Chidambaram and the Law: K Vikram Rao
As a prominent law-maker for decades, a loyal law-abiding citizen, and above all, as a lawyer of repute himself, Palaniappan Chidambaram should not have tried to defy law and evade law-enforcement agencies. The politician in him perhaps instinctively forced him to hog nationwide free media publicity. Also perhaps he thought that he would wear a halo of martyrdom, a victim of Modi excesses.
But in between came the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court which refused to come to his rescue. And why should they, when the Hon’ble Delhi High Court unequivocally ruled that “it is a case of money-laundering of monumental magnitude.” The High Court was very correct that a bail in such case would send a wrong message to the society. Such a fraud on the nation is nothing short of treason. How many Mallyas can India allow to loot State treasury?
Think for a moment. Had Chidambaram gone to the CBI office, soon after reading the notice on his Jorbagh bungalow wall, asking him to appear, he could have convinced the nation that he does not regard himself as above law. The Congress lawyers, who sought to protect him from law-enforcement agencies, may be guilty of obstructing the process of law by abetting breach of law.
What a tragic irony it is that the brother and sister duo termed the legal process of the CBI as witch–hunting. Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law is also at large, though facing land-grabbing charges. Rahul even remarked that “Chidambaram was being hunted down for speaking the truth.” And what is the truth? Perhaps Rahul remembers the title of Chidambaram’s book “Speaking truth to Power.” Did he at all read it?
Chidambaram himself told media just before he was taken into custody that “Between life and liberty, he would give up life.” Quite a good rhetoric! But he must know that liberty without law will make the mighty destroy the weak as that British statesman Edwards Clarendon remarked. Therefore, the courts must be respected as they enforce laws for the sake of liberty.
And for us, journalists? We must mention here for record that the Congress lawyers who sought to shield Chidambaram were those, who in the Manmohan Singh Government, had voted for the statutory Justice Majithia wage award for newspaper employees and yet had appeared in the Supreme Court to challenge their own Congress government’s pro-labour order.
K Vikram Rao