She obtained an LL.B. Degree from Law Faculty, University of Delhi in 1978 and joined Delhi Judicial Service in 1979. She worked as Metropolitan Magistrate, Civil Judge, Presiding Officer of the Labour Court before being promoted to Delhi Higher Judicial Service in July, 1996.
She worked as Special Judge (NDPS), Additional District & Sessions Judge, Special Judge (CBI) and District Judge (West). Became District & Sessions Judge on 1st March, 2011. Elevated to the Bench of High Court of Delhi as an Additional Judge on 17th October, 2011.
Since being elevated to the Delhi High Court, she has presided over some important cases. Some of the observations made in these cases are extremely thought provoking.
The most important of these cases was regarding the December 16 gang rape. In this she was with Justice Reva Khetrapal on the Bench.
While confirming the death penalty, the Bench observed, " Such sentence is retained in law to remind such criminals in the society that human life is very precious. "
Society's abhorrence to the atrocious crimes perpetrated upon innocent and helpless victims has resulted in the death penalty being retained on the statute book to remind such criminals in the society that human life is very precious and one who dares to take the life of others must lose his own life. To impose the death penalty is to maintain the integrity of life, the greatest gift bestowed upon mankind, which cannot be allowed to be frittered away by flagitious criminality."
In another case which involved a sexual assault on a lady constable at Delhi, Justice Rani observed that if Delhi is unsafe for a woman police officer then what about the common girls. She even came down heavily on youth who disrespect women. Despite the furore created following the December 16 gang rape, there has been a record 35 per cent rise rape cases, she also observed.
Salient observations in Kanaihya Kumar bail order:
- "Our forces are protecting our frontiers in the most difficult terrain in the world i.e. Siachen Glacier or Rann of Kutch."
- Even the oxygen is so scarce (there) that those who are shouting anti-national slogans holding posters of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt close to their chest honoring their martyrdom, may not be even able to withstand those conditions for an hour..."
- The kind of slogans raised may have demoralizing effect on the family of those martyrs who returned home in coffin draped in Tricolour.
- Such persons enjoyed the freedom to raise anti-India slogans in the comfort of JNU Campus without realising that they were in this safe environment because "our forces were there at the battle field situated at the highest altitude of the world.
- You are enjoying this freedom only because our borders are guarded by our armed and paramilitary forces.
- You (Kanhaiya) may have any political affiliation or ideology. You have every right to pursue that but it can be only within the framework of our Constitution. India is a living example of unity in diversity.
Freedom of expression enjoyed by every citizen can be subjected to reasonable restrictions under Article 19(2) of our Constitution.
- The feelings or the protest reflected in the slogans needs introspection by the student community whose photographs are available on record holding posters carrying photographs of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Bhatt.
- Freedom of speech guaranteed to the citizens of this country under the Constitution of India has enough room for every citizen to follow his own ideology or political affiliation within the framework of our Constitution.