In a hard self- hitting (himself) column, a columnist, G. Pramod Kumar, wrote in First Post misleadingly headlined "Sorry! Sushma Swaraj, your help to Lalit amounts to corruption." By the end of the column, his credentials proved to be questionable as he seemed as a columnist with ultra left views. It seems he is one of the few leftists left in the country. His arguments were based on the absurd. Since a BJP spokesperson called him a fugitive in 2013, it is ridiculous to argue that he need not be helped on humanitarian grounds. If Sushma could be branded corrupt for helping Lalit , then the much acclaimed most honest Dr. Man Mohan Singh must be the most corrupt man in the world today as he helped many corrupt people by his silence and perpetuated corruption in India. Will this guy accept the fact? Today, in a complete U-turn, this same tabloid carried another column by an obviously rightist (country is filled with them) why the news channel that ran the story for sensation was wrong prima facie. He debunked the whole calumny spread by the channel through wrong clippings, wrong dates, wrong information and wrong sensation. He was right, as most rightists always are. Further, the leftist columnist left the issue of Lalit in the middle and embarked upon a theory that Sushma can be termed corrupt as Narendra Modi made/cancelled many appointments like removing Dr. Amartya Sen, who is a big pot-hole in nationalist high way called India and few others. His grouse has come out into the open in the same column. Leftists have a habit of leaving the main argument in the middle. They fire bullets at wrong targets and blame the system. This malaise is age old.
I have lapped to the news late as I do not have TV and cant see the 24X7 brouhaha that the notorious "SHOUTIST" cum talk show host Arnob Goswamy indulged. But, I was 24 hours earlier than Rahul Gandhi, who had to be brought from North Pole (where Kumbhakarna of yore slept) to react. And Times of India laps up to his comment and as in the story of Asterix threatens and remains threatened that the skies might fall on the King any time, if Sushma continued to be MEA. Nothing happens except a bit of comedy. As in the Opera, Arnob daily stabs himself, calls a panel of actors (unfortunately one from BJP too) and cries loudly, instead of allowing other actors to recite their scripts. It is lake a Tamil serial, where you find someone crying all the time and none smiling.
Now, to the brass tacks. What exactly happened? Why need not Sushma be targeted on such trivial issue as allowing a person, whose wife was ailing from cancer and needed a surgery and needed the presence of her husband to sign a consent or to be by her bedside or for emotional suport.
Before going to the nitty gritty of the Lalit affair (I do not want to use the name of Modi, because of the respect I carry to Narendra Modi), let us see whom Congress helped after they were found to have flouted all laws and fled from justice. The first one was Lalit himself. After the IPL controversy broke out, Congress allowed him to travel to Britain. From there he traveled to many countries, including to South Africa for attending FIFA world cop. If you go back, Anderson, who flew to India after the Bhopal Gas tragedy was allowed free pass out of the country and it was alleged he traveled in the official plane of the then CM to Delhi Air Port. Did he or the then PM resign? Congress could not extradite him, as it was not willing to. Then, the case of Ottavio Quttrocchi, is notorious. He could not be extradited from Argentina, as (as the Judge there remarked, CBI did not submit proper legal documents) obviously at the instance of Congress, headed by an Italian born Indian. He could not be extradited. These were fugitives. Then the case of Sanjay Dutt. He was given parole or furlough for 118 days out of the 365 days he was in jail. According to an RTI query 365 applications for parole were pending for years though on purely humanitarian grounds with the State Government in MH, where Congress was in power. Many of the convicted or their spouses died in the interregnum. Do we call this corruption Mr. Pramod? Then ask to jail all those responsible, as they have now no position to resign from.
In case of Lalit the ED filed a civil suit, for FEMA violations. It was not a criminal charge where his presence would be required. His lawyers can represent him, as ED clarified today (HT news). The penalty for these violations is huge fines, not jail term. Hence, in strict legal parlance, he is not a fugitive. What BJP said when in opposition did not make him a fugitive. This is the first lie perpetuated by Times Now Channel. You can not club Id Milad and Sree Krishna Janmashtami, for proving your point that you are secular. (This is a proverb). The two issues are different.
