Vinod Kumar Anand and Manohar Lal Sharma have stepped up to defend three of the six men accused of gang rape in Delhi.
Here is Sharma:
(I suspect—I hope—that “I agree that they are facing the allegation of rape, but if it is true or false I am yet to prove it.” is a mistranslation.)
Here’s a little more about these two characters. Sharma, especially, sounds like a troublemaker (or possibly a madman—it’s hard to tell from 10,000 miles away).
Meanwhile, a friend—a US lawyer from India—writes:
The whole situation is quite the microcosm of Indian society in a way: the ineffectual criminal justice system, the loud protests by thousands that will go nowhere, politicians who promise too much and deliver nothing and the lawyers that bend over backwards to ensure that nothing gets in the way of “justice” – justice that’s predetermined.
I saw the link in your post to an article that reported on the “presumption of innocence” being applicable in the Indian penal system. My experience, unfortunately, has been just the opposite. Actually, even that’s wrong. To say that that there is an Indian justice system of any form is wrong. The penal code is an absolute mess, there are no reliable procedural rules and money will always trump everything else.
The justice system, as its used in India, is rarely more than another tool of oppression against the very poor and the very unfortunate. Reformers are marginalized and largely ignored – or worse, thought of as a joke.
In principle, the “boycott” by the lawyers’ groups is despicable, but in reality nothing more than showmanship and to some extent a desire for self-preservation. It won’t be the first time someone’s been killed for taking on an unpopular defense. The country’s collective mind just doesn’t have the same sense of respect for the justice system and frankly, given its history, rightly so.
I would love to see this incident serve as a catalyst for all sorts of penal system reforms, but I don’t see it happening.