Gunah – A florist has been in jail for two years for a crime he did not commit. Accused of stealing 100 rupees, the man is dumbfounded that this could happen. Not only did he not steal the money, the alleged amount was trivial. And, justice was being protracted. Being the only wage earner in his family, they have suffered much hardship and poverty as a result of him being imprisoned. The court continues to postpone trial dates, making no time for petty, unimportant thieves.
It was fascinating to be a fly on the wall as it were, to hear the types of conversations that must happen in prisons around the world on a daily basis between falsely accused prisoners and their attorneys. In this particular case, the lawyer admits to the prisoner that he agrees that the facts don’t mesh, and that the prisoner’s only crime was being weak and uneducated. It was a real let down, though not unsurprising, that if this prisoner wanted freedom, absent any real crime having occurred, he would would have to confess to the judge that he stole money. It is rather ironic the way that our justice system works when a dishonest confession results in freedom, but a disingenuous accusation can bring about prolonged imprisonment. The law works according to expediency, and is meted out unfairly, according to socio-demographics rather than justice. Though we are promised justice in the “judicial” system, the actual practice of law, and how a case is adjudicated, is in fact separate from what we are led to believe.
“In this world, justice is an illusion. The law is the truth.” This is a stark contrast between what we learn in school, and what we think we know makes up the very fabric of our society. Gunah was a wakeup call that lawyers cannot promise us something that is not real. It’s a shame that if we expect a certain positive result, we must discover an unspoken yet more powerful set of rules, no matter if they go against the professed and perceived morals of the very system that is set up to judge us.
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