Lawyers, Media, and Lame Investigation
Have you seen this interview on CNN-IBN, Sagarika Ghose interviewing Ram Jethmalani?
The key arguments of the lawyer are:
- Media should not judge cases, and pronounce judgements.
- Media often prejudices public opinion against an accused. The accused has the right to a fair trial.
- The accused has the right to a good lawyer
The key arguments of the media person are:
- A lawyer as well-known as him shouldn't take up a case such as this one.
- If media does not raise hue and cry - accused will go scot free.
The lawyer here is indeed right in saying, it is the job of the judiciary to pronounce judgements, and not of the media to do that, and prejudice opinion against the accused while the case is pending in a court of law. This argument has merit because - judgements cannot and should not be pronounced based on rhetoric. Hard Evidence - is the key to this - and this is a well established practice across the world.
What has caused this kind of a situation: Lame Investigation. This fact though is not brought up in the above interview by the media person. If the investigation was done promptly and properly, and witnesses were not afraid to come forward - we would have better chance of bringing out the truth. Do we need urgent reforms in our Investigative Process? Perhaps yes.
We need more excellent honest officers and talent going into investigation teams, police force, the executive. Until that happens, we need to be prepared to argue our cases with top lawyers, media persons and candle light vigils.