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Law Makers Or The Law Breakers

Each and every citizen of India whether it be a person of normal class, politician, civil servants are equal in the eyes of law and same law applies to each one of them. But what if the political influence results into getting special treatment?

In 1994, a gangster turned politician Anand Mohan Singh was arrested in instigating murder of the then District Magistrate, G Krishnaiah posted in district Gopalganj, Bihar. A civil servant who was born to a landless Dalit family in Andhra Pradesh (Present-day Telangana) was thrashed and stoned to death by a mob led my Anand Mohan Singh and his allies.

Patna High Court in 2007 sentenced him death for committing the crime, that makes him the first ever politician since independence to get the death penalty. But, in 2008 the sentence was reduced to rigorous life imprisonment in order to release Anand Mohan Singh along with 26 other convicts from jail before the completion of the period of imprisonment.

The Bihar government made an amendment in Bihar Prison Manual, 2012 on 10 April 2023 in Rule no. 481(i)(a) removing the "murder of a public servant on duty" clause from list of cases for which remission of jail term cannot be considered. The minimum jail term for life imprisonment was 20 years but reduced to 14 years because of intended premature release.

Amended Rule 481(i)(a) of Bihar Prison Manual, 2012
The Amended rule says, 'Every convicted prisoner, whether male or female, undergoing sentence of life imprisonment and covered by the provisions of Section 433A CrPC, shall be eligible to be considered for premature release from prison immediately after serving out the sentence of 14 years of actual imprisonment, i.e., without the remissions.

How the Bihar government justify its step?
The law department didn't elaborate any other specific reasons for its decisions.

A minister of JDU told that the order is not meant to benefit any individuals.

A home department official said that there are at least over a half dozen people over 75 years of age. On the lower age group side, there are also convicts from the mid-20s to 50s age group. The idea to set them free was because of poor health conditions of the aged prisoners and also to give a second chance to the younger lot.

Author's view:
It is being said that the controversial step taken by Bihar government is not for the benefit of any individual then why only Anand Mohan Singh is getting special treatment and no conditions has been put forward on him. For instance, 26 convicts being released have been asked to register their regular attendance with the local police except Anand Mohan Singh. Criminals are criminals not only till death rather they are wrongdoers even after death.

Each and every crime results into a disgrace and backlash in society that no one can wipe out. Why these 27 criminals are shown mercy based on their age. This will surely encourage criminals. A common man accused in the case where even if he is really guilty for the act or not is suspicious are left to rot in prisons and the people having political influence are being given unconventional special treatment. A treatment wherein no law can stop them from pursuing their wants.

The common people are getting fooled as it clearly appears that an individual is largely benefitted. Notwithstanding the fact that the common people have been blindfolded don't be able to sense the mis happenings.

The message that Bihar government is giving to the whole nation is baseless and would exaggerate the deteriorated status of Bihar. An IAS officer and an honest bureaucrat who was obeying his duty and was serving for the people of Bihar became his family's a biggest fate. Resultingly, working honestly has been proved a sin.

State like Bihar that was called as the centre of political and cultural power and as a heaven of learning has been leftover with nothing but dirty politics, unemployment, illiteracy, poverty, inadequate infrastructure etc. The legacy and earliest contributions of the state in historical contribution is hardly remembered because of insufficiency to corroborate with other states. Presently, it is known to be one of the least developed states of India. The major reason for this is caste-based politics and their influence over the common people.

As per the 2022 report by Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) 72% of ministers in Bihar are having criminal cases against them. State legislations has the right and duty to enact laws as to regulate and keep interest of its people. But a state like Bihar where people are going through unemployment, poverty, youths being largely dependent on government jobs, lack of industries has trouble in spreading its wings.

A place where law makers themselves are the law violators. Where becoming politician requires nothing but power, dominance, previous charges, severity of crimes, etc. It may be hard to digest but these political leaders living luxury life are getting their boots licked by us.

Written By:
  1. Ritik Sinha (3rd year Law student at Banaras Hindu University)
  2. Shiwangi Kumari (3rd year law student at CNLU)

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