Archive for September 18th, 2013

Hey Ram!: Defending Asa_Ram, Jeth_Ram Style.

18 September 2013
One Ram, Asa-Ram (AR), sought the services of another, Jeth-Ram (JR), to defend him in his bail application moved before the Rajasthan High Court (RHC). Jeth-Ram is none other than the ‘famous’ criminal lawyer Shri Ram Jethmalani. His reputation assures a criminal that he would be let off the hook of law once he engages Jeth-Ram to defend him.
JR is the senior of the two Rams at least by a decade and half. The younger Ram, AR, would not have found a ‘better saviour’ in the troubles he finds himself than JR. However, the line of defensethat JR followed in his first appearance on behalf of AR before the RHC not only showed his rotten mentality, but also indicated that AR is on a far stickier wicket in his ‘rape case’ than I had previously imagined. This is what different papers like, Hindustan Times/India Today/Front Post, reported of the first appearance made by JR in the case.
Considering the near unanimity in reporting, it can be safely adduced that JR did say what is attributed to him. What is curious is that JR’s mindset, not surprising considering his ripe old age, seems firmly rooted in the 50s or 60s or even earlier in late nineteenth century when Indian Penal Code was enacted on the issue of gender violence in view of the line of argument he has pursued. His mind seems to be untouched by the evolution of thinking on sexual violence in the last decade; and looks impervious even to the legal improvements that have taken place in the definition of rape and the new law on violence against children. The noteworthy aspects of such decadent mindset are to assert (i) sex was consensual, and to discredit (ii) the ‘victim’ by alleging she possesses lose moral character. He has added to this grievous injury the insult of claiming that the victim has a ‘psychological condition’ that makes her ‘desire to meet Men alone’. Even before the trial in the case has begun, he has attempted to tarnish the image of the poor girl by making slanderous allegations without a shred of evidence. He has also alleged that victim is not a minor (< 18 years of age, though the age of consent for sex earlier under IPC used to be 16 years, but not anymore). In light of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 (CLAA,see below), following points emerge.
1.   The ‘Psychological condition’ or ‘Chronic disease’ could only be certified by a qualified Psychiatrist/ Medical professional, an area that is beyond the expertise of JR. The CLAAhas substituted Sections 375, 376, 376A, 376B, 376C and 376 D of the IPC with a new Section 375 (see pages 5, 6) that holds: “A man is said to commit “Rape” if he, ….., under the circumstances falling under any of the following descriptions…., fifthly—With her consent when, at the time of giving such consent, by reason of unsoundness of mind or intoxication or the administration by him personally or through another of any stupefying or unwholesome substance, she is unable to understand the nature and consequences of that to which she gives consent”. Therefore, victim’s “psychological condition” cannot be a ground anymore for defending the accused.
2.   The other point JR made was that victim is not a minor. The incident of sexual violence according to the girl-victim took place on 15th August this year at Jodhpur. India today has confirmed from the victim’s 10th class mark sheet that her birthdate is 4th of July 1997. That means she had completed 16 years of age when the ‘incident’ took place. Before the CLAAwas enacted this fact may have helped AR as she was considered in the eyes of Indian law fit to give her consent for sex. However, this would be no longer of any consequence because of “(ibid)……Sixthly—With or without her consent, when she is under eighteen years of age. Therefore, even if victim is proved to be above 16 years age, though below 18 years as India Today has found, then it would hardly help the cause of two Rams. JR seems to be hopelessly out of touch with reality at least as far as the sexual violence law is concerned.
The “great” lawyer could not, when asked, name the disease that had according to him afflicted the victim. There is a ‘disease’, which draws a woman to a man or which draws a man to woman, and it goes by the name ‘Sexual Attraction’. This, sexual attraction is a psychological pre-condition for sexual reproduction to take place- the only known mode of propagation of human species. Both JR and AR are, just like all of us and despite the ‘Ram’ in their names, products of this mode of reproduction selected by Evolutionary Mechanism of Nature for us. While Asa-Ram may well know all this, he possibly forgot that this sexual attraction of a man for a woman is circumscribed by Human laws. Or he believed that since he is a “divine individual”, he is beyond and above any human laws or agency.
It is hard to believe that senior lawyer, Ram Jethmalani, would be unaware of major changes in IPC brought about by CLAA. Why did he then choose to raise inconsequential allegations against the girl-victim? Was it only to malign her reputation anyhow and thereby cast a doubt over her narration of events? If this was the motive, then it has backfired because social media did not take kindly to his bullying tactics. Moreover, in his submissions, there is a tacit acknowledgement that something of sexual nature did transpire between Asa-Ram Bapu (sic, father) and the minor girl; because, it appears, he did not try to suggest that no such thing has happened; but, in fact, has tried to blame the victim for whatever did happen. It looks as if the self-proclaimed god man is likely to be served his just desert this time around.  
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