Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Might be the Patna High Court is right in acquitting all the 26 alleged annihilators of 58 Dalit people including 27 women and 16 children in Laxmipur Bathe of Bihar in 1997. But people will not commit any wrong in not accepting the judgement as absolutely right; because, all of them were, after prolonged hearing that consumed 16 years, convicted by the competent Sessions Judge.
When involvement of various judges in upper judiciary in condemnable corruption is not rare and their escape from impeachment even by foiling impeachment proceedings in progress in the Parliament by using political sycophants holding the post of the President of Indian Republic is a confirmed phenomenon, it would not be very unnatural for people, particularly the victims of upper caste militia Ranvir Sena, to look at the two judges, who acquitted the sessions court convicts, askance, even if they might be most honest and the verdict of acquittal just and proper.
Judiciary is the last refuge for our ailing democracy as both the Political and Executive wings have failed and the Press is almost subservient to corporate preferences.
If the 1997 Laxmipur Bathe massacre becomes a closed chapter without necessary punishment to the perpetrators of the brutal crime, we should have no hesitation in saying that the judiciary too is failing India.
If the prosecution, in the eyes of the Patna High Court, has failed to prove the accusation with “reliable” witnesses, whosoever had framed the charges without “reliable” evidences, should have simultaneously been taken to custody for having given protection to real culprits by making charges against individuals whom witnesses were not to establish as the criminals. And, a time must have been fixed to produce the real massacrers that had committed the coldblooded crime.
It is simply not acceptable that nobody had massacred 58 Dalit persons including 27 women and 16 children in 1997 in Bihar where Ranbir Sena, the militia of upper caste Hindus was priding in killing the Dalits.
Judiciary must tell us who massacred 58 Dalits in Bihar, if the convicts had not.
The case must not end with zero result. And, in the circumstances, the Supreme Court of India must ensure this.
The Patna High Court was not the hearing Court. It interpreted the words of the witnesses/evidences vis-a-vis the Sessions Court judgment and found the witnesses not “reliable” and acquitted the convicts yesterday. Words are not susceptible of single interpretation at every end. So, the Supreme Court of India should immediately step in and decide if interpretation of the Sessions Court judgment by the Patna High Court is not incorrect. If it finally holds, and expeditiously, that the Patna High Court has not erred, the person or persons responsible for false prosecution of 26 persons to protect the real massacrers, must be, if necessary posthumously, punished and the State Government must be made bound to dig out within a given time who had perpetrated the massacre and from their grave even they must be booked and punished.
The judiciary must not be allowed to make mockery of justice. The people have the right to live peacefully and with justice.