Supreme Court bails out Teesta Setalvad; Killer stalkers on prowl; Fear mongering WHO chief

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Opinion Watch

Supreme Court’s observations in order that gave clean chit to the Gujarat government led by the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 Gujarat riots formed the basis for an FIR against activist Teesta Setalvad and her immediate arrest, and for two months she languished in jail.

The Supreme Court granted her an interim bail. Gujarat High Court wasn’t in a hurry to oblige Setalwad.

The Indian Express, The Hindu and The Times of India have struck consensus views that the Supreme Court’s intervention is a “welcome check” on a powerful state. Under the watch of the newly sworn-in Chief Justice of India UU Lalit, the dailies have decorated their Edits with terms such as ‘vigilant court’, ‘restoring the balance’, ‘gave a firm rebuff (to Gujarat government)’.

ToI in a cautious note at the same time inserted a few fact that there are 77 per cent under trials out of a total of 5.54 lakh prisoners, only 22 per cent of prisoners are convicted, 95 per cent of under trials eventually get released on bail, while half of jailed under trials have been in lock up for over two years.

The daily noted “India’s jurisprudence on bail is rooted in the Constitution’s Article 21 that guarantees right to life and liberty”.

ToI stops there without elaborating that Teesta Setalvad can get an interim bail, but the not so lucky people have to wait in darkness for the jaded judiciary to one day also see their lots.

TH noted “…it also seems to have taken into account a provision in law that allows grant of bail on the ground that the accused is a woman”.  In PM Modi’s words, India is ‘Amrit Kaal’, and still the laws have gender binds.

Killer stalkers on prowl  

The national outcry against the death of Ankita Singh, set aflame after her stalker Shahrukh poured petrol, was largely muted.

Two girls in Delhi were raped in Delhi last year daily, while scores of them suffer from the scourge of stalking,

Fanciful laws enacted to calm down national anger triggered by media highlighted cases are largely toothless in the face of tired and fatigued law enforcement agencies.

ToI in its lead has called for stopping the stalkers, while stalking is a criminal offence since 2013, as it took note of Ankita Singh’s murder and a stalker shooting at a girl in Delhi.

“From 1,091 cases reported in 2014 – the first year of Section 354D IPC that criminalized stalking – to 9285 in 2021, reported cases in all probability a massive undercount,” argued ToI, while underlining that offence is bailable at police station itself.

There are just 12 per cent women police personnel, and it may just be a case that the laws are begging for the persons to give them life.

Fear mongering WHO chief  

The Pioneer has called the World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus a fear mongering head of the organisation.

The daily has sharply reacted to his regular comments that more variants of coronavirus would be highly infectious and so on, while giving an account of WHO’s total disconnect with the spread of the pandemic.

The WHO has been an utter shame for the multilateral world order, as under its watch the body failed in adequately warning, preventing medicine and vaccine inequity.

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