Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect 



Three pictures that flashed often on Indian TV screens over the past year were those of the Chaman Matoo, the father of the late Priyadarshini Matoo looking resigned to his fate, that of Mrs. Neelam Katara, mother of the late Neeraj Katara, in her cotton sari and shoulder bag with the look of a determined fighter and the hapless Sabrina, sister of the late Jessica Lal. All three were fighting giants.. The one convicted yesterday of raping and murdering Priyadarshani Matoo was the son of a police officer, Mrs. Katara is the fighting D.P. Yadav, a hardened professional criminal as per the  description provided in the Uttar Pradesh police records and the father of Manu Sharma , the accused in the Jessica Lal case , only resigned from the Haryana cabinet.


Compared to the profiles of the accused , the families of the victims can only be considered pygmies. And yet, one of the pygmies won yesterday.  The Delhi High Court overturned the earlier verdict of the of the sessions court delivered on December 3, 1999 which was worded thus “”Though I know he is the man who committed the crime, I acquit him, giving him the benefit of the doubt.


According to one news source, Sabrina Lal was present in the High Court yesterday to hear the verdict being delivered and she might have derived some satisfaction not just from the verdict but also from the media support that her case is getting but for which , the Jessica Lal case might have been one more statistic in India’s judicial debris. All criminal cases in India actually get some justice [or lets call it some public support and some work done by the police] only when they are displayed in Media. Nothing was being done in Jessica Lal Case or Priyadarshini Mattoo Case or any other case for that matter till these cases were given some attention by media and hence by people. It would seem that the police and the ministry and the court all act responsibly only when they know that their actions will be reported and people will note.


Typically in India who you knew mattered more than who you are and perhaps in a large number of cases , this will be true. After all , how many atrocities might be going on in our hinterland at this very moment and how many media advocates would we need to generate the high voltage publicity that was possible because the scenario happened to be Delhi. That may still be the case, not just in India but other countries as well. Besides , it speaks of our justice system that it is considered a great achievement when the CBI closes a case in 10 years and 10 months. Further the case may not be over yet. Santosh Singh, now convicted may now appeal in the Supreme Court and again woo politicians and bureaucrats alike to be acquitted of the charges. Even so,  one can take heart that there are a least some instances when  perseverance and grit and determination pays off. when the so called pygmies with the help and support of others  can take on the giants and win.  


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