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Friday, June 1, 2012

the murder of a teacher in Chennai and the legal tangle

The newspapers carry so many news of Crime..  the report of an accidental death or a murder would impact the reader more, when one has either seen or could associate oneself with the victim in some manner.    After the crime, one feels the need for the offender to be punished harshly and severely.  Punishment should be meted out to the offender and also should serve as a deterrent, as a threat to others in the Society, deter people from offending.  Punishment cannot be construed as bad or as inflicting pain or harm – but an offender should not be allowed to go scot free.   From olden times, it is considered the responsibility of the rulers and Governors of the Society to ensure that the society is free from evils and crime and that punishment is inflicted on offenders.   Every law provides for infliction of punishment according to the nature of crime committed. The gravity of the wrong done would determine the nature and extent of penalty….

There have been many reported incidents of violent behaviour of students.  There were times when the teacher was the most respected and feared person and could mete out punishment as a right…….. no longer….  In Kolkatta, the Principal of La Martiniere for Boys, Calcutta and three others  were to be produced in front of the court on charges of abetment of suicide; when a  class 8 student committed suicide allegedly after being physically assaulted by a teacher.  The boy’s father filed an FIR against the principal and teachers of La Martiniere alleging extreme violence; the teachers and principal were  arrested under the Juvenile Justice Act.  

In Chennai it was a ghastly murder of a teacher, stabbed to death in the class room by a student.   Read my post made in Feb :   Newspapers reported that the  15 year old boy was carrying a knife for 3 days after the teacher had made adverse remarks on his studies to his parents.  On the ill-fated day, when the teacher was alone in the classroom, the mongrel of boy stabbed his Hindi teacher in the neck, abdomen, and chest.  A pre-medidated cold blooded murder sending shockwaves everytime you read of this.  The 41 year old teacher  Mrs Uma Maheswari of St Mary’s Anglo-Indian Higher Secondary School onArmenian Street in Parry’s Corner, bled to death.  What a gory end ?   One of the protesting teachers was quoted as remarking  “Now-a-days, parents only listen to their children’s version of the story and yell at the teacher. They don’t bother to find the truth from the teachers,” – which is largely true.   Many a parents do not care to watch or control their children but would blindly support all their actions.

Sad that a teacher lost her life for doing only service to society.  Now read this TOI report of date [1st June 2012]  ‘ Madras HC stays trial against boy who murdered teacher’.  It states that the trial in the sensational murder of school teacher Uma Maheshwari, was stayed by the Madras high court on Thursday after the boy’s father alleged lapses in the juvenile justice board (JJB) proceedings.

“Vacation judge Justice Aruna Jagadeesan granted the interim stay till June 8 after the boy’s father sought transfer of trial to some other JJB or before some other presiding officer. Senior counsel R Shanmugasundaram, representing the boy’s father, told the court that the trial commenced without the boy being furnished the full set of chargesheet and other documents.  Shanmugasundaram submitted that mandatory requirements stipulated under Sections 207 and 208 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had been violated. Though the two sections require that the boy be given a copy of the police report, statements and other documents, the board furnished only portions of the chargesheet and other documents in two installments, he said.

It is contended that only a portion of chargesheet was given and the in-charge magistrate framed charges without even waiting for an advocate to appear to defend the boy. The date of commencement of trial being fixed as May 28 was also questioned  - further, another memo was filed before the board stating that evidence of witnesses had not been properly recorded and that there were several questionable additions and deletions in the statements.

Often we hear that ‘an innocent person should not be punished, even if some criminals were to get away’…………….. 

The following incident reported in Indian Express is totally unrelated to the above - 

Wearing a light green T-shirt and grey track bottoms, Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist from the November 26-29 attacks on Mumbai, stood with his hands down before Metropolitan Magistrate N N Shrimangle. Police produced India’s most high-profile prisoner before the court on Monday to seek extension of his remand.  Reporters were not allowed to view the court proceedings, taking place inside the Arthur Road jail premises. However, parts of a short conversation between the terrorist and the magistrate were audible. Kasab spoke in Hindi and Urdu throughout.
Shrimangle: What is your full name?
Kasab: Mohammed Ajmal Mohammed Ameer Kasab.
Shrimangle: Did you get the copy?  :  Kasab: No reply
Shrimangle: Chargesheet ka copy mila? (Did you get a copy of the chargesheet?)
Kasab: Haan mila. Par usmein jo likha hai who mere samajh ke bahar hai. Mujhe meri zabaan Urdu mein chahiye. (Yes, I got the chargesheet. But I can’t understand its contents. I want a copy in my own language, Urdu.)
Shrimangle: Copy mila na? (You got the copy, right?) (Turning to chief investigating officer Ashok Duraphe) Diya copy na? : Duraphe: Yes.
Kasab: Copy mein jo likha hai woh samjhta nahin hai. Urdu mein chahiye. (I don’t understand what is written in that copy. I want it in Urdu.) 
With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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