Second lie and the most horrible lie was that his wife was not suffering from cancer at all. They display some file pictures when she was travelling. This is inhuman and invading the privacy of a woman. Privacy is fundamental right of even an accused and their kith and kin. Times Now must be ashamed of this and can be dragged to courts too. But who will care for nincompoops/morons.
Thirdly, they say Portugese Law says they do not require a husband's consent in case of advanced medical procedures. It is true. Unlike other nations and especially EU countries the Portugese do not prescribe this as a law. The reason obviously is that the Portugese do not have a written law of their own. What the relevant material found on the net says is that "medical law in Portugal is a relatively new juridical branch. This implies not only a lack of national compendiums on the subject but also a lack of common medical law. In Portugese health legislation, we many encounter some problems which we do not find in other EU nations." (sic.) More often than not the physicians and surgeons are left to defend themselves in case of judicial litigation and the courts mostly depend on the previous judgments, than on any prescribed law. Absence of any written law does not mean that presence of spouse is not required. Instead, the hospitals there take extra care to see that they do not face any legal problems, as doctors have to defend themselves against any legal action. If we want to speculate, we can speculate both ways. Neither may be right in the ultimate. So, "an unsubstantiated, speculative and purely based on assumptions by turning Google pages" news was sought to be spread with malaise by Times Now.
That being so, the general law in other countries like EU states that it is enough to obtain the consent of the patient if advanced medical procedures are required. But, the book on code of physicians says, however, that if the patient, for any reason is not able to decide him/herself it is essential, a parent, guardian, a spouse or any close relations appointed by court or a judicial person like an attorney to represent the patient after due process of law gives written consent. Here, since Lalit was available and other processes would have taken time, it was natural for him to be present not only for consent but to provide emotional support. And Suhma was helping many Indians abroad just basing on their personal appeals and even tweets or FB postings. The same day, Hindustan Times carried a front page article praising the Indian foreign policy under NDA. Can we see this as turf war in the Media? Cant say.
And as per the quid pro quo charge, advocates are independent in their profession. It is their prerogative to accept or reject cases. If the cases pertains to the government funds, we can always allege quid pro quo. Ms. Nalini Chidambaram was given IT cases, each case carrying a remuneration of Rs.2.00 lakh, when her husband was minister. Even this was not followed up so vigorously by media or opposition, as she might have got the cases on her merits. Can one deny this? Being a relation, son/daughter or spouse of those in government does not bar from independent professionals like doctors or lawyers to take up cases. Ms. Chidambaram also represented many high profile cases of accused. Mr.Chidambaram did not resign nor was it proper to ask him to do so, but for political purposes. There are no moral or legal grounds.
Further, a business news paper carried a news item in 2013 that one ED official confided in their sources that there was no substantive case on Lalit in ED. As Media depends on sources and do not rely on facts verified in each case, we have to believe this too. What Times Now spread was too speculative in nature even without reading the relevant material properly.
In 2010 and 2011 too, some Media houses and a few International Organisations awarded Lalit for various achievements. Can we allege quid pro quo here?
And Congress, that has no sense of shame to hobnob with Lalu, a criminal convict on bail and JDU that already struck a deal with him and made him part of the Pariwar have no locus standi to speak morality in public life. Besides, the Congress has many a skeleton in their cupboards to speak morality on a non issue. Two fears haunt Congress now. One is the fear of Modi doing real good work in five years and it is impossible to defeat him during this century. So create hurdles, even though there is no substantive issue. Second the fear of the noose. The scandals involving lakhs of crores of swindling public money haunt them in dreams too, despite brave postures. One or the other day the top leadership of the Congress have to face the arm of the law. So, blackmail the government on silly issues. Try to make people think they too are corrupt as Congressmen were. It is not possible as people are more educated than the Congress that lives in the past glory of 1947 or 1971. It is their nemesis, if they pursue the same agenda instead of developing a positive outlook.
As per Times Now and Times of India, their reputation took a nosedive and it is only time, they land in the abyss they created for others to fall. Other Media houses should take a leaf out of the whole saga and come out with positive and substantiated versions of any wrong doing by politicians of all hues.