Today the verdict on the accused of Union Carbide aka the Bhopal Tragedy was given by a local court. The eight accused in that fateful industrial disaster are convicted though the former chairman of the plant is still absconding. The sentence that is expected is a maximum of two years in prison along with a fine of Rs 5000/-.
The verdict is after an agonizing 26 years and is an absolute hogwash and makes a complete mockery of our judicial system. There is a hue and cry over the sentence given and the victims are expected to move High Court. I am sure you will all agree that the quantum of punishment for such a disaster is not enough. More than eight lakh people were exposed to the gas leakage. While an estimated 15000 died a lot more have suffered in numerous ways and of course the effects of the leakage passed on genetically cannot be ignored
In such a scenario how much is enough. Years back the supreme court had brokered an out of court settlement with Union carbide absolving it of all criminal and civic liabilities. The amount received has not been doled out effectively and what has already been given is hardly any compensation for the mental and physical agony the victims and the family endure.
various other cases come to my mind where the justice served has really not kept in pace with the hurt, angst and desperation of the people concerned. One that immediately calls for attention is the Ruchika Molestation case. After years of seeking justice, the family could only ensure a 6 months jail for the accused in question. Just imagine the sheer agony ruchika must have undergone before she took the extreme step of taking away her life. Her family had to endure misery untold.Other charges on the DGP like abetment to suicide are also being investigated but i am sure there will be equally some appalling loop holes which will help him evade law. Merely stripping him of the President's medal can in no way ease out the harassment the family faced.
Likewise the Jessica lal case can be quoted. After years of toiling the accused Manu Sharma gets a life sentence by the Supreme Court.From 1999 when jessica was shot till 2010 the case went through several dormant, passive and active stages with various key witnesses turning hostile. Now that the sentence has been granted the family must indeed heave a sigh of relief that frantic appearances in court, threats from accused family notwithstanding they have got justice.
Such cases are few and far between . Even as i talk about justice being delayed and being inappropriate to the misery, i cannot ignore the popularity status than can be used and tweaked by the celebrities and practically get away with murder. Salman Khan's jeep ran over some pavement dwellers killing one and injuring three. Also his involvement in Black Buck shooting also cannot be forgotten. These cases bring to light the apathy that is our judicial system
Common man is slowly losing his faith on the system , sporadic cases of justice served not withstanding. The system needs to get more transparent and accountability is the key word. Also speedy dispersal's of the case can give the whole system of justice a shot in the arm