Manuvad to the fore
Lalu bail plea rejected; SC wants a judge of Jayalalitha’s choice
By Faraz Ahmad
Its happened again. The Jharkhand High Court has rejected the bail petition of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Prasad, even while granting bail to all others in the same case, most important, Jagannath Mishra, who preceded Lalu as Bihar chief minister. Why not? Jagannath Mishra is a Brahmin, never mind the so-called fodder scam started in his tenure and the trial CBI court chaired by a Bhumihar judge, P K Singh, a relative of Bihar Education Minister P K Shahi found Mishra’s guilt in this equal to Lalu’s. Its another matter that many of us do not consider Lalu guilty and believe that he is a victim of upper caste conspiracy out to teach him a lesson, for awakening the political consciousness of the Dalits and the backwards in Bihar and the will to fight back the tyranny of the Bhumihar-Brahmin-Lala feudal raj in Bihar carrying on for centuries before he came to power in 1990.
A day earlier the Supreme Court bench of S A Bobde and B S Chauhan issued a notice to the Karnataka government on a petition of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalitha being tried in corruption cases which predate Lalu’s fodder case and where in she has not served any sentence so far, asking why it has not extended the tenure of the Special Judge trying her case, who retired on September 30. A new judge took over the case on October 3. Jayalalitha had petitioned the Supreme Court seeking extension of the tenure of the Special judge. The Supreme Court has asked the Karnataka government why it has not heeded to Jaya’s plea and not extended the tenure of the judge’s services till the conclusion of the case. The learned bench of the apex court even suggested earlier on September 30 that the Karnataka reappoint this judge on a contractual basis after his retirement for the period required to conclude the present trial. This bench of the Supreme court has not rejected a single plea of Jayalalitha. First it exempted her from personal appearance. Then heeding to another Jayalalitha plea, it forced the state government to continue with a public prosecutor appointed irregularly by the previous BJP led government as part of a political deal with the AIADMK supremo. And now the apex court wants her preferred judge to be given an indefinite extension till the conclusion of the 17-year old case, where the trial under a contractual judge may carry on for another 17 years or more, by which time both Jayalalitha and the judge may be dead and gone.
But she is a Brahmin, a leader and a chief minister who deserves to be treated with some deference and regard for her status, never mind that the charges made out against her were far more serious, implicating her directly for indulging in corrupt practice and with evidence of amassing huge wealth. The case relates to her occupation of chief minister’s office from 1991-96 and the same Supreme Court had ordered shifting the case to Karnataka after satisfying itself that in her second tenure as Tamil Nadu chief minister from 2001-06 she was adversely influencing the course of justice. Who remembers all this? Who would care to recall any of this? That’s too embarrassing.
After sending her minion M Thambidurai to read out her speech at the September 30 Left rally she has also joined the club of secularists. In her party she is the Queen Bee while all others are her minions. She was certified secular sometime back when she helped D Raja of the CPI to the Rajya Sabha. What bigger proof of secular credentials? Who cares to remember she is a bigger votary of Hindutva than the BJP in Tamil Nadu, and self-confessed admirer of Narendra Modi. But Jayalalitha is to be revered and Lalu Prasad needs to spend rest of his life in prison. That’s Manuvad.