July 17, 2022 was observed as the World Day for International Justice all around the world. Here too. To what end, is not clear. Because here it would seem that it is Just ice!
Cold and hard to the touch, and heartless in its slow burn. It’s as useful to the dead as it is those alive. It clinks in the glasses of the rich, while, for the poor, well, it is just ice well served in the Clink!!
All Greek? Nah. As of May 2022, over 4.7 crore cases are pending in courts across different levels of the judiciary. Of them, 87.4% are pending in subordinate courts, where the bulk of the bail cases lie, both literally and figuratively, 12.4% in High Courts which may be too high up for most.
Nearly 1,82,000 cases have been pending for over 30 years and that’s a whole life time for some! And at the end of that lifetime, if they are acquitted by the court, then they would have served a sentence that went beyond their vocabulary!
As they pend, we find that 76% (3.7 Lakh) of all Prisoners (4.8 lakh), are under trials. That either means they are trying to get bail, or they are undergoing their trials in the jail as they await one in the court of law! Wonder what emojis they would have sent if they could have. ?? Or some others, ?! After all it was World Emoji Day too. But they can’t, so they didn’t; barring a few, who are mobile! And they always send this emoji ?!
But under trials are innocent until proven guilty. Right? Then why huge reluctance grant bail? To aid investigation, to prevent evidence and witness tampering, to prevent flight, and/or to prevent recurrence of their alleged crimes perhaps? Or is it something more profound, that even the Supreme Court found difficult to understand? Recently, lamenting that jails across the country were flooded with undertrial prisoners, the apex court urged the Centre to introduce reforms in the bail laws. It stated that bail applications should be disposed of within two weeks while those for anticipatory bail be decided within six weeks! And suggested the enactment of a separate bail law like in the UK.
The Supreme Court referred to the British law on bail, while asking the Centre to formulate a ‘Bail Act’. A key feature of the Bail Act of the United Kingdom, 1976 is “reducing the size of the inmate population”. The law also has provisions for ensuring legal aid for defendants.
But it’s a non-bailable offence perhaps to retain their repressive laws for us, and not emulate their liberal laws! At this point it’s best to quote Charles Dickens from his famous novel “Oliver Twist” and leave the rest upto your sound judgement, which should not take as long the longest case in our history!
““It was all Mrs. Bumble. She would do it,” urged Mr. Bumble; first looking round, to ascertain that his partner had left the room.
That is no excuse,” returned Mr. Brownlow. “You were present on the occasion of the destruction of these trinkets, and, indeed, are the more guilty of the two, in the eye of the law; for the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction.”
If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is a ass — a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is, that his eye may be opened by experience — by experience.”
Interestingly, if even 50% of them were to be released on bail, the occupancy in the 1306 Jails would have dropped from 118% in 2020 to around 60% and that might have seemed like living a penthouse for those that remain – the Convicts and those who have been alleged to have committed serious crimes! To others, prison must seem like a sentence, with commas, and not full stops, so maybe there is a method in the madness! ? Those released may or may not commit their misconduct again, if they have committed it before that is – they are innocent until proven guilty, according to Jurisprudence. Must we be imprudent not to believe that?
But they too have their emotions, only cannot express them, because they do not have their mobile phones. Else there would have been a flood of emojis showing tears, anger, frustration, and some may even show perseverance. Rarely laughter, an emoji we share so often! ? when we look beyond the prison that is our mind!
It has bars and scars, all of its own. And those who are emotionally express challenged always found it hard to escape and express their emotions. But they found a new tool, when the Apple premiered its iCal calendar application in 2002 (?) as an Easter egg! World Emoji Day is “the brainchild of Jeremy Burge” according to CNBC which stated that the founder of Emojipedia created it in 2014. It has advanced so much, that we now have an Emojipedia! All because we find it easier to text a smiley or a tearful face rather than actually smile or cry!
Emoji’s have created, broken and sustained relationships that handshakes and hugs cannot and have not! What worries me though, what would happen to world peace, or even family peace, if the emoji application stopped working.
We would be back in a prison of our own making, without hope of bail!
Until next week then keep ?. It’s the only way to bend the bars and go where Just Ice is served!
This Article is written in the lighter vein with tongue-in-cheek. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental or just a mirage!