With reference to Barkha Dutt’s article Sting in the tale (June 2), it’s a matter of shame that everyone bows before the power of muscle and money. Sting operations must be encouraged, as they help in uncovering the truth. It serves as a means to the ‘end’: the truth. Culprits, whether rich or poor, big guns or street beggars, ought to be treated alike. We live in a democracy and our Constitution states that all are equal before the law. Therefore, money should not be allowed to bend our Constitution or the laws. Witnesses who turn hostile and law sentinels who accept bribes hang their conscience and sell their souls to the devil.
It is true that conventional methods would not have uncovered the truth. The people involved in this case are high-profile personalities in the judiciary and politics, more so they are from the ruling party. They are capable of solving the problem out of court, as seen in camera. NDTV and the witness will have to face a lot of challenges in or out of court from these groups. People expect the media to carry on this crusade.
It was heartening to read Barkha’s intentions behind the BMW chase by NDTV. It would be wrong to ban it in reporting, for it’s a crucial weapon used by the journalist much like the knife — a weapon to cause injury or to play a key role in the kitchen.
Barkha Dutt appears to be apologetic about the sting operation conducted by NDTV. In fact, the channel has done a service to the nation by exposing the nexus between greedy and corrupt lawyers. The court should take notice and charge the public prosecutor and the defence lawyer as accomplices for destroying evidence and manipulating witnesses, thus derailing the judicial process. Exemplary punishment should be meted out to them. All witnesses who turned hostile earlier should be re-examined and the trial re-opened so that the guilty will not go free.
In the BMW massacre case, there is a furore over the alleged misconduct of some lawyers. Another feature of the old profession is they do not issue receipts for money received. They obtain a written undertaking from the client that if the case is dismissed in default, the lawyer will not be responsible. What is he employed for then? The opposite counsels in court are friendly outside, for they are permanently stationed there. Clients come and go but their mutually beneficial relations continue. Several incidents have taken place where some lawyers resort to violence and take the law into their own hands. The media will do well to mobilise public opinion that is the final arbiter of the nation’s destiny.