27th September 2014 will be permanently imprinted in the annals of Indian history as the day that witnessed the Indian judiciary deliver one of its most lethal attacks on the culture of corruption.
This opinion piece may as well be entitled ‘Hail Judiciary’. Before getting on to the significance of the political import of this judgment day let us place on record our national compliment to Justice Michael D’Cunha. Judge D’Cunha has restored the questionable credibility of the Indian judiciary by convicting the soon-to-be ‘former’ Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Ms. J Jayalalithaa in the Rupees 66.65 Crores disproportionate assets case. The matinee- idol turned political-superstar of Tamil Nadu Jayalalithaa also deserves to be congratulated for becoming the first serving Chief Minister to be a deserving convict under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. What is even more mind-gladding is the quantum of the punishment handed out to the Chief Thief Minister of Tamil Nadu with 4 years of imprisonment and a fine of Rupees 100 Crores, with which Justice D’Cunha has set high standards justice delivery. The Judge has also been considerate and compassionate to Ms. Jayalalithaa by ensuring that she is in good company of her best friend Sasikala Natarajan along with her niece Ilavarasi and her nephew and the Chief Minister’s disowned foster son VN Sudhakaran who have each been awarded with a 4 years prison sentence and a fine of Rupees 10 Crores. For all those who suffer from a memory deficit, let us remind ourselves of the fact that this occasion number two on which Dr. J Jayalalithaa has been forced to quit the CM’s office. Back in 2001 a similar plight was gifted to her when she was convicted in the Tansi land scam case.
The political implications of this verdict will be at best far-reaching and at worst, disruptively detrimental when it comes to the political future of Ms. Jayalalithaa and her AIADMK party in Tamil Nadu. If this 4 year’s prison sentence holds, the TN ex-CM will be disqualified for a period of 4 years. Moreover, she will also have to deal with a six-year’s political Vanvas in addition to the 4 years of imprisonment. Now 10 years is a long time in politics and we sincerely hope that it is long enough to erase the political relevance of this nakedly-corrupt star politician.
The country now is waiting to see what happens to the fate of other leading lights of corrupt India. From Salman Khurshid to Pawan Bansal, Shriprakash Jaiswal to Suresh Kalmadi, Ajit Pawar to Sharad Pawar, A. Raja to Lalu Prasad Yadav , Mulayam to Mayawati and finally from Robert Vadra to the Gandhi clan, the judiciary can bank on the precedent set by Justice D’Cunha and fearlessly hand out transformative judgments which will ultimately alter the destiny of an entire nation.
This is indeed the crying-call of the times. So next time, a poet sits down to pen a national limerick, perhaps the song’s punch line may be, when someone inquires ,”What do you think of India?”, the answer must be “Saare Jaha se Sacha.”