the beginning back to its end...
Anusha Jogi, Aitia
This will be my last post as an Undertrial: tomorrow, I return to judicial custody by an order of the Hon’ble Supreme Court, exactly one day short of my one year of ‘half-freedoms’, the twilight existence of a bailed-out undertrial; on the 7th of May, Final Arguments commence on my behalf; and judgement is due to be delivered by month’s end. The Order itself is an unanticipated setback: being behind bars at this critical juncture and thereby without access to legal counsel, I will not be able to effectively participate in my own defence. Under the circumstances, it is only natural to be disappointed, even sad.
Despite this, I continue to have full and unadulterated faith in our nation’s judicial process. It may well be that the cancelled-order of the hon’ble High Court had gone beyond the scope of section 439 of the Criminal Procedure Code (dealing with the Powers of the High Court to grant Bail) in commenting on the quality of the evidence- the principal consideration for their Lordships’ decision- but it is also true that certain submissions made by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the complainant’s counsels before the Apex Court were incorrect: for instance, it was insinuated that ‘27 prosecution witnesses (PWs) have turned hostile since I was enlarged on bail.’
The fact, however, is that of the fourteen PWs examined consequent to my coming out on bail, i.e., on 5th May 2006, two were Metropolitan Magistrates, another a scientific officer with the Central Forensic and Scientific Laboratory (CFSL) while the remainder were investigating officers of the C.B.I. To presume that any one of them can become hostile at my behest is not only improbable but also, outrightly laughable. This ‘defect’, I am informed, might be sufficient cause to file a review petition, but by the time it is disposed off, the Trial would have ended. I can only hope that this judgment of the hon'ble Apex court does not have an adverse impact on the Trial’s outcome. Incidentally, this exact apprehension, I'm told, has been specifically dealt with in a last-line rider of that Order.
The bottom-line, however, is that we were caught unawares: although the matter had been shown as listed, the Bench that had previously been hearing the case for the past 10 months was on vacation, and consequently the matter came up before another Bench. Consequently, my lawyers presumed that it would be adjourned. In fact, the senior counsel who had been appearing in the matter was on leave that day. As subsequent events revealed, it was a fatal mistake on our part; and one for which I now pay the penalty. Still, I prefer to see all this as Destiny's- God's- Plan for my Life.
I have always felt that this is as much a legal battle as it is a moral one. “You know that you haven’t done any wrong,” my mother never fails to comfort me, “so God will not let any wrong come to you.” I believe her. But I also worry about her- and about Papa. As an only son, I know only too well the pain of being separated from my parents, my lifeblood. And from my friends and wellwishers- those tens of thousands of people who have stood by my family through thick and thin.
Indeed, I am both gratified and strengthened by so much Love.
The last entry of my Jail Diary was dated 3rd May 2006. Its next entry will be exactly one year later: on 3rd May 2007. I can only hope- and pray- that this next section will be a short epilogue; and that we will meet again, soon.
Please pray for me.
Note: No part of this post shall be published, or quoted wholly or in part, without prior consent of the author and/or his representatives as directed by him. This is a personal message and as such, does not have any bearing or reflection whatsoever on the judicial proceedings related to the author's case. The views expressed herein are being published in absentia by his representatives, and the author can not be held in any manner liable for these.