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No fiddling about

Our judges can hold a tune when it comes to dispensing justice. But we’re paying the piper.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2011 21:02 IST

If the thought of law courts makes a chill run down your spine, you have never been in one presided over by chief metropolitan magistrate Vinod Yadav. There, concluding a 25-year-old probe against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi for the 1986 Bofors payoff case, judge Yadav quoted Sahir Ludhianvi’s lyrics from the 1963 movie GumrahChalo, ek bar phir se, ajnabi — to justify why it’s important to end on a good note a story that cannot be brought to its logical end. Given the fact that the case exonerated Quattrocchi, the lyrics must have been meant to soften the blow on the hapless taxpayer who have already provided Rs 250 crore for the probe.

A dash of music would, of course, go a long way in keeping alive court proceedings and bringing to the fore those miscreants who were thinking about lying low and singing softly. In fact, Ludhianvi’s haunting lyrics from the landmark movie Pyaasa — ‘Ye mahlon ye takhton, ye taajon ki duniya… ye duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kyaa hai’— can turn many a vile man’s mind from crime and make him sing like a canary.

With the petitioner in the above-mentioned case considering appealing against the order, there is no guarantee that the concluding aria has been sung in the matter. Last heard, Quattrocchi was singing god’s praises after hearing the verdict. Maybe if we strain our ears a little harder, we will hear a rendition of ‘… is desh kaa yaaron kyaa kahnaa/ ye desh hai duniya ka gehnaa’, another classic from Ludhianvi, this time from Naya Daur, singing praises of a country that let him have it so easy.