Saturday, March 23, 2013
CELEBRITIES’ CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS NEED REVIEW
CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
The news that Sanjay Dutt stands punished with 5 years imprisonment for the offense of keeping fire arms is received with mixed response by various sections of public.
There are a few offenses pending trial/punishment against Salman Khan and a few other actors.
There are also a few Politicians against whom various offenses are pending.
Now, Sanjay Dutt’s punishment is approved by the Supreme Court itself. But, there are news and views that he might be or must be pardoned by the Political establishment under various loopholes in the law.
Sanjay Dutt is liked by many – and that cannot be faulted. I too am one of his Fans.I also do not want to see him go to Jail. I want to see him act in many good movies in future. But, there must be a punishment for keeping dangerous firearms procured illegally.
It is the same thing with Salman Khan. If Salman and others are later punished by the courts but pardoned by the Political establishment, the whole drama of offence, trial, punishment, appeal etc becomes absolutely farcical. The Political establishment should not resort to such gross violation of the system of Justice.
If the Political establishment right away pardons the person and releases him without any punishment, it is a definite and open invitation by every influential and affluent Celebrity to indulge in any crime and seek pardon through Political establishment. Such precedents are dangerous.
This is certainly not the way the crime and punishment system must work.
At the same time, for killing two black bucks in a jungle, sentencing a Celebrity to 6 years imprisonment also appears to be incorrect.
But then, Celebrities also run over pavement dwellers and Pedestrians and kill them in their drunken moods & drunken driving! These are currently treated as mere TRAFFIC OFFENSES. This too is not correct. The Celebrity offenders in such cases don’t even pay justified compensations ordered by the Courts. This is horrible, by any standards.
The Indian system of justice must look more efficient, Just and fast. Equality of all in the eyes of the Law must be truly reflected in it.
I therefore suggest the following methodology.
Replace the scheme of imprisonment for 5, 6 or 10 years by a VERY SIGNIFICANT FINE as punishment.
For instance, for keeping firearms procured illegally, EVEN IF INNOCENTLY, the person need not be sent to JAIL for 5 years, but must be made to pay ONE previous years’ TOTAL TAXED INCOME as fine to the Government. There should not be any scope for pardon in such cases by the Political establishment
The fine must be paid within 3 months, failing which, his properties must be confiscated and auctioned.
Ditto for killing the Black bucks in a forest.
For running over and killing PAVEMENT SLEEPERS, with his car, the Celebrity must be made to pay a fine of one year’s total income in respect of each such pavement dweller killed by him . He cannot just go up the pavement, run over the pavement sleepers/standees there, killing them or wounding them and get away with it. The worst of drunken driving should not lead the celebrity’s car onto a pavement and kill the people there.
Now, why is such a change in Law needed? Mr. X may be earning a few hundreds of crores of taxable income every year. He must be a much more responsible citizen than all others. He must respect laws more and be a more law-abiding citizen. This applies to all Celebrities – and more so, to Politicians.
If he kills a few Pedestrians, the lives of the Pedestrians or pavement sleepers must look as important in the eyes of the law as that of the celebrity.
If a Celebrity keeps illegal firearms or drugs illegally, he can become the cause of grave crimes. He must pay for the crime.
Ditto for killing and eating Black Bucks in a forest area.
But then, imprisoning the Celebrity for 6 years or even for life serves no purpose at all, in my view.
It hurts the lives of many people whose income comes from his success.
In some cases, whole Industry / companies may suffer.
A small compensation ordered to be paid to the survivors also makes no real sense to the persons killed. Even that compensation is not being paid by the Celebrities.
Any punishment must therefore serve to open the eyes of the celebrities to the point that they are accountable for their crimes.
One year’s total taxed income per person killed, I feel, is a JUST and ADEQUATE FINE to be paid by a celebrity to the Government. About Rs.10 -20 lakhs from this can be paid to the kith and kin of each killed person (each) and the rest should become the revenue of the Government. If paid to Central Government, its budget deficit may perhaps be bridged with this revenue fully.
Likewise, for going to a forest area and killing 2 Black Bucks against the law, ONE YEAR INCOME must be the just and adequate fine. Instead, keeping each actor in Jail for 6 years or more, is a meaningless punishment. Let him act and earn but let him pay promptly and through is nose. He should feel the pinch of the crime and punishment.
ONE YEAR’S TOTAL INCOME is, in my opinion, an undiluted, just, quick and proper punishment. It may be a few hundreds of crores or a few lakhs. If the celebrity has run over 10 persons, let him pay 10 previous years’ total Income to Government as fine.
For God’s sake, don’t look from the Celebrity’s own angle or from your own liking for him and his skills.
His crime deserves a Just, adequate and fast punishment. It must apply to all celebrities. Readers may voice their support for such a measure. Let us tell Parliament to amend the Law in such manner, before granting any pardon on the Celebrities’ punishments.