Even as the government orders investigation into how a man on death row for the 2012 Delhi gang rape was allowed to be interviewed for a documentary film, legal experts find no fault with the director saying it was not her “mistake”. Instead, they blame jail authorities for the lapse, who allowed it without court’s permission.
“Where is her (Leslee Udwin, Director) mistake! Mukesh Singh is not the first death row convict to be interviewed. There is no bar on interviewing an accused or a convict,” says former Delhi high court judge SN Dhingra.
Putting the onus on the authorities for failing to check the rules and regulations before giving permission to the British filmmaker to interview 16/12 convict Mukesh Singh in Tihar jail, Justice Dhingra said, “The jail authorities should have told her (Udwin) that they are not the right institution to give the permission.”
Earlier during the day, Home Minister Rajnath Singh summoned Tihar Jail’s top official Director General Alok Verma to know how permission was granted to Udwin to interview the convict and how the interview took place.
Another former Delhi HC judge RS Sodhi concurs that there is “no fault with the director” and says the jail authorities should have “followed rules of law and not gone beyond their duty.”
“It is not a case of jailbreak,” says Justice Sodhi maintaining there is nothing wrong in interviewing the convict. “The director must have been allowed in the jail,” Justice Sodhi says.
As the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’ snowballs into a huge controversy, a Delhi court restraining its telecast, the legal experts say people should focus on the larger perspective, which this documentary brings out. “We need to be constructive about it (documentary). It has given us an insight into the mindset of people in the society,” senior counsel Meenakshi Arora says.
The All India Democratic Women’s Association has also demanded registration of FIR against the two defence lawyers in the December 16 Delhi gang rape case for making “hateful and derogatory speeches and inciting violence against women” in the documentary.