Let Us Not Give/Pass A Judgment On The SNC-Lavalin Case, As Yet!
(The intention of this post in no way to support Pinarayi Vijayan or others accused in the SNC-Lavalin Case but to question the trend in the media (both print and visual) and the common man to pass judgment on the cases involving politicians even before the various courts in the country give its final judgment.)
Kerala Governor R.S Gavai gave permission to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute CPI(M) State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan in the SNC-Lavalin case involving certain charges of corruption. Now it is going to be a bitter fight in the various courts before a final verdict comes out in this case.
The court is going to look into this case soon. But the media (both print and visual) and people opposing Pinarayi have already passed their judgment – corruption has occurred and Pinarayi is the culprit. It has been a feast for the last few days for the media to bring more and more spicy stories in this case and it will continue till Pinarayi resigns from the post of CPI(M) state secretary. Why are the media and people jumping to the conclusion that they are guilty even before the court gave its verdict? It is said that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Why is this not applicable to cases involving politicians?
We don’t learn from previous mistakes also. Take the case of Bofors Gun deal. Based on a CIG report the then opposition parties made an allegation against Rajiv Gandhi and his government that he got kickbacks in the Bofors Gun deal. The media started the role of investigator and judge and passed the verdict that Rajiv Gandhi was corrupt. The majority of the people in
Another case that comes to my mind – ISRO espionage case, that happened in Kerala in early 1990’s. I remember reading in all the prominent newspapers including Mathurbhoomi, Manorama, Kerala Kaumudi colorful stories (some were even good to be a C blue film) describing how the prominent scientists from ISRO slept with the two ladies from Maldives and in return sold sensational information to them. The stories were narrated such that who ever reads it will believe it. The incident was such a political hot cake that it resulted in the resignation of then Chief Minister of Kerala, K Karunakaran. The intention of the media was a war against Karunakaran and they succeeded when he resigned.
But have these people who brought out the stories thought about the lives of those prominent scientists against whom they were alleging all kinds of crap? These allegations destroyed the lives of few scientists and families. The media who acted as judges in this case made us believe that spying has in fact occurred. After few years the various courts of the land came to the conclusion that no spying had ever occurred and all the stories going around were pigments of imagination of someone. Did any news media that claims to have a social obligation ever apologize for publishing all these stories? Did the media that did irresponsible journalism get punished for it?
I don’t know much about the merits of the SNC-Lavalin case. I know Pinarayi Vijayan and few officials of Kerala Electricity Board are involved. The prey for the media is now Pinarayi Vijayan like Rajiv Gandhi in Bofors Case or K Karunakaran in ISRO espionage case. Media will write all kinds of stories to fill in their pages and increase circulation and in that process force common man to make judgments based on newspaper reports. I believe this should stop. If a verdict is passed based on the findings of the media then why do we need various courts of law? Let us always keep this in mind, “a person is innocent until proven guilty”.