Aman Kachroo case – playing to the gallery

Shimla: Death by ragging, be it suicide or the victim dying because of injuries, have not stopped since the medico Aman Kachroo’s death was reported from Tanda Medical College in March 2009.

Kachroo’s death did cause a national furor and stern punishment was sought and is desired for those found guilty.

But none would want to subvert the law processes involved and deny the liberties permitted under the law of the land even to the under trials.

The investigation was completed in record time, the charges framed and the case was moved into a fast track court.

The four accused were arrested within days of Kachroo’s death and had been languishing in jail for 16 months without bail.

Since the fast track trial court has not been able to complete the judicial process and many witness still need to be examined, the presiding judge by going through the facts on record did grant bail to all four on 17 July, 2010.

At the same time, the trial court also did admit a bail cancellation application from the prosecution and granted time to the accused for responding to it.

Thus far it is a standard judicial procedure practiced all over the country.

But the High Court, interrupting the process and taking suo motto cognizance of a media report, summoning the accused to hear why their bail should not be cancelled? – is not standard procedure.

Subsequently the bail stands cancelled, the accused have surrendered before the trial court and prosecutors’ application before the trial court for canceling of the bail is rendered infructuous.

In a country where convicts are allowed to contest elections and sit in parliament, one, even as he was convicted for murder and while the matter was pending in appeal, did become chief minister of a state, surely the four accused in the Aman Kachroo case are at least entitled to bail during the trial period.

This is not a case of trying to subvert the law like in the high profile Jesscia Lal, Nitish Katara and Sanjeev Nanda case, wherein a sustained media campaign did keep the trial within the public glare till ends of justice were met.

Let the accused be punished for their acts in the Aman Kachroo case too but not before a fair trial and denying them liberties permitted under the law, till proven guilty, is like condemning them as convicts without completing the judicial process.

The intervening High Court may have snatched the power to grant bail from the trial court in the case but after all, the matter would still need to be decided by the trial court and it is here where a justified intervention could speed up the process.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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3 Comments

  1. says: neha

    I totally agree with what the author has to say. These four undertrials have been denied a fair trial since the beginning of the investigation. The media has played an adverse role in this case so far by projecting these four students as hardcore criminals. Those who blame them entirely have forgotten that these students faced similar horror when they were freshers. Let them have a fair trial. I would urge the author to use certain vested powers media has to project the other side of the story and help in erasing the negative image of these four medicos media has created so far in the eyes of society. This should be done asap keeping in mind that public opinion can do wonders. Sir, please use newspaper articles, interview the undertrials, their batchmates and project the untold story.

  2. says: Pard

    Very true and I agree with the writer. If Media is running the judicial processes at their own wimp and little knowledge of facts than why judiciary is there in first place. Hon’ble HC may under pressure from SC have denied the bail with general observations as it was preminded to cancel the bail in HC but this has sent a very wrong message to public. The message to any logical & rational mind is that if anybody is successful in manovering the MEDIA as is done by sr. Kachroo, he or she can even bent HC or SC for that matter, which ultimately undermines the powers of our judicial system and Media emerged as above judiciary in INDIA. Why suo motto notice has not been taken against the media or Kachru for openly calling indian judiciary as corrupted and illintentional. But then with the action of HC of cancelling the bail on only media reports is their own act of undermining the juciary in India

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